It's been years since “The Bad Boys from Boston” have put out a studio album, with their most recent being 2004's Honkin' on Bobo. Yesterday, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer (minus Brad Whitford who is currently on tour with The Hendrix Experience) greeted an eager crowd at The Grove and announced their new studio album will be out within the next three months.. They revealed plans for an upcoming tour with Cheap Trick, which includes a stop at the Hollywood Bowl August 6th.
The band participated in an audience-driven Q&A regarding the upcoming tour and discussed whether or not Tyler is more difficult to work with now that he's “a big TV star” and the strangest thing that's ever been thrown on stage during an Aerosmith show — and it might be the strangest thing ever thrown on any stage.
You have called this The Global Warming Tour. Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration for that?
Steven Tyler: Just that we've been setting fires and putting them out our whole career. You know, whether it's at Rolling Stone or out there with our own fans. We like to light fires under people's asses and what better title than Global Warming, right? Everybody's been dancing around the fire — you know the tribal fires — of rock and roll forever and we're just throwing in heat. And we haven't had a chance to play any new music in a bunch of years since Honkin' on Bobo so we're really looking forward to kicking some ass with this new album.
You mentioned a few new songs that will make it into the set. Can you give us any sense of song titles, types of songs, where that direction is going and when might this new album show up?
Steven Tyler: “Legendary Child,” “Beautiful,” “Out Go The Lights” — a bunch of great songs on this record. And it will be out – what, in 3 months we'll be on tour, so in 2 months. We're looking to doing this as quickly as possible. We're almost done with the record. We have two more songs to finish and then we have to mix which should take us another month and a half/two months and we'll be in your face before you know it.
Tom Hamilton: But before the album comes out, there will be songs coming out too — a couple of singles between now and then. The most amazing thing about being in a band is hearing your songs on the radio and we're very anxious to hear our new ones coming out of the speakers.
You guys are working with Jack Douglass again for the first time since 1975. What's different now compared to back then?
Steven Tyler: We had a dream team going here. Joe, myself, Marti Frederickson, Jack Douglass, are producing this record and it's just been unreal. We've done a record in four months, unheard of in Aerosmith territory so things are good. It's already crazy.
Joe Perry: What Jack brings is a little bit of that 1975 back, kind of a reminder of it. It gets you in the mood.
Tom Hamilton: Jack is part of the DNA of this band and we learned how to make records with him back in the '70s and that process and the way we get along with him and the way he inspires us is still happening. I mean the first day of writing and rehearsal that process came right back.
This is the 40th anniversary of the band. How do you keep that passion and everything and keep going?
Steven Tyler: By everything you've ever read plus a lot of inside family stuff. Our kids grew up together. We fight all the time. Like Tom Hamilton said, we were fortunate enough to hear a song that we wrote on a waterbed in our apartment on the radio and that was it. We were addicted to that and to this day, you're gonna hear stuff all over the radio again. We love to get our music out there and have people dance around to it. That's all there is.
Joey Kramer: Bottom line is we love to play.
You guys are doing some dates with Cheap Trick. Can you talk about your history with the band and getting the chance to go out and play with them this summer?
Tom Hamilton: They also have a history with Jack. He produced them too, way back then and we just met them early on and always had a lot of respect for their music. They put out an album called Live at the Budokan which was recorded in Tokyo and that was the album that really put them over the edge and it's just a fantastic record. I think that they're one of those bands where you kind of forget how many great songs they have. So when people come to the show and hear them, they're gonna say, “Oh yeah. Those are the guys that do that song.”
Joe Perry: Cheap Trick is always one of the few bands — I don't know if I can even think of another American band that has been around as long as they have with the same guys and the same lineage and the same thing so playing with them is a pleasure — for us to go out and watch them play.
Was it a conscious decision to have another group that started out like you guys did in the '70s in that time period?
Joe Perry: No, but the synergy of it kind of says something about how the strength of good songs last for how long they've been around. I mean they've become classics and the band's just there to play them. So there you go.
Steven, you've been warming up the fans on American Idol. Are any of those Idols going to be touring with you?
Steven Tyler: No.
Tom Hamilton: It depends on if there's any tickets left.
This is a question for everyone but Steven Tyler. Now that he's a big TV star, how impossible is he to work?
Tom Hamilton: It's possible that he's more impossible than ever.
Joe Perry: He gives us free sunglasses once in a while. It's great.
And Steven Tyler how impossible are you to work with now?
Steven Tyler: Totally. Totally impossible. It's all my fault. I'll take the blame. You see Joe Perry wished me a happy birthday the other day on Idol? It's moments like that that I took that job for and that I'm in Aerosmith for.
In your long and lustrous career, what is the most remarkable thing you've seen thrown on stage?
Tom Hamilton: A hamster.
Joe Perry: No. The hamster I don't think is it. I think there's another one. You have another story.
Tom Hamilton: A prosthetic leg. We were doing a show, it was a general admission show back when they still had general admission and everybody's hands were in the air and about 50 feet back there was a guy literally holding up his artificial leg.
Steven Tyler: With a rose in it. It was a girl.
Tom Hamilton: And I kind of waved at him and he passed it up and we put it on the drum riser. A few songs later, my tech said, “Hey, the guy really needs the prosthetic leg back” and so I said, “OK, well give it back and have him come back after the show.” He came backstage after the show and we met and talked for a while and had a great time.
Joe Perry: It was a pretty imaginative way to get back to meet the band. I wouldn't recommend it as a way. There are other ways to get back to meet us other than whopping off a leg.
Steven Tyler: And he still keeps in touch with him today. He calls him ” 'Ol Lefty.”
Tom Hamilton: It's inspiring when somebody dares to be in the middle of a huge crowd with that challenge and this guy was obviously somebody who said he was going to rock out no matter what and we have a lot of respect for that.
Joe Perry: We kept the sneaker though.