Today, Alice Cooper may be one of hard rock’s old guard, but we should never forget that once upon a time, his cross-dressing, self-beheading antics were the stuff of parents’ nightmares. Which is why it’s unsurprising, if awesome, that while KISS’ Gene Simmons is worried that “rock is dead,” the Coop is here for the kids in the garages and basements.

When LA Weekly asked him about Gene Simmons’ insistent claims that “rock is dead,” Alice said:

“Gene Simmons said rock is dead but I think he was talking financially. I think there are kids in garages right now learning Guns N’ Roses, learning Aerosmith, learning Alice, learning Ozzy… Young 16-year-old kids rocking, just rocking. That’s healthy. That’s really healthy. I don’t think rock is ever gonna die.

“When you talk about hard rock, like the Stones, The Who and all that, that’s the only music that’s lasted. Grunge was here for a while. And punk was here for a while. Emo was here and all this, but hard rock bands just kept going. So if you’re in a hard rock band, you can go as long as you want to go.”

Later, Alice makes it clear that he thinks rock going underground might actually be good for it:

“There was a time when we first started playing, that rock bands were outlaws. We were on the outside looking into the party and we weren’t invited to the party. It was more pop music and dance music and disco. I think we’re back to that point. I think it’s kind of healthy that rock bands now are not number one, number two or number three. We’re back to the point of being rebels again.”

We’re happy there are rock stars like Alice Cooper out there.

Get tickets to one of Alice Cooper’s upcoming tour dates below:

Detroit Muscle tour:

9/7 — Bethlehem, PA — Wind Creek Event Center
9/9 — Alton, VA— Blue Ridge Rock Festival
9/11 — Windsor, ON — The Colosseum @ Caesar’s
9/13 — Buffalo, NY — Shea’s Buffalo*
9/14 — Binghamton, NY — Visions Arena*
9/16 — Albany, NY — The Palace Theater
9/17 — Atlantic City, NJ — Tropicana Casino & Resort
9/18 — Wallingford, CT — Toyota Oakdale Theatre
9/20 — Muncie, IN — Emens Auditorium
9/21 — Grand Rapids, MI — DeVos Hall
9/22 — Hammond, IN — The Venue @ Horseshoe Casino
9/24 — Louisville, KY — Louder than Life Festival
9/25 — Chattanooga, TN — Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
9/27 — Memphis, TN — Orpheum Theater
9/28 — St.Louis, MO — Stifel Theatre
9/30 — Cedar Rapids, IA — Paramount Theater
10/1 — Springfield, IL — Bank of Springfield Center
10/4 — Loveland, CO — Budweiser Event Center
10/6 — Prescott Valley, AZ — Findlay Toyota Center
10/8 — Las Vegas, NV — TBA**