Shock-rock pioneer Alice Cooper is speaking out about his faith after years of avoiding what he calls “celebrity Christianity.”
As Vincent Furnier, the future music pioneer was raised in a Christian home: his father was a lay preacher in The Church Of Jesus Christ and his grandfather was an apostle there, as well. Cooper was active in the faith in his pre-teen years before turning his attention to rock.
Following a well-publicized battle with alcoholism as he attained success in the 70s, Cooper got sober after the issue threatened his marriage in the late 80s – as featured in the 2014 film Super Duper Alice Cooper – and turned to his faith for help.
Cooper tells HM: The Hard Music Magazine (via DC Beacon) that he became a Christian “initially more out of the fear of God, rather than the love of God … I did not want to go to hell.”
The singer maintained a low public profile about his beliefs because he says he was aware of the contradiction between his stage act and his personal life.
“It’s really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ. I’m a rock singer. I’m nothing more than that. I’m not a philosopher. I consider myself low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians. So, don’t look for answers from me.”
He adds: “I’ve had a couple of people that were friends of mine that I’ve talked to that have vocally said they have accepted Christ. I have talked to some big stars about this, some really horrific characters … and you’d be surprised. The ones that you would think are the furthest gone are the ones that are more apt to listen.”
Faith has influenced both Cooper’s stage show and his songs in recent years.
He says: “I’m very careful about what the lyrics are. I tried to write songs that were equally as good, only with a better message.”
Cooper sees his stage persona now as “the prophet of doom,” telling people: “’Be careful! Satan is not a myth. Don’t sit around pretending like Satan is just a joke.’ I think my job is to warn about Satan.”
The singer was the featured guest on US dates for Motley Crue’s farewell tour this autumn; he appears on the title track to Theory Of A Deadman’s fifth album, Savages, and recently released Raise The Dead – Live From Wacken.