It's been 11 years in the making, but last month, the long-awaited Aerosmith album, Music From Another Dimension!, finally hit the streets.
For all the accolades showered on the Boston band over the years, including four Grammys, eight American Music Awards and 150 million in sales worldwide, Aerosmith takes nothing for granted.
They've suffered and slaved over Music From Another Dimension! like a band with something to prove, and as Noisecreep learned recently after sitting down with all five members, they are as proud of this album as just about anything else they have done.
Guys, outside of, say Rush and ZZ Top, there aren't many bands from your era that can boast all original members.
Joey Kramer (drums): And those bands only have to worry about three guys each! [laughs]
True. But what does it say about the chemistry of this band, that you can survive the breakups and get back together to do what you do?
Kramer: Because it's the same five guys that we started with, the root of it will always be the same – this sound we have together. This is Aerosmith. That's what it's all about. Certain things – you have to pick and choose your battles - but it's taken this long to get to that point. But fortunately for us, we are together and the appreciation and respect has grown for one another so now, there's nothing you can throw in front of us we can't deal with.
It has been 11 years since an album full of new Aerosmith material. Was there some stuff that amassed over the years that made it a little easier to build the album?
Joe Perry (guitars): We always have cool things lying around, and our attitude was, we knew we had another record in us, despite what many said, and I make no bones about it, I don't know if we're gonna make another record. But this is how we used to make records. On this record there are some songs I don't play on, but that's how it's always been. There are songs on the first couple of records I didn't play on, it was fine; it was just how we did the songs. That's how this record went. Everybody had a little piece to say, it was important that everybody got something on it. It was just the next Aerosmith album. And this was also a statement. We did not phone this in. We worked our asses off on this record.
Kramer: We were all committed to doing this record. There were about 15 songs left over from the Get a Grip era. But other than "Legendary Child," which we completely re-did, nothing else made it over. They just didn't fit. Some of the licks may have been around a bit, but that's just how it goes. A good lick is a good lick. Use it when it works best.
Perry: When Steve and I first jammed way back when – he played drums. He was a drummer. And he was a great drummer and he could sing. What's funny today is we have a song now with Steven playing drums and me playing guitar - it's a throwback to how we started – something symbolic - really going back to another dimension, I can picture that jam back in Sunapee back in 1969 with Steven. Just us. Then a few months ago, there we were, the same exact thing – amazing. This album had a lot of throw back moments like that.
And clearly everyone was getting along, at least enough to make the record.
Perry: Our disagreements are what make us dynamic. If we all thought the same way, nothing good would happen, but even after we argue, we don't take it home. It's one of the things that allowed us to get back together. We'll argue things to death, but we deal with it, figure it out and move on. There's too much life out there to waste time being like kids in high school. We had a meeting yesterday over a video, it got really heated, but then went down to look at Steven's motorcycle. All was fine. Then it was like, what are you doing tonight?