The future was uncertain for Aerosmith two-and-a-half years ago. It appeared that the band and vocalist Steven Tyler were moving in two different directions.
Tyler spoke about moving on and guitarist Joe Perry called him on it during an interview. Perry said that the band could replace Tyler as it was marking its 40th anniversary.
“It was something that we really talked about doing,” Perry said. “We didn’t know what he was planning to do. We acknowledged that we had a great band. We said, ‘so we have this band and we’re not going to do it anymore?’ I would have been fine doing the project (without Tyler). It would have been quite exciting but we never got that far and we’re still Aerosmith, which is where I would rather be.”
Despite the friction between the band and Tyler, who served as an ‘American Idol’ judge for two seasons until he quit the Fox reality show last week, Perry called the period ‘a blessing in disguise.’
“It all worked out since we realized that we needed a break from performing year in and year out,” Perry said while calling from Boston. “I got down to writing and we finished off an album that we tried to make three times over the last ten years.”
‘Music From Another Dimension,’ which will drop in November, will be previewed when Aerosmith plays Saturday at the Spectrum.
“There are a lot of different flavors on it,” Perry said. “But it sounds like Aerosmith. For every ballad on the album there is a kick-ass rock song.”
That’s been the Aerosmith formula since the band made a remarkable commercial comeback with 1987’s multi-platinum smash ‘Permanent Vacation.’
After stumbling through the early ‘80s in a drug-induced haze and plenty of internal issues, Aerosmith proved to be incredibly resilient and became more popular releasing the pretty ‘Angel’ next to the raveup ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady.’
“We proved that we could take a punch and get back,” Perry said. “We’ve been able to weather storms and get back to where we need to be. We do what we have to do to be the best that we can be.”
That’s part of the reason Aerosmith is the most successful American rock band of all time. The band has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide. Aerosmith, which also includes guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer, have 21 songs that have hit Billboard’s Top 40.
But it’s not just the hits, it’s the respect the band has garnered with such influential albums as ‘Toys in the Attic’ and ‘Rocks,’ which had a huge impact on members of Metallica and Guns N Roses during the ‘70s.
“It’s been an amazing run over these 40-plus years,” Perry said. “We really have had it all. We’ve written so many songs.”
So many that it’s not easy to write a set list, particularly with a new album on the horizon. “It’s not a breeze to put that list together but we do our best,” Perry said. “We play the new but we also go back to the earlier days. It’s a lot of ground to cover. It’s a lot to figure out when making a set list but it’s a good problem to have. It’s something I would like to figure out for many years to come.”