ALICE COOPER Guitarist Talks About 'Dirty Diamonds', Current Hard Rock Scene

Australia's Inside_Out666 recently conducted an interview with ALICE COOPER guitarist Ryan Roxie. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Inside_Out666: How much input did you have in terms of writing for the new album?

Ryan Roxie: "Alice was very cool about co-writing with the band on the last couple of albums. I was able to be a contributor on this record and I'm really happy about it. It's truly a nice feeling to look up and see your name right next to Cooper in the credits. There are a few Roxie/Cooper co-writes that I'm really proud of. Alice has said in interviews that he understands that a lot the fans expect certain songs and I know he's really excited about playing the new material too, which makes me happy because I know we had a big hand in the writing of it."

Inside_Out666: When you prepare to do an album like "Dirty Diamonds", what comes first the lyrics or the music?

Ryan Roxie: "Ahh! The chicken or the egg [laughs] — an age-old question. As far as the writing with 'Dirty Diamonds' and 'The Eyes of Alice Cooper', we had a lot of guitar riffs that were Alice-based. They had that really cool Alice-sounding influence to them. Alice would come in sometimes and say, 'You know what? We're going to pick a subject to write about, and I'm just gonna do my thing and we're gonna jam over the riff a million times.' He would start putting in a word here and there, all of a sudden he got the catch phrase for the title of the song and then it became an ALICE COOPER tune. If one of us bought in a tune that we thought was done, Alice would take it to the next level and make it an ALICE COOPER song."

Inside_Out666: In your honest opinion, what do you think about the direction that hard rock and metal music has taken in the last few years?

Ryan Roxie: "I'm actually quite positive about the whole thing. What we're noticing, at least at the ALICE COOPER shows, is that we're getting younger and younger audiences, the kids that are coming to the shows now have seen the MARILYN MANSON show and they’ve seen the ROB ZOMBIE show and now they're actually doing their homework and they're going, 'Well, who influenced these guys?' Then they find out that ALICE COOPER was a big driving force behind bands like that and he's still touring. 'Oh, my god. I can actually go and see the godfather of all these bands.' I'm happily discovering that the fans are happy and willing to discover the roots. Now it's really trendy to have the old AC/DC and LED ZEPPELIN t-shirts from a marketing view, but the bottom line is the kids are doing the research on them. Nowadays on the 'Net you can be much more apart of a bands career and find out information then you could when I was a kid. When I was a kid you had to write a fan letter, lick a stamp and wait for a year to get a response. Now with a couple of clicks you can find out basically Ace Frehley's home address [laughs]."

Inside_Out666: Now you have been playing on and off with Alice for ten years now, are there still days where you wake up and pinch yourself?

Ryan Roxie: "I'm becoming the Bruce Kulick of the ALICE COOPER band, I don’t know what the hell's going on [laughs]. Yep, but that's not because I play with Alice Cooper [laughs]. No, I don't pinch myself, but I do sometimes I do sit back and take a deep breath and say to myself, 'You know what? It's a good thing.' There's moments like right now, I think how lucky I am to be just hanging out. The rock 'n' roll lifestyle doesn't stop right after the shows. We get together after the shows do the after-parties, play poker and then in the morning we get to wake up and play a round of golf, which I recently got into. Then after that we get to go and do some interviews, that's not hard work, it's actually fun. Obviously, I like the sound of my own voice [laughs]. Then we play the rock show again. The whole lifestyle for me is a really good time and to be doing it for as many years as I've been able to do it with Alice is a really cool thing."

Inside_Out666: What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

Ryan Roxie: "[Laughs] Well, the list goes on and on. Oh, I remember a story from the club days. I think it was right after we [ELECTRIC ANGELS] got our deal with Atlantic. We celebrated the gig by playing a club that had a bunch of bar tables out on the floor. I got a little angry that there were people eating salads while we were playing, so I wanted to walk across the tables and eat somebody's salad at the end of the line of tables. Of course, I didn't understand that the tables weren't bolted down to the ground and they were strategically placed. So what happened? I slipped on a fork and almost killed myself [laughs]. The whole table went down mid-song, Les Paul up in the air. It was ugly. It was kind of a bitch, 'cause the record label had just signed us and they had brought up a bunch of their people to see us. 'This is our new band. Look at the idiot with salad in his hair.' [laughs]. We made it through though and on went the show. Oh, here's another one for you from the last time I was I here in Australia. I just had knee surgery and I was being really careful with it. I was careful on the plane. I got onstage and started spinning around like an idiot and all of a sudden the knee gives out. Bang, right on my ass [laughs]. That kind of stuff happens all the time."

(Thanks: Inside_Out666)

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