Categories: Brad Whitford
Boston Herald, MA
February 1, 2011
Brad Whitford gives the skinny from the studio
Heâ€™s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Heâ€™s got his own avatar in â€œGuitar Hero.â€ And his last Boston gig was headlining Fenway Park. You might think heâ€™d take some time off and kick back a bit.
Not Aerosmithâ€™s Brad Whitford. Barely able to keep track of his own schedule these days, the guitarist is â€œBack in the Saddle.â€
Between recording sessions that began last week in Los Angeles, a cheerful Whitford took time to chat with the Herald about working on the first new Aerosmith album in a decade, bandmate Steven Tylerâ€™s new job as judge on â€œAmerican Idolâ€ and his own gig playing three nights with Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer in the Legends of Rock â€™nâ€™ Blues showcases: Thursday in Keene, N.H., Friday in Lynn and Saturday in Worcester.
It will be Whitfordâ€™s second stint with the Legends. Last year, the Winchester native â€” who now lives in North Carolina â€” co-headlined a Blues Brothers-style blowout at the Boston House of Blues with James Montgomery and Jim Belushi. Asked if he ever played before with Winter and Derringer, Whitford had to laugh at the irony.
â€œActually, yes, years ago in Rickâ€™s place in New York â€” many, many years ago â€” we had a late-night jam session with John Belushi on vocals,â€ he said. â€œIt was pretty wild.
â€œIâ€™m looking forward to this again â€” being such a big blues fan and getting a chance to do that,â€ he said. â€œI will be ready for anything.â€
That appears to be the motto for the Aerosmith recording sessions in L.A., which are slotted around Tylerâ€™s â€œIdolâ€ schedule. Whitford says the band is â€œreally starting from scratchâ€ and that the sessions at the home recording studio of producer Marti Frederiksen have been a revelation.
â€œWe basically go in the studio, just stone cold, and try to come out at the end of the day with another song, and so far itâ€™s worked great,â€ Whitford said of the spontaneous and collaborative writing efforts. â€œIt has been great working at Martiâ€™s. His whole house is basically geared toward making music, so thatâ€™s what we are doing all day long.â€
Whitford said the target date is unclear, but he is encouraged by the rapid progress.
â€œA lot will depend on how much we get done this week and when we can get back together again to sort of finalize it,â€ he said. â€œHopefully, we will be listening to it sometime this year.â€
Despite speculation that Tylerâ€™s new role on â€œIdolâ€ would cause friction within the band and further delays in recording, Whitford said he is thrilled for the frontman and what the exposure will do for Aerosmith.
â€œI think heâ€™s a great choice (for â€˜Idolâ€™),â€ he said. â€œI always told him he should be a stand-up comedian because heâ€™s one of the funniest guys Iâ€™ve ever known in my life. I think people will see that as they get to know him better. He and J. Lo will bring a lot of authenticity to what theyâ€™re doing. And itâ€™s going to expand our audience, for sure. People who would never think about seeing Aerosmith might change their minds after seeing him on TV.â€
Tylerâ€™s TV emergence coupled with Aerosmithâ€™s inclusion in â€œGuitar Heroâ€ is making for a welcome renaissance for the 40-year-old band.
â€œItâ€™s nice to be touching people much, much younger than we are,â€ Whitford said. â€œItâ€™s kind of cool to see how they react to it. And I can say we are all looking forward to some new Aerosmith music.â€
Brad Whitford with the Legends of Rock â€™nâ€™ Blues, at Lynn Auditorium, Friday. Tickets: $35-$69; 800-594-8499. Also at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Saturday. Tickets: $37.50-$61.50; 508-752-0888.