Gary Graff, Cleveland
April 4, 2009
Health issues and touring commitments have combined to postpone Aerosmith’s next album, according to guitarist Joe Perry.
Perry tells Billboard.com that the record sessions — for the group’s first album since 2004’s “Honkin’ on Bobo” and first of all-original material since 2001’s “Just Push Play,” were delayed when he had to have surgery earlier this year to clear out an infection in his knee replacement.
Then, last month, singer Steven Tyler came down with pneumonia, after which the veteran Boston rockers “realized there wasn’t any chance of getting it finished before we hit the road for the summer. So basically we had to push (the album) back, and when the band gets off the road, that’s when we’ll pick up the Aerosmith record.”
Aerosmith’s tour, the group’s first since 2007, starts in June with ZZ Top. Perry says about 40 dates are set so far for North America, with South America, Europe and Japan also under consideration. The itinerary should be announced soon.
Perry — who was in Cleveland to attend Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and perform the Yard Birds’ “Train Kept A Rollin’” with Metallica, Ron Wood and inductee Jeff Beck — says Aerosmith has “probably two or three (songs) that could be mixed right now, maybe even more. But there’s a long way between two or three and doing the 12 or 14 that you have to have to do a whole project.” He says what’s been done so far at his home studio with producer Brendan O’Brien “sounds like ‘Rocks’” and hews closer to the rougher sound of “Honkin’ on Bobo” than the more polished production of “Just Push Play.” “It’s everybody in the room with a producer cracking the whip,” Perry notes, “laying the tracks down and getting a good take without having to (edit) too much.”
The silver lining in the Aerosmith delay, Perry adds, is that he’s been able to go “full blast” on his next solo album, the follow-up to 2005’s Grammy-nominated “Joe Perry.” He has 10-12 songs ready — three of which, including a cover, he played for Billboard.com — which he’ll record with “an A-list producer I can’t name, but will very soon.” David Hull from the Joe Perry Project is playing on some tracks, along with Ben Tileston, who plays drums with two of Perry’s sons in TAB the Band. He’s also considering using other players and possibly guest vocalists.
“I have a big chunk of time before the tour, so I’m gonna try to get the solo record done as soon as I can,” Perry says. “Chances are you’re gonna be hearing that before you hear an Aerosmith record…’cause I expect the Aerosmith tour, God willing. to continue through the fall.”