John J. Moser of The Morning Call recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Morning Call: I've been reading about all the delays in recording your next album. What's the story behind that, and how much frustration does it present for you?
Perry: "Only about a million percent. I had to have my knee replaced over a year ago and I was just about healed up and it got infected and that happened around Thanksgiving and into Christmas. I think it was right after Christmas I had to have it operated on. That pushed everything back and we lost a lot of time trying to work out our schedules. And then finally we got some time and we got the ball rolling and we had the songs — we were getting ready to cut the songs and Steven got this bronchitis that turned into pneumonia at the same time was getting an ear infection and they had to pierce one of his eardrums and it was just one of those things. I mean this really bad flu bug that's been going around — not the swine one — but he got a really bad infection, just that bronchitis and he couldn't sing. So that just was one of those things. It was going to take four weeks for it to heal. And we just couldn't do it and still make the tour. And at that point the tour had been booked. We were hopeful we'd have the record out and then tour behind it, but it just wasn't meant to be. But the good side of it for me was I had time – all of a sudden I had this month and a half of time. I have songs — whenever I write I just write a lot and I had a bunch of stuff for a solo record that actually I wasn't planning on putting out for a while, but I said, ‘Wow, I got all this time, I got these songs. So I called up some friends and we started playing, and after about a month of around-the-clock work, through the weekends, we got finished the record. So I have a solo record coming out at the end of the summer."
The Morning Call: You think when this tour's done, you'll tour with that record?
Perry: "I'd like to, even if it's a short go-around to major markets at least and do that. I was so close to doing it on the last project but we were … I mean, I was getting offers from all over the world to play and it was the hardest thing to turn down 'cause I had like a month and a half before I was going to have to start touring with AEROSMITH, and I just didn't want to step right off a Joe Perry tour right into an AEROSMITH tour. I would have been fried at the beginning of a tour and that's a formula for a really big screw-up. So I couldn't do any more live gigs, but I would really like to do it this time."
The Morning Call: The new album — do you have enough of the music done that you know what it's going to sound like? Are you happy with what you've got?
Perry: "Yeah, we've got some great stuff that sounds like AEROSMITH — when the band plays it, there's a lot of ripping stuff and there's some great ballads. And I think the most important thing is that we were recording. And I think that's what people miss the most now is hearing a record that actually has that energy and that texture that early records had. I mean, obviously you can't go back and remake 'Get Your Wings', that's just not possible. But you could take some of that energy that we still have when we play live and the heart of playing that on a tape or a computer or MP3 or whatever is still and art, and that's not changed. And that's our goal — is to capture that energy if the band playing live and get it on the recorded medium and then into people's heads."
The Morning Call: Now you mentioned the health things that kept you from putting out the album when you expected to, but it's really been — by the time this album comes out – nine years since your last album full of new material. So what happened in all those years before? Why did it take so long?
Perry: "Right, well, we had 'Just Push Play', and then at the point we were doing 'Honking on Bobo', we had barely enough time to do make a record, but we didn't have the material written at that point, and that would have added another two months probably to the process if we really dug in. And we didn't have time, so we did another record, which is something that we'd wanted to do for a really long time, which was cover some of our favorite roots blues songs — I mean, 'Roadrunner' and just 'Baby Please Don't Go', and just cut loose and not have to worry about writing or singles or any of that stuff and just throw that out the window and just play like we're getting ready for our first club tour. And that's kind of how we approached the record. And we had time to do that. So it's just been a series of timing things and getting the vibe right and keeping our presence out there as a touring band, because we are a touring band and we have to have that, or else we're not a band."
Read the entire interview from The Morning Call.