Alice Cooper will release his 27th studio album, “Paranormal”, in July. The follow-up to 2011’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” will feature guest appearances by ZZ TOP‘s Billy Gibbons, three members of the original ALICE COOPER band and U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr.
During an appearance on last Friday’s (May 5) episode of the SiriusXM radio show “Trunk Nation”, Cooper said producer Bob Ezrin was responsible for getting Mullen Jr. involved in the sessions.
“Bob Ezrin and I sat there, and Bob says, ‘What do you think about Larry Mullen on drums?’ And I went, ‘That’s a great idea. It’ll change things up so much on just the basic tracks.'”
Cooper also talked about the U2 drummer’s somewhat unusual approach to recording. Alice recalled: “Larry [said], ‘I wanna see the lyrics.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He [said], ‘Yeah, I play to the lyrics. I don’t play to the bass.’ And I said, ‘That is so cool — just the idea that you’re interpreting the lyrics on the drums.’ So that totally makes the album another album.”
Gibbons, meanwhile, plays guitar on a song called “I’ve Fallen In Love And I Can’t Get Up”. “After we cut the record, I went, ‘If Billy Gibbons doesn’t play on this, we shouldn’t put this one out,’ ’cause, I mean, it is so much him,” Alice said. “And he got the record, and he said, ‘I’ve got the flu, but, man, this song makes me feel better.’ He just killed it.”
In addition to performing on “Paranormal”, original ALICE COOPER bandmembers Neal Smith (drums), Michael Bruce (guitar) and Dennis Dunaway (bass) were involved in the songwriting for the new record. “I wrote three songs [with them] for the new album. Dennis brought in two songs, Mike brought in a song. There’s one song called ‘I Wanna Be A Genuine American Girl’. It was gonna be ‘I Want A Genuine American Girl’, and I went, ‘No, no, no. I Wanna Be A Genuine American Girl! It’s really a tough song, so it’s this guy going, ‘I’ve gotta paint my nails, I’ve gotta do my hair.’ [Laughs]”
With reards to the “Paranormal” album title, Cooper said: “I love that title, ‘Paranormal’, but it’s not really a scary record. There’s a couple of scary songs on it, but [it is] ‘paranormal,’ meaning ‘other than normal.’ This is not a normal Alice record. Bob and I decided, ‘No theme this time. We’re gonna make a record of things that just get us off, songs that we like. And it might go in a lot of different directions, but these are just songs that get us off.”
Cooper added that he doesn’t have unrealistic expectations for his new album, explaining that he is making records for his longtime fans, full aware that the days of multi-platinum LPs and million-dollar profits are long gone. “Those days are over,” he said. “The golden age is over. I have a world of fans out there, all over the world, and it took forty-five years to build that fanbase. So when I make records now, I make ’em for those people. I’m not trying to break a new audience. I am playing an album for an audience that’s already there, and I think AEROSMITH is too, and I think anybody that’s established is making records for their fanbase.”