Interview: Joe Perry Talks ‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014’ DVD

Interview Joe Perry Talks Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 Dvd 180 4460053 870x400

The new live DVD is a hit parade and captures the rockers doing what they do best.

Aerosmith’s new concert film Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is a 20-song collection capturing the classic rockers delivering a career-spanning show at the famed Donington Park in June 2014. It’s out September 4 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

If you are a diehard Aerosmith fan, you just did a happy dance or maybe even peed your pants a little!

The DVD captures the rockers doing what they do best and that’s take the stage and effectively kidnap the attention of every member of the audience, keeping them rapt from start to finish.

The stage is Aerosmith in their most natural habitat and this DVD documents their occupation of that space. We spoke to iconic guitarist Joe Perry about what makes this DVD so special.
But before we dive into our chat with Mr. Perry, check out the track listing, which is a hit parade.

1) Train Kept A-Rollin’
2) Eat The Rich
3) Love In An Elevator
4) Cryin’
5) Jaded
6) Livin’ On the Edge
7) Last Child
8) Freedom Fighter
9) Same Old Song and Dance
10) Janie’s Got a Gun
11) Toys In the Attic
12) I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
13) No More No More
14) Come Together
15) Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
16) Walk This Way
17) Home Tonight
18) Dream On
19) Sweet Emotion
20) Mama Kin

And now… our chat with a legend.

What is the most amazing memory about this Donington show?

Joe Perry, Aerosmith Well, we were not planning on doing it for a DVD thing. Anytime you do a one-off thing like this, you will plan it out and you record 10 shows and your chances of getting a performance that you can put together are better. This was more about recording us at Donington than it was about us doing a live DVD. It’s a roll of the dice. It’s a big deal doing it anyway.

You have to bring in extra cameras, extra lights, especially now with HD, more production, more crew. It turns into a bigger event on the technical side. But we played there enough times to feel comfortable in that venue, even in a festival setting like that. It felt comfortable. We didn’t have too much to worry about from that point of view.

But things break. Amplifiers blow up. All that stuff can happen. You can record for a live part of a video and play a song twice or three times in the set to get everything right. But this was one of those nights that the fans knew we were filming and they were extra charged.

Being England, it was really a great show. We built up a real hardcore fanbase there and it’s great to feel at home in a foreign country like that. It’s still a great thing and great feeling. It was a good show. We put it all out there. There were no real screw ups and it came out well.

It was one take!

Yes, but it was worth it.

Watch the music video for “Mama Kin” from Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014:

Why is Donington so magical? I’ve been to the event three times and there’s really nothing else like it. I think Europeans worship rock music and its bands, and that they love rock ‘n’ roll more than any other genre.

I think it’s the fact that they have a lot more tradition, as far as festivals, there. In the bigger countries, they have a festival every year, around the same date, and it’s a tradition. We don’t have that in this country. We have some. Lollapalooza was a tradition. But it’s not the same. They tried after Woodstock, like Cal Jam or Monsters of Rock early on. For some reason, they never lasted. In Europe, they carry on. Fans get to look forward to it. I’ve always hoped somebody would pick up the ball and do it here. For some reason or other, it never caught on. After the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, I hoped they do another one the year after.

What keeps you getting on that stage every night this deep into your career? You have nothing else to prove, yet you guys still get out there and slay!

The way we’ve toured over the last decade… we’ve played a lot of the same places. This tour we’re on now, we’re playing a lot of places we haven’t played in a long time. It’s making the tour exciting. But overall, it’s the fact that it’s a new generation and a new batch of 18-year-olds every time we go to a town. It’s usually a year or two, or more, and there is a whole other generation of fans out there to play to. Then there are the fans that have been there before and have followed us through the years. You want to play the songs they want to hear. That is what keeps it going. We want to make it the best show we can.

It’s fascinating to see the similarities between audiences in places we have played a bunch and places we’ve never played. It’s been a good tour so far. It keeps it interesting.

What’s your favorite song to play live?

Oh God, I don’t know. I’m not sure right now. We change the set here and there. There is a certain excitement to playing the old standards, the “Dream On,” “Walk This Way” or “Sweet Emotion,” for what it does to the audience. Every time you play, it teaches you something. To hear the audience react? You remember that for the next show. I read an Elvis biography and when he was first learning to perform, he would try new things during each performance. Sometimes he did two shows a day. He would try different things, from wiggling his finger to wiggling his hips to just giving the audience that killer smile.

Whatever it was, he would remember what it was that the audience would get off on and make it part of his show. He did it by experimenting, since no one was doing what he was. It was trial and error. It gave him a chance to build his show. He didn’t come from a musical family. I learned that early on. That is what I do. I might do something during a show that comes to me and if it works, I do it the next show and it becomes a part of what I do. A big thing, a little thing. The important thing is to keep your ears open and eyes open and especially watch the audience and make sure that you are keeping one step ahead of where they are, instead of doing the same thing every night.

‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014’ is available September 4, 2015 on Eagle Rock Entertainment on CD/DVD/Blu-ray/LP configurations.
By Amy Sciarretto for Artistdirect

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