After spending most of 2008 dealing with health issues, the members of Aerosmith plan to get back together in 2009 -- to, among other things, complete an album that group has already started recording

After spending most of 2008 dealing with health issues, the members of Aerosmith plan to get back together in 2009 -- to, among other things, complete an album that group has already started recording.

"We're sitting on a bunch of music we've already recorded for a new album," guitarist Brad Whitford, who's currently on the road as part of the all-star Experience Hendrix tour, tells Billboard.com. "We haven't gone back into the studio the put the final touches on it and get it done and still don't know when we're gonna do that. Hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later."

The album will be Aerosmith's first of all-original material since 2001's "Just Push Play;" 2004's "Honkin' on Bobo" was comprised primarily of cover versions.

Most of Aerosmith's headlines this year were away from the recording studio and concert stage. Guitarist Joe Perry had knee reconstruction surgery in March.

Frontman Steven Tyler, meanwhile, spent time in a California rehabilitation clinic during the spring to recover from his own leg injuries in a drug-controlled environment; he did re-emerge on July 18 to sing "Walk This Way" with Billy Joel and his band at New York's Shea Stadium.

"You'd think it was a football team or something," Whitford says with a laugh. But he adds that the health issues should not raise concerns about Aerosmith's mortality.

"You have more than average concerns about it, I guess," Whitford says, "but you can't do anything about it. Like a lot of other things in life, you don't get to call the shots on these things, do you? We're just ... getting older."

Whitford says there's a silver lining to all of this, however. "It's been kind of nice just to be able to have some time and spend time with the family," he says. "I don't think we've ever had this much time off. It's a real difference. I'm not really used to it."

Whitford will be on the road with Experience Hendrix until Sunday (Oct. 26); the tour runs through Nov. 7.

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