Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford is confident that frontman Steven Tyler's "American Idol" judging gig will not derail and may in fact facilitate the recording of the Boston rockers' first new album in more than six years.
"That's what the band has been talking about," Whitford, who's currently on the road with the Experience Hendrix 2010 tour, tells Billboard.com. "Obviously we'll have to work a little bit around Steven's television schedule, but he's ready to do it and he's pretty confident he can do this record, so hopefully we can get some of that new music out next year."
Whitford says he expects some if not all of the album -- the long-awaited follow-up to 2004's "Honkin' on Bobo" -- to be recorded in Los Angeles, where "Idol" is headquartered. "I imagine it would probably be easier for us to do it out there, just because Steven's got to be there two days every week, anyway."
There is material left over from an album Aerosmith started making in late 2008 with producer Brendan O'Brien, but Whitford predicts that "we'll probably start from scratch. I think we're going to go back and listen to what we have up until now, but personally I'd like to start from scratch. I think that's the better way to go."
Whitford adds that Aerosmith is also planning a world tour for 2011. The initial "big surprise" of Tyler's move has passed, and he now feels the "Idol" association "could be a very good thing for the band." And, Whitford says, he's looking forward to a likely appearance by Aerosmith on the show. "I keep waiting for that phone call," he says. "I haven't heard anything yet, but my guess is... certainly if I was a producer on that show, I'd want to see that happen. I think it could be cool. It would be a great way to introduce [Tyler] to the show and to the audience that watches that show."
Meanwhile, Whitford is enjoying himself on his latest run with the Experience Hendrix tour, which finishes Nov. 20 in Indianapolis. "[Jimi's]had such a profound impact on all of us, and still does to this day," says Whitford, who's also working on an unspecified project with former Ted Nugent singer Derek St. Holmes. "I remember the first time I saw him at the Boston Garden...all of a sudden they broke into 'Fire' out of nowhere, and it was like, 'Yep, here we go...' I was walking two feet off the ground for about a year after that."