Scratch Aerosmith off the list of groups planning to tour in 2016 — at least in North America.
The group was slated to play in both early 2016 and during the summer, but that’s been put on ice by frontman Steven Tyler and his solo album plans, according to guitarist Brad Whitford. “Steven doesn’t want to do it,” Whitford, who’s readying a new album of his own with Ted Nugent singer/guitarist Derek St. Holmes, tells Billboard. “It’s unfortunate. We kind of feel a little bit abandoned by him. I guess he seems to think his solo career is going to go great guns, and he doesn’t seem to realize that — in my opinion — his fans around the globe want to see him in the context of Aerosmith and don’t really care for whatever he thinks he’s gonna do.
“I don’t know if he gets that but, hey, that’s what he wants to do. I can’t put a gun to his head. It’s just pretty disappointing.”
Tyler has been recording his country-leaning album in Nashville, with plans for a 2016 release. His first single from the set, the Dann Huff-produced “Love Is Your Name,” came out in mid-May and peaked at No. 19 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and he’s been making the rounds of the assorted country music awards shows.
Aerosmith wrapped up its Blue Army Tour at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony celebration on Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. The group is, however, expected to play in South America during the new year. Meanwhile, Joe Perry is planning to work on a new solo album after playing as part of Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp’s Hollywood Vampires project, while the reunited Whitford St. Holmes — which the two launched in 1980 and released one self-titled album the following year — hits the road Nov. 12 in Milwaukee for a 10-date tour. It’s a bit of a silver lining for Whitford and will see the release of a new album, Reunion, in the near future.
“Derek and I now live in the same town [Nashville] and we’ve been great friends since the mid-’70s, and once we were hanging out here together it was just the natural evolution of us sitting around and creating music and we just got to the point of, ‘Wow, we’ve got to do something with this,'” Whitford says. They recorded Reunion over a two-week period at Castle Recording in Franklin, Tenn., with Beau Maxwell and a band that includes Tesla drummer Tony Luccketta and Aerosmith touring keyboardist Buck Johnson, among others.
“It’s a classic rock album — modern classic rock,” Whitford says. “I mean, that’s what we do. We’re all rockers, and we’re not gonna try and do anything else but what we know and what we love. I think a lot of Aerosmith fans are really going to enjoy this record because all I ever hear is, ‘When you gonna do another Toys? When you gonna do another Rocks?’ That’s what this album is. It’s very straight-ahead, stripped-down classic rock.”
Whitford and St. Holmes wrote all nine songs for Reunion and plan to return to the studio after the tour to start recording more material they’ve come up with. “We have no expectations for anything; we’re just having a lot of fun and I think it shows,” Whitford says. “Whatever happens with it is whatever happens. Our goal is just to be able to enjoy and have a good time, ’cause we all come from bands where it feels like somebody else’s agenda, and this is our thing and Derek and I are just enjoying being able to call our own shots and have a good time.”