Singer and actress Calico Cooper has learned the tricks and skills of being an artist from her famous father, shock rocker Alice Cooper, by being part of his live show for 11 years. Calico expended her acting skills in TV shows and in films but got drawn back to the music bizz by Alice Cooper bass player Chuck Garric. She now is `one of the guys’ of Chucks band Beasto Blanco and very ready to kick some serious ass, after signing a record deal with El Puerto Records. HeadBangers LifeStyle had the pleasure to talk with Calico about the ambitions she has with Beasto Blanco, fashion, make-up, lifestyle, acting and of course her father. Calico turns out to be a striking personality, a real power woman, a beauty with a warm heart and a great sense of humour.
(Photo taken from www.calicocooper.com)
Is a good appearance important to you?
,,I think it’s situational. Of course you want to look good whenever you can, but some days for me that means polished and fierce, some days it means sexy and relaxed, some days it means covered in fake blood. I suppose it depends on what you find attractive. I can never make up my mind. Today I woke up feeling very metal. So the leather shorts come out to play.’’
What do we mainly find in your wardrobe and where do you buy most of your clothes?
,,My stage clothes are all done by Hazmat Design. She makes the coolest clothes around. I can’t save money worth a damn but I save up for her stuff. It’s SO worth it!
I had the garage in my house turned into a 2-story closet. So you are going to find a little bit of everything! I have everything from vintage ball gowns, to 50’s smoking jackets, to Armani pencil skirts. I. LOVE. FASHION. My friends and I have a yearly tradition where we all get together with trash bags full of clothes we don’t wear anymore, and we make a HUGE pile and we all go through it and take what we want. The rest goes to a woman’s shelter. But because my friends are teachers, doctors, circus performers etc… you walk out of there with amazing clothes that you would NEVER buy yourself. Last time I took a tutu. What the hell am I going to do with a tutu?! But I couldn’t resist.’’
Is there anything in your wardrobe in particular you have an `addiction’ for?
,,I have a debilitating “giant grey sweater” problem.’’
(Photo taken from www.calicocooper.com)
Do you have a style icon or certain era that inspires you when it comes to appearance?
,,McQueen of any era. Naeem Kahn. Zuhair Murad is a genius. I wish someone would launch a “Metal hippie” line of clothing. Wait…. Maybe I’ll do it. Forget you heard that.’’
How do you come up with your stage outfits and who is Calico on stage?
,,The designer Hazmat and I come up with the original outfits. I look at pictures of Vikings and baroque era gowns and ninja folklore and somehow we come up with these tough but sexy raw pieces that I can rock on stage. I have a distinct duality. Off stage I am funny and chatty and warm. I love puppies and babies and long walks on the beach. On stage I am a vicious vengeful she beast that nobody can get too close to or you will lose an eye! I LOVE that part of me I get to let out during a show. I love the feeling we create, that I am let loose out there and only the other Beastos can get close to me. I’m like a car accident, you don’t know why but you just can’t look away. Maybe I should be worried that lives in me somewhere, lol.’’
Do you consider yourself a `make-up junkie’?
,,I do. I confess. I need help. I suffered for 10 years from horrible eczema that often attacked my face. So I became a make-up expert on how to cover it. So something great came out of something horrid.’’
Do you have a specific beauty and make-up regime and what are your favourite products?
,,I am a firm believer that red lipstick is Gods gift to women. I will go out without a stitch of make-up on but a big bold red lip and I feel like a sex bomb. Great big giant sunglasses never hurt either! I also never go to bed with make-up on. When we are on tour that stage make-up tattoos itself on me so once it’s off, it’s not going back on until I’m forced! MAC and MANIC PANIC make the best stage makeup. Their colours are bold and they stick like glue. Love them. Offstage I wear a tinted sunscreen and lip cheek stain every day. It’s just enough to make me look like I didn’t get hit by a truck.’’
What make-up style do people recognize you for as an artist and how different is it from your daily life make-up?
,,I don’t know why I’ve always been fascinated with broken beauty. Years ago when I was in my dads stage show, for no real reason, I began to draw cuts and bruises on me. They made me feel powerful. Strong. I carried it over to Beasto. This woman is a warrior, and she has battle scars to show it. Deep cuts that don’t even phase her. There is something sexy to me about that. I don’t know. I need therapy.’’
(Photo taken from www.calicocooper.com)
Has your make-up behaviour changed over the years?
,,I mean ya, I used to never be caught dead without it. And when I would go out I had so much on that I looked like an old western prostitute. Also nobody told me till my mid 20’s that I am not ivory white so maybe not to paint my face like a vampire, lol. Now I just try and look not tired. If you want a list of miracle concealers, I have every single one on the market! Also if someone out there could please teach me how to put on fake eyelashes I would be really grateful. I always end up with one eye glued shut and the other looks like I did it in the dark. Thank you.’’
How do you deal with a `make-up hangover’ after long touring and late night events?
,,I can be stuck in make-up for up to 15 hours a day and under hot lights and humidity. When my skin starts giving me the middle finger I use dove bar soap and sleep with avocado oil on my face. I think when you start getting into stuff that’s slammed full of chemicals you are just washing off crap on your face only to put more crap on your face. Keep it simple. Let the steam in the shower do its job.’’
How do you deal with a bad hair day?
,,Embrace it. Maybe that’s the hippie in me. If it’s out of control, take little pieces and pin them up on top of your head like an Amazon woman. If it’s limp and oily slick it back and pop on a red lip and embrace your inner Coco Chanel. It’s all about perspective!’’
Does the statement: `Live Fast Die Loud’, suit you?
,,It does mostly. I don’t want a life where I am afraid, and silenced, and small. I don’t want to be a woman who “knows her place” or “speaks when spoken to”. I wish for humanity in general that those phrases were eradicated. My “place” is up front. My voice is loud and on purpose. I hope for all women to find that voice. To find their own “Center stage” and take it.’’
Do you put a lot of effort in staying in shape and being fit and is sport fun or a pain in the ass for you?
,,I hate exercise. So I trick myself. I go out dancing till my legs hurt, I chase my dogs till my heart is going explode, and I laugh so much at everything in the universe that my abs are always in pretty good shape! The secret to not hating exercise is you have to find something that doesn’t feel like a chore. I do ballet because it’s beautiful and makes me feel elegant and strong. But that’s me. Some people can do yoga… I can’t chill out long enough for it to work. But I will say an hour every night on stage in 10 pound boots does wonders for the butt. Wonders.’’
How do you like to spend your free time and how does your perfect day off looks like?
,,I just want to be outside all day, every day. I go camping and fishing a lot. Sometimes alone. I’m sort of an experience junkie. If there is a cool play, or festival, or strange art installation in town where they cover you in chocolate and you eat in the dark….sign me up. I also binge watch Forensic Files and Top Chef. I’m pretty exciting.’’
(Photo by Cara Tadman)
What or who makes you laugh?
,,My parents started it all. They are hysterical. They raised me on Monty Python and Peter Sellars. I wanted to be a female Jim Carrey growing up. I would trip and fall over things just to make people laugh. Even if I go hurt. I guess I still do that.
My friends are all hilarious. I think that is my only friendship requirement. Have a big heart and make me laugh. That’s it. Oh and buy me tacos…’’
What do you do to contribute to a healthier and cleaner planet?
,,I am a big advocate of preventing food waste. I often get groups together after big events and we collect left over buffet food and deliver it to shelters in downtown Los Angeles. So much is wasted, it’s crazy.’’
What is your band Beasto Blanco all about both on cd and on stage?
,,We are the product of our environment. We are animals. We represent those people that make the world work every day. Those people that get up every day and go to their jobs and grind it out. Beasto is their spirit animal. Anybody that ever got kicked down by the man can be a Beast.’’
Has the recent signing with El Puerto Records and the re-release of the self-titled second album `Beasto Blanco’ been an important step for the band?
,,It’s a huge step and a great success for us. I just want people to hear the music and connect to it like I did. I want it spread far and wide and El Puerto got what we were doing and are helping us do that.’’
Where would you like to see Beasto Blanco in 5 years?
,,In a giant communal family mansion in Ibiza. [Laughing], but really I’d like to see us with a few more records done, and on a big package tour with other bands like us. Like a Warped Tour type of jam. I can’t wait to see where we go musically… I’m genuinely excited for it. I’d like to see us on regular rotation on the radio. Songs on soundtracks. That type of thing. I think our music is SO perfect for film.’’
What gives you the adrenaline rush on stage?
,,When I watch people sing along. It really revs me up. Also when I almost fall (at least once a show) and I magical save myself. That’s real adrenaline.’’
Did you always wanted to be in a band since you were a kid?
,,I never ever wanted to be in a band. I toured with my father for 11 years and I loved every minute of it, but after all that time, I retired to do television and film. It was not until Chuck approached me to sing background vocals on the first record, and I loved the magic we made, that it even occurred to me. But I knew this was the right fit the first time we really hit the stage together. It was explosive. And I was hooked. As time went on, I became more and more involved with the band, and in the show, and with the music, and now… I’m insanely passionate about it. It turns out I didn’t want to be in a band… I wanted to be in THIS band.’’
Which ambitions do you have as an actress?
,,The TV and film business is far more methodical that you would think. Since I stopped touring with my dad consistently, I have worked my way up from extra to co-star to guest star on TV shows… now I want that series regular role. I love movies, but there is something I love about TV even more, and it’s that you have so much time to develop and show the layers of your character. The audience really gets to climb in your head and see all the good stuff. I also like getting up and going to work every day, and that’s what you get with a TV show. Hopefully on a dark comedy. `Orange Is The New Black’ is a perfect show for me. But I also would not turn down any superhero movie, as those are my weakness. Let them know I am available for “Wonder Woman 2: Rise Of Calico”!’’
(Photo taken from www.calicocooper.com)
How is it for you to be able to perform on a professional level with your father Alice Cooper in his famous and very popular stage shows?
,,Doing shows together for those 11 years was nothing short of a dream come true. I got to be with my dad during very important years of a woman’s life. He was a great boss, and is a great dad, and a FANTASTIC actor to boot. It doesn’t hurt that working alongside a legend makes my bar for performing VERY high. He never just goes thru the motions. He taught me that an audience listens with their eyes. He taught me no fear. He taught me everything I know about commanding a stage. Last time he saw Beasto perform he hugged me and said, “Well clearly you were listening to me.”.
What is the best advice you ever got from your parents?
,,Never trust a guy with one eye named “Lucky”.’’
Header Photo by Kyler Clark (acerealkyler)
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