On January 19th, legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry released his new solo album, Sweetzerland Manifesto . As part of the promotional activities for this new collection of songs, Joe sat down with Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! News for an in-depth video chat, which can be viewed below.
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An excerpt reads: “I can name my own hours,” Perry quips, when asked what he gets out of such side projects. “Aerosmith’s an amazing machine, but the same five guys have been moving it along for close to 50 years; once it’s moving in one direction, it’s kind of hard to steer it. I’d have to say, we’ve missed a lot of rocks, just probably through good fortune and maybe a few good decisions, but getting that machine going can be really hard, getting that up to speed. With these side projects, I like it because I can just pick up and do it.”
As for Perry’s partnership with Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler, it may not be as solid as his marriage to wife Billie, but the two rockers have learned how to coexist despite their issues. “We have had our ups and downs, there’s no doubt about it. I guess over the years we just learned how to direct it in a more positive way and have it work for us, as opposed to constantly going at it,” says Perry. “We probably get along better now than we ever have — but I only see him once every three months, so we get along great!”
Available via his own Roman Records imprint (distributed worldwide by Amped Distribution), Sweetzerland Manifesto marks Joe’s sixth solo album and is comprised of 10 new tracks. They were all written or co-written by Joe (many with the album’s guest vocalists), except for a cover of “Eve Of Destruction” with Joe on lead vocals and Johnny Depp on drums. The album features guest appearances from a long list of Joe’s friends, colleagues and rock and roll icons. Highlights include “Aye, Aye, Aye,” which Joe co-wrote with the track’s vocalist Robin Zander, and three collaborations with David Johansen, who sings “I Wanna Roll,” “Haberdasher Blues,” and “I’m Going Crazy,” plus as many co-writes with Terry Reid whose lead vocals light up “I’ll Do Happiness,” (with Zak Starkey on drums), “Sick & Tired” and “Won’t Let Me Go”.
Sweetzerland Manifesto was recorded at Studio 1480 in Los Angeles and produced by Joe Perry and Bruce Witkin, with Johnny Depp serving as executive producer and additional help from Jack Douglas who co-wrote and co-produced a number of tracks. It was engineered by Witkin and Tony Perry. The album was mixed by Tony Perry with Ari Blitz serving as assistant mix engineer at After Master in Los Angeles. On the album, Joe also teams up with sons Tony and Roman on “Spanish Sushi”, which was produced and arranged by The Perry Boys with Joe on guitars and bass, Roman adding synthesizer programming and Tony handling drum programming.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what songs people gravitate to because there’s such a wide variety of tunes,” Joe notes.