Richard Bienstock of Guitar Player spoke with Aerosmith guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. Highlights from interview appear below.

Guitar Player: As guys who have been playing rock and roll for almost half a century now, what do you think of the state of rock in 2019?

Perry: Rock definitely has its place alongside pop and dance and hip-hop and country and all of that. And to me, there’s this feeling of a resurgence, or at least of finding its level again. One thing we’re seeing is there are a lot of younger kids who want to see the real thing — the guys that played the music that they grew up listening to. And there are also a lot of talented younger bands that are coming up with good stuff. Whether they can take it to the next level, that remains to be seen. But I don’t think there will ever be another earth-shaking event like the Beatles. I mean, there could be, but I don’t know.

Whitford: This genre that we’re a part of, it seems like it’s pretty much been overfished. Like, how many great riffs are left? What can you do that sounds new or different? But then there’s a lot of young guys waving the rock flag, and they’re doing a great job at it. I like Rival Sons. They’re not new anymore, but they’re still new-ish. And I like Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Blackberry Smoke…guys like that. I feel like they’re doing it the way we did it, and with the same kind of spirit. So I hear a lot of stuff that’s really encouraging.

Perry: The way I see it, it might not be like the days when rock really ruled the roost, but, you know, if 20 percent of the people love rock and roll, 20 percent of the people now might mean 20 times as many people as it did 50 years ago, because there’s just that many more people in the world. And hell, half the good rock and roll I hear these days is in TV commercials. So it’s amazing to me how much the music has become part of the mainstream.

Guitar Player: Aerosmith have been touring pretty consistently over the past few years, but it’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from the band. Any chance a studio record is on the horizon?

Whitford: There’s been talk, but it’s just talk. It’s not like we’re sitting there and we’ve got 40 songs to cut. There’s not a lot of material on the table. But we could go in the studio and do something — do some covers, whatever. The key would be to keep it light and keep it fun. That’s what it’s supposed to be about, right?

Perry: I think by playing together in this sort of situation [The Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas Residency], where we don’t have to get to a different city every night and be in a different venue, it’s going to open up some doors to us getting into a creative mode again, just by changing the paradigm a little bit. So I actually think there’s a good chance something like a new record could come out of this experience.

Guitar Player: In 2017, you guys launched a tour called Aero-Verderci Baby!, which many speculated was a farewell outing. But clearly you’re still going strong. Is retirement something the band ever talks about?

Perry: We were thinking about it with that tour. We figured we’d just keep going until we got tired of it. But at one point, we were in South America for some shows, and the five of us were doing press, and none of us could say, “This will be the last tour.” We were all just looking at each other. When the reality of it hit, I was like, Wait a second — I can’t say those words. And I looked over at Steven, and he couldn’t say them either. And we kind of started laughing, because we were gearing this thing up to be the final tour and — well, it wasn’t. So I don’t know. I think after this run we’ll see what we want to do. Maybe we’ll want to more of this kind of stuff.

Whitford: Being players, the only thing that’s really going to stop us is some kind of physical ailment, where maybe we can’t perform the way we used to or can’t perform at all. We’re not there. And there doesn’t seem to be any reason to pack it up if people still would like to come out and see it. So I think we’re just going to keep playing until we can’t anymore. Why not? We all love doing it, so…

Read more at Guitar Player.

Photo credit: Neil Zlozower/Atlas Icons

14 Responses

  1. AT20:

    20) One Way Street
    19) Chiquita
    18) Nobody’s Fault
    17) Chip Away The Stone
    16) Adam’s Apple
    15) Lord Of The Thighs
    14) Same Old Song And Dance
    13) Seasons Of Wither
    12) Rats In The Cellar
    11) Toys In The Attic
    10) Train Kept A Rollin’
    9) No Surprize
    8) Draw The Line
    7) Back In The Saddle
    6) No More No More
    5) Walk This Way
    4) Dream On
    3) Movin’ Out
    2) Last Child
    1) Sweet Emotion

    That would be a great setlist as well!

    1. Lightning Strikes, Kings and Queens, Walk This Way, Sweet Emotion, Doug Is Acting Shady.

  2. Doug is a fan of the Mets
    He wages every chance that he gets
    But his team takes a dive
    Imagine my surprise
    Doug skips town and his bets

    Yeah, yeah..Doug is acting shady
    Yeah, yeah…Doug is acting shady

    Doug’s in his RV heading south
    He doesn’t care that his checks bounced
    Now the mob is afer him and
    His wife caught him with the hostess at Sparks

    Yeah..yeah…Doug is acting shady
    Sorry Doug…

    1. Shannon, have you been hanging out with Uncle Salty? I think you’re totally losing it! Now you’re writing songs for me? Flattering, even though it’s all untrue! Well, except for the first line, I am a Mets fan, but the rest of your song needs alot of work!

    2. No, I was haning out with Jamieson…lol….of course it’s not true…I mean, that should be obvious. But, I agree with you.

    1. Is it? I don’t know, I just got two of the little shots so I didn’t read it…I think you’re right.

    2. A celebrity? I had no idea! I guess I better get an agent?
      Mets won again today, we did the Dodgers a favor by beating Colorado! 😉 Watching the Stanley Cup finals, rooting for St. Louie all the way! The Blues have to win, nobody wants to go back to Boston for game 7! (Apologies to my favorite band of all time – Aerosmith!) 😉

    3. Oh well, Get Your Wings! Looks like we’re going back to Boston for game 7! 😉

  3. I understand the band’s reluctance to work on new music or release a new album because in today’s musical climate, the state of radio, and streaming and the fact that they’re a “legacy” act, it’s a lot of time and expense with very little return. However, for all those same reasons, I also think that this would be just the right time for them to get in a room – just the five of them – and record an “old school” Aerosmith rock album without outside writers, special guests, and music genre-hopping. If they aren’t bound by concerns to compete with whoever’s at the top of the Hot 100 radio charts, they really could put out a classic Aerosmith album (something they haven’t done in 20+ years). In fact, the best producer for just such an album would be Rick Rubin.

Leave a Reply