Alice Cooper: Ke$ha's a devil of a diva

CBSNews.com's Ken Lombardi speaks with legendary rock icon Alice Cooper about his new album, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare," the sequel to his 1975 classic original. Cooper also discusses his collaboration with rapper Ke$ha. Stephen Lovekin

(CBS) He may be 63 years old, but Alice Cooper shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to his "No More Mr. Nice Guy" world tour, the veteran rocker is releasing a new album, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare," a sequel to his 1975 classic.

Cooper sat down with CBSNews.com to discuss his latest project, which features a rather unlikely collaboration with the rapper Ke$ha.

CBSNews.com: With regards to "Welcome 2 My Nightmare," what inspired you to make a part-two?

Cooper: You know, you're always gambling by doing a sequel. Anytime you hear 'sequel,' you go, 'Oh, no, it's not going to be as good as the first one.' But this one's 35 years later. You know, we said, 'What would Alice's nightmares be now?' And I thought, 'Well, let me think...disco would still be a nightmare to Alice.' Probably working at a cubicle...technology would be a nightmare...But there would still be that thing of what's that in the dark? Where we're not quite sure what's going on in the dark.

CBSNews.com I bet a lot of your fans are eagerly awaiting this--

Cooper: Well, ["Welcome 2 My Nightmare" was made with] Bob Ezrin also. Bob Ezrin produced the first ["Welcome To My Nightmare" album]. So, when Bob and I get together...we did "School's Out" and "Billion Dollar Babies" together also and "Love It To Death"...When we get together, we bring out the absolute worst in each other...which means it's probably going to be a good album.

CBSNews.com: And also members of your original Alice Cooper Band are on this new album as well?

Cooper: When we got into the [Rock and Roll] Hall of Fame, it was a unique situation that when we broke up in '75, we didn't break up with any bad blood. There were no lawsuits or anything like that. We just went in different musical directions. So, we're never not friends.

CBSNews.com: Speaking of your induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that must have been an amazing experience for you?

Cooper: This was the year they call the 'outcast year.' Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Dr. John, we were sort of the outsiders. We were not exactly the mainstream at all...But once you get in, you start realizing that, it's almost like graduating. Because the guys that vote on you are your teachers. You look at the guys in the Hall of Fame, the Mick Jaggers and the Paul McCartneys, they're the ones that got us into the business. We would listen to records and we wanted to write songs like that. So they vote on you. It's like graduating.

CBSNews.com: Turning back to the "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" album, aside from your previous band members, you also have a track featuring Ke$ha on this album?

Cooper:Who should we get to play the devil on this album? A hip-hop artist. Because that would be the devil to Alice. Ke$ha, is much more than that though. I think Ke$ha is going to be a really good rock singer. She's doing dance music now. But I think you're going to see her graduate into being a lead singer for a band. But I love the way Alice has to deal with a diva. And the diva is the devil. Very close, diva...devil.

CBSNews.com: And aside from your new album, you're also doing this new worldwide "No More Mr. Nice Guy" tour. You've always been known for your theatrics, what can fans expect to see this time around from you?

Cooper: We do 28 songs. Most of them are the hits. We do what we call the theatrical hits also. They cut my head off, there's a snake, we do about five or six new things in the show that the Alice audience hasn't seen yet. Every year, I have to think of new things. Because I realize that the same people are coming to watch us play, but I don't want to give them the same show every time. I want to give them something different every time. There's lot of surprises in the show.

CBSNews.com: What is the real Alice Cooper like?

Cooper: Honestly, I've been married 35 years, never cheated on my wife. I'm just the opposite of what you would think a rock star would be. I go to church every Sunday. I'm Christian. I've got three kids. I play golf every day. Every single thing that Alice hates is what I am off-stage. I am much more Ozzie Nelson than Ozzy Osbourne.

CBSNews.com: Who would have thought?

Cooper: But I think that's what makes the character so appealing to me is the fact that I get to play this character. I imagine it would be the same for Anthony Hopkins getting to play Hannibal Lecter. You know, he's nothing like that character but he gets to be this really horrific insane doctor, very fun.

CBSNews.com: You'll never retire, right?

Cooper: No, no. My mom's 86. Every once in a while, she'll break her wrist or break her shoulder and go, 'I ain't got time to deal with that.' Just keep going, if you slow down, you die. I believe in that. Just keep moving.

"Welcome 2 My Nightmare" is now available in stores nationwide. Watch video of our interview with Cooper at the top of this story.

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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