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Home Video, Film Projects On Tap For Aerosmith
Aerosmith is eyeing "making of" footage from sessions for its forthcoming album for a possible home video release. Meanwhile, lead guitarist Joe Perry has contributed score music to the Small Planet PAerosmith is eyeing "making of" footage from sessions for its forthcoming album for a possible home video release. Meanwhile, lead guitarist Joe Perry has contributed score music to the Small Planet Pictures film "This Thing of Ours," which opens July 18 in select U.S. cities. Aerosmith rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford has a cameo in the film.
As previously reported, the band has recorded a blues album with producer Jack Douglas, who worked with the band on several of its 1970s albums, including "Toys in the Attic" and "Rocks." The still-untitled set is due early next year on Columbia Records.
"While making this record, we had a video camera on us 90% of the time," Perry tells Billboard.com. "Sony [Columbia's parent company] is talking about having CDs playable in all these different formats and in DVD players, so there are lots of opportunities to [utilize the] video."
Aerosmith previously chronicled the recording of the its 1989 album "Pump" on the 1990 home video documentary "The Making of Pump."
Perry's involvement in the film "This Thing of Ours" came about because he met the film's star/director, Danny Provenzano, through Aerosmith producer Douglas. Douglas and Lawrence Manchester also wrote score music for the film. The feature film drama -- which also stars James Caan and Frank Vincent and Vincent Pastore of HBO's "The Sopranos" -- is about mafia members involved in a gigantic bank-fraud scheme.
Perry says he is considering releasing the film's soundtrack on his Sony-distributed Roman Records label. Porch Ghouls, a Memphis-based rock band signed to Roman, has filmed a music video for their cover of the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues," which is used in the film.
"We filmed the video at my house," Perry adds. "I'm in the video and so are some people from the movie."
The guitarist reveals that he was chosen to have an acting role as a gangster type in "This Thing of Ours" but had to turn it down. "I was supposed to have a scene with James Caan but I was right in the middle of getting ready to do a tour, so I didn't have time to be in the movie.
"On very few occasions will I do something that takes time away from the band," Perry says. "After losing the band in the early '80s, I wouldn't want to do anything that would screw that up again." Perry exited Aerosmith following the release of 1979's "Night in the Ruts," formed the Joe Perry Project and released several albums before rejoining the band in 1984.
Aerosmith's track record for contributing music to films has ranged from the group's bad-boy turn in the 1978 musical "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to achieving the band's first No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 with "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" from the 1998 movie "Armageddon." This year Aerosmith contributed a new song, "Lizard Love," to the animated feature "Rugrats Go Wild."
Perry says of the band's diverse film choices: "We don't necessarily lean to one kind of film. We have a pretty loose attitude about those things. We've always chosen to do film music that reflects positively on the band."
He adds that writing music for movies can sometimes be risky: "You never know how much of the music will make it into the final cut. All the directors we've worked with on films have the same intensity and love for their work and they help guide the process with feedback. If you don't want to work that way, then don't do film music."
As for the band's much-anticipated tour with Kiss, Perry promises that Aerosmith will have a rotating set that will differ each night. "We're going to do our hits but we're also going to do about four or five songs from the new album. We'll also do deep cuts from albums like 'Night in the Ruts' and 'Rocks' -- songs that weren't big hits but are songs we haven't played live in a long time."
Perry adds that the band has been considering offers to do a TV special about the tour, although nothing has been finalized. In addition, expect to see Aerosmith as part of Martin Scorsese's "The Blues" documentary airing this fall on PBS.
Although Aerosmith has seen its share of ups and downs through its 30-plus year career, Perry says the band will keep touring for as long as possible: "That's where we get our fire. We have an unspoken commitment to this way of life."