Steven Tyler is on Twitter

Categories:  Steven Tyler

StevenTyler.com
February 1, 2011

Follow him at: IamStevenT

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Aerosmith flies again

Categories:  Brad Whitford

Boston Herald, MA
February 1, 2011

Brad Whitford gives the skinny from the studio

He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s got his own avatar in “Guitar Hero.” And his last Boston gig was headlining Fenway Park. You might think he’d take some time off and kick back a bit.

Not Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford. Barely able to keep track of his own schedule these days, the guitarist is “Back in the Saddle.”

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 Tyler’s new job as judge on “American Idol” and his own gig playing three nights with Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer in the Legends of Rock ’n’ Blues showcases: Thursday in Keene, N.H., Friday in Lynn and Saturday in Worcester.

It will be Whitford’s second stint with the Legends. Last year, the Winchester native — who now lives in North Carolina — 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.

“Actually, yes, years ago in Rick’s place in New York — many, many years ago — we had a late-night jam session with John Belushi on vocals,” he said. “It was pretty wild.

“I’m looking forward to this again — being such a big blues fan and getting a chance to do that,” he said. “I will be ready for anything.”

That appears to be the motto for the Aerosmith recording sessions in L.A., which are slotted around Tyler’s “Idol” schedule. Whitford says the band is “really starting from scratch” and that the sessions at the home recording studio of producer Marti Frederiksen have been a revelation.

“We 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 it’s worked great,” Whitford said of the spontaneous and collaborative writing efforts. “It has been great working at Marti’s. His whole house is basically geared toward making music, so that’s what we are doing all day long.”

Whitford said the target date is unclear, but he is encouraged by the rapid progress.

“A lot will depend on how much we get done this week and when we can get back together again to sort of finalize it,” he said. “Hopefully, we will be listening to it sometime this year.”

Despite speculation that Tyler’s new role on “Idol” 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.

“I think he’s a great choice (for ‘Idol’),” he said. “I always told him he should be a stand-up comedian because he’s one of the funniest guys I’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 they’re doing. And it’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.”

Tyler’s TV emergence coupled with Aerosmith’s inclusion in “Guitar Hero” is making for a welcome renaissance for the 40-year-old band.

“It’s nice to be touching people much, much younger than we are,” Whitford said. “It’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.”

Brad Whitford with the Legends of Rock ’n’ 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.