Given the decades you’ve performed in the character of Alice Cooper, how does that contrast from taking the stage with Hollywood Vampires?
The great thing about the Vampires is — Alice Cooper never talks to the audience, because if he did he would suddenly become human. I don’t want Alice to be considered human. I want the audience to look at him as something other than human.
With the Vampires, I talk all through the show. “I met The Doors in 1968, Jim [Morrison] and I got drunk and here’s a song that he did that night.” Then boom, we do a Doors song. I would never do that at an Alice Cooper show.
The Vampires gives me the freedom to not be that Alice Cooper. I can find the real Alice Cooper for the Alice Cooper show, but I let him be different in the Vampires show. It’s a little weird, it’s like controlling your schizophrenia.
So, we’re not going to see Johnny Depp get beheaded anytime soon?
No, no! But, he would probably like that. By the way, Johnny is a killer guitar player. People are very surprised when they see him play.
And here’s another thing that I’ve got to mention. I keep reading in all these magazines how Johnny is 118 pounds or he’s drunk all the time, or he’s high, or he’s depressed. And I’m reading this, and he’s sitting across from me, I’ve never seen him look better in his life!
(Editor’s note: Johnny Depp was accused of domestic abuse by his then-wife Amber Heard in 2016. The marriage ended in divorce with a multimillion-dollar settlement paid to Heard. Depp has denied the allegations.)
He’s happy. He’s playing guitar. He’s laughing. And he’s making five movies a year. I’m going, “What Johnny Depp are they talking about in this magazine?” It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. How somebody has created this “other Johnny Depp” that they want the audience to see. That’s not the real Johnny Depp. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.
Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper of the Hollywood Vampires in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 2016. (Bruce Kluckhohn/AP Images)
Have you guys spent time together recently?
We did a European tour together. I’m one of those guys that buys every magazine, I went over to him and said, “Wow, you look a lot bigger than 118.” [Laughs]
I asked him, “How depressed are you?” He replied, “Do I look depressed to you?” I said, “Not a bit.” It’s just one of those things where, whoever is stewing up this anti-Johnny Depp thing, I don’t get it. I don’t understand where it’s all coming from.
Listen, if I saw him in the condition that I read that he was in — I’d be the first guy over his house saying, “Hey, we gotta talk. Let’s get you some help.” But I’ve never seen that guy.