Q&A: Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on touring, Run-D.M.C. and Steven Tyler’s country album

Steven Tyler calls Joe Perry “one of the last great touring guitar legends.” Tyler should know: he’s watched Perry melt faces since 1970, when Aerosmith formed in Boston.

But the lead guitarist is also a thoughtful rock ‘n’ roll observer, and last fall, he released “Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith,” a memoir that covered his personal life and tumultuous career. Aerosmith’s had more lives than most cats, from their ’70s hard-rock days to an ’80s comeback that helped a hip-hop classic up the charts and on to an Oscar nomination for 1998 power ballad “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” The band, hearing the clock ticking, are still road warriors in 2015: they’ll arrive at Ridgefield, Washington’s Amphitheater Northwest on July 28 as part of a brief summer tour.

I spoke with Perry in May, right after SPIN Magazine listed 1989’s “Pump” among its best albums of the last 30 years. We talked about the band’s persistence, its hip-hop legacy and singer Steven Tyler’s upcoming country debut. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Continue reading Q&A: Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on touring, Run-D.M.C. and Steven Tyler’s country album

Aerosmith’s Joe Perry Talks New Donnington DVD, Steven Tyler And Jamming With Johnny Depp 

In an extensive interview, the legendary guitarist opens up about the dynamics that drive the band and why making a new Aerosmith album might not be in the cards.
There have been precious few constants in a musical landscape that has undergone seismic changes over the past several decades, from the birth of the larger-than-life rock star to the advent and eventual death of the MTV era to the digital revolution that has made it much easier for fans to hear music – and much less likely that they’ll buy it.
Aerosmith, the rock band that sprung from New England in the early ’70s and amped up the boozy, bluesy brashness of The Rolling Stones into an arena-ready brand of hard rock, is still standing through all of the changes and challenges, from the ups and downs of the music industry to the group’s own highly publicized internal turmoil.

At the heart of Aerosmith is the prolific and sometimes volatile relationship between frontman Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, a duo dubbed “The Toxic Twins” at the height of their drug-addled debauchery. Those days are long behind them, but Aerosmith, now well into its fifth decade, does not appear to have any intentions of winding down its legendary career anytime soon. The group is currently on its “Blue Army” tour, which will wrap up in early August, and on Sept. 4, the band will release “Aerosmith Rocks Donnington 2014,” a DVD that captures the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ performance at the iconic British rock festival. Factor in the side projects, like Tyler’s impending debut country album and Perry’s involvement with the Alice Cooper-led Hollywood Vampires project, and you get the idea.

With all of this as a backdrop, Perry recently took the time on a day off from the tour to chat exclusively with HNGN about what keeps the band and its fans going, the concert DVD, the possibility of a new Aerosmith studio album, Tyler’s reaction to Perry’s 2014 autobiography, “Rocks,” and his admiration for Johnny Depp. Continue reading Aerosmith’s Joe Perry Talks New Donnington DVD, Steven Tyler And Jamming With Johnny Depp 

The World According to Joe Perry

Joe PerryAt any given Aerosmith show, Joe Perry can usually be spotted with a Les Paul dangling around his neck. The legendary guitarist is such a Les Paul fan that on top of playing a range of varieties of the guitar over the decades, he also has a signature model, the Joe Perry 1959 Les Paul.

Perry recently made headlines for something other than his music: a new book. ROCKS: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith tells his life story and the ups and downs of rocking with one of the biggest bands in the world. In the following quotes, Perry talks about his new book and the first moment he heard a guitar sing. Continue reading The World According to Joe Perry

Interviewing Aerosmith: Classic band says new concert movie catches its best as it looks to the future

When classic rock band Aerosmith took the stage at England’s Donington Festival last June, the group’s members knew it was a special night.

The band burned through 19 tunes, including classic songs such as “Walk This Way,” “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion,” and other hits “Love In An Elevator,” “Janie’s Got A Gun,” “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” and “Dude Looks Like A Lady.”

Luckily, the band had hired English film director Dick Carruthers to film the set. Footage from the performance has been made into a concert movie, “Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014,” that will be released Thursday for a single-night viewing in select theaters nationwide, including Carmike Promenade 16 in Center Valley.

Plans call for a DVD release. The last DVD Aerosmith released, 2013’s “Rock for the Rising Sun,” which chronicled the band’s 2011 tour of tsunami-ravaged Japan — debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Music Video chart.

The film is another career benchmark for Aerosmith, which in a career of more than 40 years has released 15 studio albums, all of which have gone gold or platinum, along with five live discs and more than a dozen compilations, with total sales of 83 million.

That makes the band among the Top 10 best-selling musical groups of all time. It was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

In a recent telephone news conference, Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton and rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford spoke about the new film, the band and its future.

Here’s an edited transcript of the call: Continue reading Interviewing Aerosmith: Classic band says new concert movie catches its best as it looks to the future

Joe Perry of Aerosmith

“I hope it’s entertaining at the least,” says legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry of his memoir Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith. [Amazon/Kindle or iTunes Books]

“Entertaining” is an understatement though. The book is downright riveting. In many ways, it reflects his legendary six-string style, bouncing back and forth between unbelievable and exhilarating and striking and soulful. Perry literally brings readers along on the roller coaster that has been his journey, and it makes for a thrilling read.

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Joe Perry talks Rocks and so much more. Continue reading Joe Perry of Aerosmith

Joe Perry: the Beatweek interview – Aerosmith, his new memoir Rocks, and life lessons

“I’d still be a rocker,” says Joe Perry when asked about what might have been. But the Aerosmith guitarist reveals that he flirted early on with becoming a marine biologist instead. His new memoir is called Rocks, and it’s a candid glimpse into his childhood, the ups and downs of his band, and what he’s learned from it. Joe talks about all of the above in our Beatweek interview.

Continue reading Joe Perry: the Beatweek interview – Aerosmith, his new memoir Rocks, and life lessons

Joe Perry Interview: Aerosmith Guitarist Talks Guitars, Gear & More

He wanted to be a marine biologist, like his hero Jacques Cousteau, but got sidetracked playing guitar. That was good for us, and it didn’t turn out too bad for Joe Perry either. At this point, it’s been 40-plus years of kick-ass music with “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” as Aerosmith has been called, and with his occasional forays down the solo path.

How can you quantify the impact Perry has had on the rock guitar world? Aerosmith has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide – more than 70 million in the U.S. alone. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard or learned to play Joe’s iconic riff in “Walk This Way” yet? Well, maybe Kanye West’s fans, but not too many others.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer made the rounds recently to promote his new autobiography, “Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith,” which surprises with its honesty, and its insight into the mind of both the young Joe Perry – the potential scientist – and the Joe Perry of today – the family man who has somewhat quietly been married to the same pretty girl for 30 years.

Oh, and of course there’s all the classic stories about the making of some of rock’s most revered albums, and the open discussion about the decades of craziness that have been his life on tour as one-half of the “Toxic Twins,” as he and partner-in-crime Steven Tyler were often referred. Certainly there’s no shortage of sex and drugs to go with the rock and roll in Perry’s excellent memoir.

When his publicist contacted me to set up the interview, I was told I had 20 minutes, and was given a list of “talking points,” all of which centered around a section of the book. But when Perry called at the end of what had already been a long day of interviews, he sounded relaxed, and when the conversation turned to guitars, he was in no hurry to end the call.

In our hour-plus conversation we talked about everything from how his bandmates responded to his book, to his early love of the water, to his relationships with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. But Joe really opened up when the discussion turned to effects pedals – he loves to check out new pedals and is on an endless search – and guitars new and old, including plenty of boutique dealers and lesser-known brands that are among his favorites.

And when we hit on amps and mics and live sound and recording techniques, Perry was eager to share, full of details, and seemed to really be in his element. Here’s how our conversation went: Continue reading Joe Perry Interview: Aerosmith Guitarist Talks Guitars, Gear & More

Aerosmith’s Joe Perry Tells His Story

Joe Perry just added “author” to his ever-expanding list of artistic endeavors. The co-founder of Aerosmith, and the lead guitarist of his own solo project, decided that it was time to finally share his side of the story. The esteemed guitarist has gone through a variety of record labels, management deals, and turmoil with his four founding bandmates — he even left Aerosmith for a stint in the late ‘70s to pursue his own band, the Joe Perry Project. Despite the ups and downs, Perry has made a lucrative career doing what he loves — playing guitar and creating music. Armed with a lifetime of knowledge about the ins-and-outs of the music industry, the rocker has recently churned out a rock and roll autobiography with the help of David Ritz titled Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith.

GRAMMY Pro caught up with Perry to chat about his recently released New York Times bestselling book in which he tackles themes such as bad management deals (the band fired their manager of 12 years, Tim Collins, in 1996) and shares insight into how Aerosmith has managed to stay together all these years. Perry also told us about his creative process in the studio and why he sets aside time to write music every single day, whether he’s working on a new album or not. Continue reading Aerosmith’s Joe Perry Tells His Story

Interview: Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on Rock, Rebellion and Survival

The iconic Aerosmith guitarist opens up on musical revolution, Joe Rogan and his excellent new book.

Guitar hero Joe Perry exudes a zen energy that defies the wild kaleidoscope history of excess, tumult and adventures only possible in the golden era of rock stardom. Perry’s memoir Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith, was released last October, chronicling his rocky rockin’ ride with Aerosmith, his love/hate relationship with lead singer Steven Tyler, his two marriages and the wild misadventures of drug abuse. He’s gone from drunk, broke and hooked on heroin to over 20 years of sobriety and over 100 million records sold, raising a beautiful family in the process. Continue reading Interview: Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on Rock, Rebellion and Survival