Joe Perry Reveals Which Aerosmith Albums He's Not a Fan Of (EXCLUSIVE)
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For all the accolades showered on the Boston band over the years, including four Grammys, eight American Music Awards and 150 million in sales worldwide, Aerosmith takes nothing for granted.
They've suffered and slaved over Music From Another Dimension! like a band with something to prove, and as Noisecreep learned recently after sitting down with all five members, they are as proud of this album as just about anything else they have done.
Guys, outside of, say Rush and ZZ Top, there aren't many bands from your era that can boast all original members.
Joey Kramer (drums): And those bands only have to worry about three guys each! [laughs]
True. But what does it say about the chemistry of this band, that you can survive the breakups and get back together to do what you do?
Kramer: Because it's the same five guys that we started with, the root of it will always be the same – this sound we have together. This is Aerosmith. That's what it's all about. Certain things – you have to pick and choose your battles - but it's taken this long to get to that point. But fortunately for us, we are together and the appreciation and respect has grown for one another so now, there's nothing you can throw in front of us we can't deal with.
It has been 11 years since an album full of new Aerosmith material. Was there some stuff that amassed over the years that made it a little easier to build the album?
Joe Perry (guitars): We always have cool things lying around, and our attitude was, we knew we had another record in us, despite what many said, and I make no bones about it, I don't know if we're gonna make another record. But this is how we used to make records. On this record there are some songs I don't play on, but that's how it's always been. There are songs on the first couple of records I didn't play on, it was fine; it was just how we did the songs. That's how this record went. Everybody had a little piece to say, it was important that everybody got something on it. It was just the next Aerosmith album. And this was also a statement. We did not phone this in. We worked our asses off on this record.
Kramer: We were all committed to doing this record. There were about 15 songs left over from the Get a Grip era. But other than "Legendary Child," which we completely re-did, nothing else made it over. They just didn't fit. Some of the licks may have been around a bit, but that's just how it goes. A good lick is a good lick. Use it when it works best.
Perry: When Steve and I first jammed way back when – he played drums. He was a drummer. And he was a great drummer and he could sing. What's funny today is we have a song now with Steven playing drums and me playing guitar - it's a throwback to how we started – something symbolic - really going back to another dimension, I can picture that jam back in Sunapee back in 1969 with Steven. Just us. Then a few months ago, there we were, the same exact thing – amazing. This album had a lot of throw back moments like that.
And clearly everyone was getting along, at least enough to make the record.
Perry: Our disagreements are what make us dynamic. If we all thought the same way, nothing good would happen, but even after we argue, we don't take it home. It's one of the things that allowed us to get back together. We'll argue things to death, but we deal with it, figure it out and move on. There's too much life out there to waste time being like kids in high school. We had a meeting yesterday over a video, it got really heated, but then went down to look at Steven's motorcycle. All was fine. Then it was like, what are you doing tonight?
Tom Hamilton (bass): We're so saturated with this record it's hard to say – the thing is when you work on something and you finish it, you're high on that. It takes a really long time to look back objectively and look at it. We'll let the audience decide. We've been sweating it for years – now it's their time to deal with it [laughs].
Perry: In order to compare you have to not like something else. So I'll pick what I don't like and work my way up. I really didn't like Done With Mirrors. I really didn't like Just Push Play. Then there are other records I really think we're good for their time, like Toys and Rocks. I still listen to those and I put this one in that category of a record I will continue to listen to a lot. I can't get enough of this one.
Steven, longtime Aerosmith fans will understand this record. But you've said you want to go beyond that; that there's a younger audience for this record.
Steven Tyler: It's a weird world today – the way people listen to music. They don't know what an album is anymore. That scares me a little. Back in the day of rock 'n' roll bands – people aspired to be rock stars – you wanted to be up there like Janis, or Hendrix or Townsend. Holy shit! Then came the era of shoe gazers and people that acted embarrassed to be up there. I hated that. Now today, it's coming back to rock 'n' roll. I love that. It all comes around. Now people want to be up there. That's who this record will appeal to all kinds of people I think – people that love and appreciate the energy of a real rock and record that mixes in all kinds of good things.
And it didn't start out with Jack Douglas on board as producer.
Brad: We started this project with Brendan O'Brien – it just wasn't ready – it didn't really happen. Had no idea what this style of working was; the way we work. It just didn't fit us. He'd say to me, "What have you got?" I'd play a little bit and he's ask, that's the title, what's the chorus, where does it go? And if I couldn't answer, then it would be killed. Those kinds of questions don't really go over with us. But jack Douglas, who is like a member of the band, he could say, "Hey that bit is cool, it goes with that other part, and it fits with this riff." Not to put Brendan down - he's great producer - but just not for us. Maybe it's us!
That approach resulted in a real variety of sounds on Music From Another Dimension!
Joey: I think it's way more diverse than people might expect from us .But that just shows how much we've grown over the years.
Brad: Whether it was a song written by the great Diane Warren, a jam song with me singing it, a song Tom sang or a song Joey wrote – we approached it all the same way – as Aerosmith. In 1976 we looked at what Zeppelin and the Stones and The Who did – but know we have our own precedents to live up to. A ballad with Carrie Underwood? Fu--ing do it. Whatever feels good. Do it.
Music From Another Dimension!