When Alice Cooper decided to pay tribute to his Seventies drinking buddies—a group of late-night partiers dubbed the “Hollywood Vampires”—he used the nickname for a new band featuring an impressive batch of artists and released an album of classic covers and a handful of original tunes.
Following the band’s TV debut on this year’s Grammy awards, not to mention a string of European shows, the Hollywood Vampires–whose core members include Cooper, Johnny Depp and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry—are about to begin one of summer’s most anticipated tours.
I recently spoke with Perry about the band’s North American tour, new music, the future of Aerosmith and more.
What can fans expect from the Hollywood Vampires Tour?
The album is a pretty good indication. But once you make the record, the goal is to out-do it when you play it live—and that’s what we’re doing. Although there are a lot of guests on the album who won’t be with us on stage, the core band is the one I’d pick if I was going to go out and tour by myself. Everyone is a great player and we’re all friends as well as fans of the music we’re playing. We’ll probably change the set a little bit as the tour goes on, but only because there are so many great songs we want to play. The guys we’re paying tribute to were all pioneers at what they were doing. They all passed way too soon, but we’re showing that their music lives on. Those guys are alive when we play these songs, and that’s why this is going to be a really special tour.
How did the Hollywood Vampires come together?
Alice was thinking of doing a covers record and the idea came up a to do something that was more of a tribute to the guys he used to drink with at The Rainbow as well as a celebration of their music. We’ve all known each other for years and can certainly say we’ve all paid our dues entertaining people one way or another. So this is a tip of the hat to the great talent and songs these guys have left behind, but it’s also about the vibe of being friends and never thinking it was ever going to happen—and here we ar
How did you become involved in the band?
The original stuff on the record was pretty much done by the time I showed up. I came in while they were laying down tracks and was literally working right down from the studio they were in. I remember they kept calling me up and asking me to come over and sit in and play. One time they said, “Hey, tomorrow we’re going to be cutting a track with Paul McCartney. Do you want to come over?”—and I was like, “Um, yeah! OK!” [laughs].
Do you see the Hollywood Vampires as more of a long-term project?
I’m hoping we’ll be able to write some more stuff and continue the vibe. It’s a dream come true for all of us to play together. But right now, we’re focusing on getting out there and seeing how it goes down. It’s a great lineup and the reason we’re doing it is to put some energy into the crowd and pay tribute to some of these great guys who are no longer around.
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Interview with Joe Perry by Clicking Here