Mark Daniell of Canoe.ca recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH drummer Joey Kramer. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Canoe.ca: [Your new autobiography, "Hit Hard: A Story Of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top"] goes a lot deeper and reveals some pretty personal history. Did you have any reservations about telling your story?
Kramer: Not really. My commitment to it started right from the beginning and part of my commitment was to be as honest about it as I could be because I decided that I wanted to be of service to people. If people are able to identify and relate to what I am writing about then I accomplished what I was after.
Canoe.ca: Why was now the right time to write the book?
Kramer: Well, it just happened to get finished at this point in time. It took me four years to write it. But right now was an apropos time because the band was going out on tour and I had the ability to do meet and greets and book signings. So it worked out real well.
Canoe.ca: Who is the book written for?
Kramer: For anyone who is suffering from or dealing with alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, anxiety; if they can read about the stuff I've been through on the journey of my life, and it can help them out, then those are the people I'm hoping to reach.
Canoe.ca: There's a really gut-wrenching scene in which you recount your father's reaction after you bought him a brand new Cadillac (his dad was less than impressed). Was there any time in writing the book when you thought, man, it's too hard going back to those places?
Kramer: It brought up a lot of emotions for me, but it was also cleansing at the same time.
Canoe.ca: Until the tour was cancelled, you were out meeting fans. So what's the reaction been like when people meet you one on one?
Kramer: The book has allowed people to relate to me on a different level. It makes them realize that you don't have to be a rock star to crash and burn. We're all subject to these things in life and becoming clean and sober from drugs is only half the battle. All that does is open the door for you to work on what life's problems are really all about because it's really a never ending journey.
Canoe.ca: It's a pretty lean tale. Did you leave a lot of it on the cutting-room floor?
Kramer: There were stories that maybe weren't worthy of being in the book, so we cut them. When we first transcribed the book it came out to over a 1,000 pages and the finished product is less than 300. But what I did manage to keep in there was the thread that I wanted people to hook into, which is the confusion between love and abuse. It's a timely subject that a lot of people relate to and can identify with in the book.
Canoe.ca: In terms of live music nowadays, are you impressed by today's crop of young artists?
Kramer: There are few I like. For me it's hard because being a drummer, if the engine in a band isn't top flight that kind of kills it for me. But there are some bands I like today like FOO FIGHTERS, because Taylor Hawkins is a good drummer, GREEN DAY I like, Adrian Young from NO DOUBT. So there's a couple that I like because their bands are good and the drummers are doing what they're supposed to be doing.
Canoe.ca: Do you think today's young guys have the same commitment AEROSMITH had when you were first starting out?
Kramer: There's a few of them out there, sure. The ones that don't get discouraged and just keep doing it no matter what and have enough passion; that believe they can live their dream will do well. Those are the ones that will rise to the top.
Canoe.ca: AEROSMITH survived every kind of musical trend there is. Why is that?
Kramer: Because our message isn't about anything in particular. It isn't political or trendy; it's about the kids, it's about life, it's about what you do, it's about guys and girls together, men and women together, and I think that Steven has never really received the credit he deserves for being such a clever lyricist. That's what sets us apart from a lot of other bands.
Read the entire interview at this location.