Joe Perry Talks Years of Aerosmith Tension: ‘People Don’t Change Much Over the Years’
Aerosmith are in the middle of another successful tour and they haven't had a major public argument in several years, but that doesn't mean things are totally harmonious between Joe Perry and Steven Tyler.
Perry, making the publicity rounds for his new memoir 'Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith,' spoke with Vanyaland about the difficulty of keeping the band together in recent years, admitting that while he assumed things would run more smoothly after the group's mid-'80s reunion, that hasn't always been the case.
"There are families out there who don’t talk to each other for 10 years," said Perry. "There are brothers out there that don’t talk to each other because they’re no use to each other or for whatever reason. I mean, if we operated like that there would be no band and we wouldn’t be able to make the music we make and perform the way we perform. That, to me, is the goal. We achieved it once and let the thing fall apart and rebuilt it again on what I thought was firmer ground, but people don’t change much over the years. I guess that’s part of the lesson."
Of particular annoyance was Tyler's decision to rehearse with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones in 2008, during their brief search for a singer to replace Robert Plant. "It’s almost like I shouldn’t have been surprised, but still when that went down it was like, 'Holy f---," recalled Perry. "I was just in the room talking to this guy and we were jamming and it felt like it was supposed to ... He doesn’t feel like he can at least tell me what he’s doing?”
The secret to keeping it all together, added Perry, is keeping the bigger picture in mind. "If I would have let that stuff bother me there wouldn’t be an Aerosmith, because that stuff was going on from the start. It was really minor -- like he stole a T-shirt and I’m like, 'What the f--- did you do that for? That’s really f---ed up and that’s not how I was brought up, but let’s move on."
And although Perry admitted that this kind of conflict "keeps getting worse" over the years, there's still no substitute for the magic he and Tyler create when the music's flowing: "When we’re onstage the vision of the music that we’re playing and the excitement of the audience is the glue that keeps us together, and kept us together, and got us back together. That’s bigger than anything."