By Brian Ives
Call them the best bar band on the planet, even though they could probably play large theaters, or even arenas just based on their lineup.
The core of the semi-newly-formed Hollywood Vampires—guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith, frontman Alice Cooper and guitarist Johnny Depp (formerly of the Kids, also formerly of a band known only as P)—are all guys with large fanbases, to say the least. And after they release their self-titled debut (due out September 11), their first two gigs will be at a relatively small joint, the Roxy on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles on September 16 and 17. After that, they only have one other scheduled concert, which is a considerably larger one: they’re playing the Rock in Rio Festival in Brazil on September 24. For live shows, the band’s lineup will also feature Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.
Of course, only a lucky few will get into the Roxy shows, and most Americans aren’t able to make the trip to Rio for a rock festival. So will there be other opportunities in the future to see this supergroup?
Radio.com spoke to Perry and Cooper yesterday (August 13) — the other guitarist was, apparently, busy — and we asked about further shows.
Joe Perry predicts that when people see footage of their performances, it will create demand. “Stuff from the Roxy, or Rio, is gonna end up on YouTube, and I bet that [Alice Cooper manager] Shep [Gordon] is gonna start getting phone calls. It’s gonna be a matter of schedules. Johnny’s schedule runs differently than ours. He has to promote [his films]. He has some movies coming out that are really good.”
Cooper adds, “Yeah, this Whitey Bulger film [Black Mass, the true story of Whitey Bulger, a South Boston criminal turned FBI informant, due out later this year] looks really good. They’re talking about an Academy Award for him on this movie, that’s how good it’s supposed to be. ”
“He’s due for one!” Perry says. “But once word gets out about us, people are gonna want to see us. I’ve had times, like when the [Joe Perry] Project was together, it was hard getting gigs at first. But then I did a few, and did a few TV shows, and then the phone calls started coming . That’s what I think is gonna happen. Also, we’re not gonna need to do two weeks of rehearsal for a gig.”
Cooper agrees: “Once we get these ones under our belt, I think that it’s gonna be easy, it’ll be something we can just do.”
But they do have plans for their next release. “We have to at least do a live album!” Perry said.
Cooper concurred, “Absolutely!”
“But right now, we just gotta get through the first Roxy shows,” Perry noted.
The Hollywood Vampires’ debut album contains two originals, as well as covers of songs by John Lennon, Badfinger, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and the Small Faces, among others. Look for our full interview with Cooper and Perry next month.