"The f***-yous run deep in a band like Aerosmith," Steven Tyler tells Billboard.com, "and the best part about it is the make-up. We live to be on stage with each other and play -- because we don't really know what else to do, to be honest with you!"
Tyler and company have certainly been through the ringer since last Aug. 5, when he fell from the stage in Sturgis, S.D., suffering injuries that forced the cancellation of the group's North American tour. After that he talked about solo ambitions while his bandmates talked about replacing him. Guitarist Joe Perry released a solo album. Tyler went into rehab. Nasty comments and threats of litigation were exchanged all around.
Now, however, Aerosmith is back and, according to Tyler, "just kicking ass and taking names every night" of its Cocked, Locked And Ready To Rock Tour, which has already played South America and is currently in Europe before hitting North America for 18 dates starting July 26 in Irvine, Calif., with an Aug. 14 hometown show at Boston's Fenway Park with the J. Geils Band.
"Every night that we play, it's like the best Aerosmith has played in 40 years," Tyler crows. "It's been the best tour that I can remember in my life." Perry adds that, "We've been pulling out some of the old tricks that we used to do back in the 70s, only now it's a lot better because we're in a lot better shape. I mean, we're in the best shape we've ever been."
That's not bad given that as recently as January Perry, guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer were still talking about bringing a new singer into Aerosmith. Tyler, through his attorneys, ultimately requested a face-to-face band meeting, during which differences were apparently resolved. "Differences do get in the way," Tyler concedes. "There's a lot of things I hate Joe for saying and he hates me for saying and things we've done back and forth. But this was interesting this time around because now that we're back together, it's like deprivation. It's not even a reminder, a wake-up call. It just is the truth of why we were both born and put on this planet."
"We've been together for so long that my heart...is never more than six inches away from Steven's, ever," Perry adds. "Even though we may not talk for a short amount of time or a long amount of time...I always have a feeling deep inside that we're always going to be together. This is it. And that's what makes Aerosmith last as long as it has."
Tyler and Perry say that the next item on the agenda is a new Aerosmith album, the group's first since 2004's "Honkin' On Bobo." The group did some recording with producer Brendan O'Brien in 2008 but halted because of Tyler's health problems. Tyler says that new music is "coming down the pike" and that playing live "kinda kindles the fire for (song) writing." An album, he says, is "something we all want to do and all are going to do, and that's that. God knows Joe kept writing and I'm writing, and we're going to put it back together. We got one more for Sony to do and a lot more for someone else that," he says with a laugh, "wants to pay us." Perry, meanwhile, notes that, "The bottom line is we haven't done our best record yet, and we feel like first of all we owe it to ourselves, and second of all we owe it to our fans."
They offered no timetable for the recording, but Tyler has also said he has material ready for a solo album that he'll record some time after Aerosmith's project. He's also been working on his autobiography, "Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?," which he says is "done and I'm going through it and making some changes," for a proposed fall publication.