Aerosmith's members began talking about the idea of a farewell tour last year, although guitarist Joe Perry told Billboard earlier this year the idea has been discussed for quite some time. "We've talked about it over the years," Perry says. "Frankly, starting a tour that says 'the final tour' is OK, but to think there's going to be a last Aerosmith gig? That's a little tough for me to wrap my head around."
Perry continues: "I mean, we all know our age is creeping up on us, but, man, we've tried to follow the lead of the original blues guys and the early rockers and just keep playing 'til we drop, y'know? We all have different feelings about it. I do have a feeling that there'll be a tour that we'll call the final tour -- but when will it end? That I can't say."
Fellow guitarist Brad Whitford echoes Perry's sentiment that Aerosmith may take its time saying goodbye. "We keep talking about what we may call a farewell tour, but based on the Kiss approach, that could go on for three to five years," Whitford says. "We are seriously looking at that, just based on our age and everything." And Whitford isn't entirely sure how it will feel to bring Aerosmith to an end after 46 years and 15 albums, including enduring rock favorites such as "Dream On," "Walk This Way," "Sweet Emotion," "Janie's Got A Gun" and many more.
"It's hard to know," he says. "It'll probably be a bit of relief, one way or another. It's a struggle to get things done with that band. There's so much time wasted, and it can take the wind out of your sails sometimes. For me it's about the music, and we seem to have lost quite a bit of that energy in the Aerosmith camp. Everything turns out to be about something else, and it has nothing to do with the music. That gets old."
Perry, meanwhile, says that whatever Aerosmith does, he wants it to be comprehensive. "I would like to do a tour where we really play every place that we've ever played, and maybe some places we never played. And just on that premise, go out and have it be like we did it in the '80s, when we'd be out for a long time and really gain a lot of momentum," he notes.
Prior to the South American tour, the past year has mostly been about the band members' outside projects. Frontman Steven Tyler released a country-flavored solo album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, and toured to support it -- much to the consternation of his bandmates. Perry, meanwhile, released an album and toured with the all-star Hollywood Vampires, while Whitford released a new album with part-time Ted Nugent cohort Derek St. Holmes. Bassist Tom Hamilton played some tribute shows with Thin Lizzy, and drummer Joey Kramer launched a coffee shop in Boston.
Aerosmith has announced no plans to release another album. (The group's last studio set, Music From Another Dimension, came out in 2012.) "I'm always writing. There's always songs around," Perry explains. "Doing an album is a whole other issue. I'd like to do it. I think we've still got things to say on [record]. Maybe once we start doing some shows again we'll get inspired and get everyone on the page to do that. We'll see."