AEROSMITH Guitarist: 'All You Can Do Is Just Follow Your Heart'

Alan Sculley of The Patriot Ledger recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On more and more fans saying that they want the veteran Boston rockers to make a CD that sounds like "Toys in the Attic", "Rocks" or one of the group's other early records:

"Sometimes we'll write something and I think it sounds like that and people will turn around and go, 'Wow, it's good, but we really like the way the old stuff sounds. Do a record like that,' I'm not really sure what it is. I think it's more that those records were written and done and they took place at a time. Even though like technically you could put together a song that has all the sound and all the feel, it's still not that classic song because a classic song is a song that's 20 or 30 years old. All you can do is just follow your heart and go with what rocks our boat."

On the recording approach AEROSMITH used on the 2004 CD, "Honkin' on Bobo", a collection of hard-rocking versions of blues songs mixed in with a few original tunes:

"I think the big thing on 'Honkin' on Bobo' was putting the band elbow to elbow and steamrolling through songs. There was an energy, whether it was a song that we wrote or we were covering an old classic, there was an energy to it that you can't get by just overdubbing here and there. You just have to have everybody in there doing it."

"In the '80s there was this big trend with going back and recutting the track. Looking back at it, I look at it now as kind of an exercise in redundancy or something. We'd go in and get a great basic track with everybody playing great, and then they'd go back in and redo the drums. Then they'd go and redo the guitar and then they'd redo the bass. In the end, what have you got left from the original performance? Probably 50 or 60 percent of the songs we did were like that. But that was kind of how Bruce (Fairbairn) produced the records. He'd kind of get an idea of what the songs were going to be without actually mastering them. It worked for us. But we're good enough players that we can pretty much cut tracks (live) and have those be the finished tracks."

On singer Steven Tyler developing a throat problem that eventually required surgery:

"We were there when it (the surgery) went down. We were crossing our fingers (that) we didn't hear anything (bad). There were no signs of anything other than just road wear. But the doctor, you really don't know until you get in there. We were there in the waiting room when the doctor came out and said everything is fine and if anything, his voice will sound better. That's indeed what's happened. His voice is right there. He's amazing."

Read the entire interview at The Patriot Ledger.


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