Aerosmith’s Joe Perry isn’t expecting any sort of replay of the group’s notorious 1988 tour with Guns N’ Roses when it hits the road Thursday (July 10) in Wantagh, N.Y., for a summer tour with Slash and his Conspirators.
“That was a long time ago,” guitarist Joe Perry tells Billboard with a laugh, recalling the trek that found Aerosmith in the early stages of sobriety and GNR entrenched in, well, quite the opposite. “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge. But having Slash on the bill… It’s gonna be a really good rock show. The competition is stiff as ever out there, but there’s a real vibe there. He’s got a really good band and they just finished their new album and they’re excited about getting out there with us. I think it’s gonna be great.”
Aerosmith is just back from an extended run in Europe, and Perry says the group considers all of its dates to be part of the continuing campaign for 2012’s “Music From Another Dimension!” — Aerosmith’s first studio album in eight years and a project the guitarist doesn’t feel has gotten its fair due. “My feeling is we didn’t really get a chance to tour much behind it,” Perry explains. “I still think it’s got some life to it, so we’ll probably play a few songs from it this summer and remind people it’s out there.”
Meanwhile, Aerosmith’s collective and individual eyes are on the future. Frontman Steven Tyler hopes to finish a solo album he’s been working on for the past few years, while Perry will publish a memoir, “Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith” (with David Ritz) on Oct. 7, to be followed by a new solo album.
“The book took up much more time than I expected,” Perry notes. “I just felt like it was time to do it. Joey (Kramer) put his book out and Steven put his book out, and I was getting to the point where I was starting to feel like there was a reason and a time and a feeling for me to do one, too. It’s not the kind of book where I’m out to blame anybody for anything; I certainly take my part of the responsibility for the ups and downs, but I’m sure there are going to be people who look at it and go, ‘No, I don’t remember it that way.’ Overall I think people are going to be surprised by the book. It’s definitely not your VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ kind of a book.”
Perry plans to include a variety of “odds and ends” as part of “Rocks,” including an appendix with extensive details about his equipment — “Some real technical stuff that may not have any interest to a lot of people but guitar players will love it,” Perry says — as well as some music, including “some of my favorite songs from some of my solo work that I know people haven’t heard…maybe some video links to interviews and things like that.” Perry has also “written a bunch of stuff” for his next solo album, the follow-up to 2009’s “Have Guitar, Will Travel,” which he hopes to record and release in 2015. “I’ve been inspired in a way that I haven’t been inspired for other records,” Perry reports.
Aerosmith’s next album situation may be a bit different, however. “When people go to see us live, they want to hear some of the old songs and some of the medium-old songs from the 80s and 90s,” he explains. “There’s so many songs to choose from that we get requests for that we’re over-songed at this point. So as far as feeling like we need a new record…I know we’re going to want to go in and make new music at some point, but I don’t know if that means waiting until you have 12 songs you think are good enough. Maybe it should be two or three songs and then you release it, and awhile later you put out a couple more songs.”