The following in an excerpt taken from the Holiday 2012 issue of Guitar World. For the full story, pick up the issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
“We really wanted to give it the feel that you were in the room with the band,” Perry says. “Especially with headphones on. That’s how you get your best sound and have an intimate kind of experience. But loud, and rocky! I think there are a lot of different atmospheres on the record.”
“It truly is music from another dimension,” insists Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s over-the-top lead singer, Perry’s longtime “toxic twin,” lifetime musical collaborator and frequent sparring partner. “It’s from us and it’s from our alter-egos and psyches and our greatness and our f---ed-up-ness. It’s just really a piece of who we all are.”
Tyler himself has always been quite a piece of work, and so, in a way, is Music from Another Dimension! The album skews schizophrenically between schmaltzy over-produced Tyler ballads and plenty of the bone-crunching hard rock hookiness that’s been Aerosmith’s most glorious asset ever since they first came out of Boston in the early Seventies. And perhaps more than any other member of Aerosmith, it is Joe Perry who carries that classic rock tradition with all the requisite attitude and swagger. At age 62, he remains very much the archetypal rock guitar god.
“Joe Perry?” Tyler demands. “If you want to hear rock and roll at its finest, just listen to Joe’s song ‘Oh Yeah’ on the new album. Then go listen to ‘Out Go the Lights.’ I haven’t heard anybody do anything like that in a while. Put that up against anything on Rocks or Toys in the Attic. I think it stands up.”
“We made the record that I hope people have been waiting for,” Perry says. “All these years, they’ve been saying, ‘Why don’t you make a record that sounds like the old stuff?’ But like anything that’s been around for 30 years, the classic Aerosmith stuff has acquired a certain patina. You can’t just instantly recreate that. You can’t go back. But you can certainly take that influence and use it when you’re doing new music. And that’s what we did.”
But Music from Another Dimension! is an album that came very close to never being made at all. The band was hobbled, literally, by a series of injuries all too inevitable for men entering or already in their sixth decade of life and still pounding rock and roll stages. Joe Perry underwent knee replacement surgery in 2008. Brad Whitford suffered a nasty knock on the head in 2009 that required surgery to relieve pressure from internal bleeding. That same year, Tyler fell off a stage, broke a shoulder, got addicted to painkillers as a result and had to undergo yet another stint in rehab. Then, in 2010, Tyler brained Perry with a microphone onstage. Rock and roll is a rough game indeed.
For the full interview, plus features on Kiss, Soundgarden, Gary Clark Jr. and more, pick up the Holiday 2012 issue of Guitar World now in our online store. Aerosmith's new book, Music From Another Dimension!, is out now.