Longtime Aerosmith collaborator Marti Frederiksen reports that the group has been very productive during its first few days of writing for a new album at his studio Monrovia, Calif.
"It's been really good, great," Frederiksen tells Billboard.com. "We've been playing songs, putting together riffs, having fun, laughing and working from noon to 11 (p.m.) We're just digging in, man."
Frederiksen began working on Jan. 22 with frontman Steven Tyler, guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer, with plans to continue through Feb. 2, when Tyler begins his live appearances as an "American Idol" judge. Guitarist Joe Perry was unable to attend the sessions due to an unspecified commitment, according to Frederiksen, but his bandmates were "missing" him.
The group put together four songs in its first three days of working together, though Frederiksen notes they're not necessarily finished products. "We're trying to move quick and not necessarily finish up songs and make them complete but just get a lot of stuff to choose from," he says. He predicts that one of the pieces has "such an instrumental sound" the group may just leave it that way. "Steven can blow harp on it and it'd be really cool," Frederiksen says. Ultimately, he predicts, "I think we can wind up with a lot of good stuff, and they've got a lot of great stuff already from the past" -- including a series of sessions with Brendan O'Brien in 2008 -- "that hasn't been finished, a whole stockpile that just needs to be produced up. I think they'll be in pretty good shape."
The album will be Aerosmith's first since "Honkin' on Bobo" in 2004, and first of all new material since "Just Push Play" in 2011. Last week, Tyler also announced that Aerosmith will tour South America and Japan later this year.
The progress report flies in the face of some recent negative press that's surfaced regarding Tyler, including a recent New York Post article that quoted Stephen Davis, co-author of "Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith)" as saying that the band is "unable to work" due to Tyler's "Idol" commitment. In a statement, Tyler's attorney Dina LaPolt responded, "We are disappointed that the New York Post would print a Sunday story containing several false and misleading statements which was obviously not fact-checked, including comments made by someone who worked on the band's autobiography over 10 years ago."
LaPolt added, "These are the facts: Steven Tyler, Brad Whitford, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton are currently in the studio in Los Angeles writing new songs for the next Aerosmith album. The album is anticipated to be released later this year. Additionally, Dan Weiner, the band's agent at the Paradigm Agency, confirmed that the band will tour later in 2011 by saying, 'We are pleased to announce that Aerosmith has confirmed a tour of South America and Japan during 2011. Within the near future we will announce the cities and dates in each territory, and when tickets will be available for sale."
Furthermore, continued LaPolt, "Mr. Tyler's 'American Idol' contract was specifically negotiated to work around his Aerosmith touring and recording schedule. It is the role of band representatives to ensure that all group members and the public have accurate and up to date data and if false information is made public, that these inaccuracies are corrected immediately."