Alice Cooper hails small independent venues: “That’s where your fanbase comes from”

"If you don't have that, how is a rock band - a young rock band - ever going to get good?"

Alice Cooper has shared his love for small independent venues, as they face crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We all started there,” Cooper told Loudwire in a new interview. “Everybody from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones to Guns N’ Roses to Alice Cooper to everybody – anybody that’s worth a salt in this business started in a bar somewhere or started in a small venue.”

“If you don’t have [small venues], how is a rock band – a young rock band – ever going to get good?” Cooper continued. “I don’t care if it’s 20 people or 200 people. That’s where your fanbase comes from, that’s where the band actually becomes good enough to go out and then get on tour once they do make it.”

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This week, music industry figures have warned that artists, musicians and crew remain in crisis, amid fears that they will not be protected by the government’s recent £1.57billion bailout for venues and arts spaces.

Earlier this month, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign launched, with more than 1,500 artists and industry figures coming together to call on the government to stop “catastrophic damage” to live music.

After months of campaigning from fans and the world of music, the government finally stepped in with an unprecedented cash injection to help the arts, culture and heritage industries “weather the impact of coronavirus” – providing music venues, independent cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and heritage sites with emergency grants and loans.

Writing for NME about the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, Primal Scream‘s Simone Marie Butler wrote: “There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has been and continues to be a monstrous and invisible threat to us on so many levels. Livelihoods are crumbling, lives have been tragically lost and we are still not out of the woods. Not in this generation have we seen the likes of such a global catastrophe.”

Meanwhile, Hollywood Vampires, the band consisting of Johnny Depp, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, and Alice Cooper, have announced rescheduled tour dates for 2021.

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The band were due to play four arena shows across the UK this September, but they have now been pushed back by 11 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Original tickets will remain valid.

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