Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry discuss their latest album, collaborations with Carrie Underwood and Diane Warren and the story behind their unique chemistry
Few American rock bands have a more illustrious history than Aerosmith.
For more than four decades, the four-time GRAMMY-winning lineup of frontman Steven Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry, rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, bass player Tom Hamilton, and drummer Joey Kramer have entrenched themselves into musical immortality with millions of albums sold and timeless hits such as "Dream On," "Sweet Emotion" and "Janie's Got A Gun."
A testament to their survival is their new 15-song album, Music From Another Dimension!, which took five years, several health scares and a couple near-breakups to complete. It all proved to be worth it, with the album debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 upon its release in November.
Aerosmith are not only still standing, but flourishing. Currently on the second leg of their Global Warming tour with fellow classic rockers Cheap Trick, GRAMMY.com recently caught up with Tyler and Perry to discuss the past, present and future of Aerosmith.
Music From Another Dimension! is your first full album of original songs since 2001's Just Push Play. It must be somewhat of a relief to finally get it out, because you certainly have the bruises to show for it.
Steven Tyler: Oh, do we ever. Some of them turned into scars, but not many.
Joe Perry: Yeah, but that's all the stuff that makes the album what it is. All the stuff that we went through to get here has had, either in a big way or a small way, a positive effect on this record. It wouldn't sound the way it sounds if we hadn't gone through all the stuff. Those life experiences all play into the energy that happens when the band gets into the room.
The album includes "Can't Stop Loving You," a duet with Carrie Underwood. This is your first duet with an outside artist on an album. Why now?
Tyler: When we wrote the song, it spoke for itself. Sometimes you write a song and it tells you what it is. Instead of trying to define it, change it and get a horn player on it, we let the song reveal itself for what it was. Before we knew it, it sounded so country and western, so why not have someone like that on the record? I remember calling Carrie up one night and … she took the second verse and I sang the harmony with her. I've been listening to it and I think it's over the top. It's something we haven't done in forever. It's good to collaborate. We've not only got Carrie on the record, but Julian Lennon is singing harmony with me on "Luv XXX" and Johnny Depp is singing in the background on one of Joe's songs.
Perry: The duet thing has been [one] of those things we've talked about. The band has a short list of things we talk about doing, and getting around to. Honkin' On Bobo was one of them — "Hey, wouldn't it be great to do a blues record someday? So we ended up doing it [in 2004], and this was the time for this. She's certainly got the chops.