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Hollywood Vampires supergroup tours, gears to release new album

Hollywood Vampires perform on Thursday, May 16, at Sandia Resort & Casino.

Hollywood Vampires are ready to roll out a new album featuring original material.

The band’s first record was a collection of covers dedicated to friends who had died. The group’s new album is scheduled for release on June 21.

“The first record, it was pretty much a record dedicated to all our friends who have passed away from one excess or another,” guitarist Joe Perry said. “It was a pretty crazy time back then, and people lived hard. That was what the record was about. We wanted to do some great songs to commemorate our friends. And this one, except for (three) songs, it’s all original material so these are the kind of things that were brewing when we were touring the last time and everybody was getting to know each other in a live sense and last year we got together in the studio and started rolling these things out. And so as the songs kept coming we kept feeling like we were really onto something.”

The group is made up of shock rock icon Alice Cooper, legendary rock guitarist Perry of Aerosmith, and exemplary actor Johnny Depp backed by guitarist Tommy Henriksen, Glen Sobel on drums, Chris Wyse on bass, and Buck Johnson on keyboard and vocals.

Everyone brings something different when writing music for Hollywood Vampires.

“There was no record company pushing us, it was just strictly a real work of art,” Perry said. “Everybody kind of contributed what they do the most. I mean everybody did a little bit of everything, but I would say that we would start with a riff or start with a basic idea for a song, and then Johnny had a lot of lyrics and poetry that he was working with, and then Alice, everybody pitches in. Once we get the form of the song, everybody puts something in there. … Sometimes it would be two of us in the studio, and then it would get handed off to someone else and they would work on it. In the end, it was really a group effort.”

On this tour, audiences will be able to hear several songs from the coming album, as well as songs from the debut album and a few Alice Cooper favorites. Cooper has carried on the “Vampire” namesake, which began as a group of friends hanging out at The Rainbow Bar & Grill, a famous club on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Vampires were born when Cooper and Depp began talking about doing an album dedicated to the original “Vampires,” and soon Depp was on the phone asking Perry to play guitar on the record.

“In the early days of this rock and roll thing, anybody that was in town, on the road, you could probably find them at the Rainbow late at night,” Perry said. “And there was a group of guys that Alice, Alice was a part of that. I started hanging around with them later on but the original Vampires were in the late ’60s and there’s a sign up there that’s got everybody’s name on it. It was kind of a drinking club like a place where everyone would get together… Alice had this, the name, and he’s probably one of the few left from that era.”