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Alice Cooper’s ‘Paranormal’ Album to Feature Original Members + ZZ Top, U2 Guests

Alice Cooper
Mary Ouellette, SheWillShootYou.com

It’s been six years and counting since shock rock extraordinaire Alice Cooper released a new studio album. His 27th, Paranormal, will feature a number of guest contributors much like his last record, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, did and it is slated for a July release.

With esteemed producer Bob Ezrin in tow once more, he and Alice worked together to decide who else they could bring in to help shape the new record. When the singer spoke with Eddie Trunk on Sirius XM’s Trunk Nation, he revealed how it all came together.

“Bob Ezrin and I sat there and Bob says, ‘What do you think about Larry Mullen [U2] on drums?’ And I went, ‘That’s a great idea. It’ll change things up so much on just the basic tracks,'” explained Alice. Detailing that Mullen asked for the lyrics, the frontman was taken aback when the drummer said, “I play to the lyrics. I don’t play to the bass.”

Meanwhile, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons laid down a guest guitar spot on “I’ve Fallen in Love and I Can’t Get Up,” a song he heard while battling the flu. “This song makes me feel better,” the six-stringer said while under the weather. “If Billy Gibbons doesn’t play on this, we shouldn’t put this one out,’ because, I mean, it is so much him,” Alice said after making the album.

As we’ve reported on in the past, some of Paranormal’s tracks were written with the original Alice Cooper group members Dennis Dunaway (bass), Neal Smith (drums) and Michael Bruce (guitar). “I wrote three songs [with them] for the new album,” Alice told Trunk. “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 got to paint my nails, I’ve got to do my hair.’ [Laughs]”

Fans have grown to expect the dark, more mysterious vibe from Alice Cooper, but don’t let the Paranormal title deceive you as “it’s not really a scary record.” The singer mentioned the title means “other than normal,” which is a testament to the nature of this new collection of songs.

No longer seeking hit singles and high-selling records as “the golden age is over,” this one is for the fans. Alice elaborated, “I have a world of fans out there, all over the world, and it took 45 years to build that fanbase. So when I make records now, I make them 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.”

Alice and the three aforementioned original members will hit the stage together once again on May 14 in Nashville, Tenn. at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall and you can catch Alice on tour this summer supporting Deep Purple (dates here).

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