Aerosmith have spent the last couple of years touring in support of their latest LP, Music From Another Dimension, but the set list has rarely featured more than a couple of songs from the disc. "We're in a position where we really believe in the new album," says Joe Perry. "But the audience wants to hear the old stuff."
Before hitting the road last time out, Perry went onto Twitter and asked his fans how many new songs they wanted to hear in the set. "The responses I got were like, 'What are you going to have to drop to make room for them?' I hadn't thought about it from that angle. People are going to be disappointed about not hearing 'Rag Doll' or 'Dude (Looks Like a Lady)' instead of a song they'd never heard before."
The group is on tour in Europe right now, and so far they've largely stuck to the set list they had in 2013, though at a recent show in Moscow they played the Music From Another Dimension track "Freedom Fighter" for the first time ever. "We try to hit something from every decade," says Perry. "We're going to do a few off-the-wall ones that there will be some discussion about."
The tour heads to America in early July, and at that point the group will probably adjust the plan a bit. "It's started to get very heavy on the 1970s, with a lot of album cuts," says Perry. "Once we're back in the States, we'll definitely do more from the new album and things from the 1990s we haven't played in a long time. Off the top of my head, that might include [1989's] 'Monkey on My Back' or maybe even [1987's] 'Hangman Jury.'"
Slash will open up many of the American shows. "I want to go out and play with him at least a couple of times," says Perry. "It's always fun to play something different. He might also play during our set. We're known for doing 'Mama Kin' together, but there are other songs he likes. Rocks is one of his favorite records. I'm sure he's got a couple of songs he wants to play, and we'll oblige him. We're really good friends and it's going to be a really good tour."
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton missed a bunch of dates last year due to medical issues, but he's recovered and back on the road. "I actually just walked past and waved to Tom a second ago," says Slash. "He's up. He's back. He's ready to rock."
The return of Hamilton means that Aerosmith are once again on tour with the same five-man lineup that recorded their first album in 1973. They are one of the few groups from the era able to make such a claim. "That still blows my mind," says Perry. "Maybe it's fate, luck or just the right combination of guys that had this drive. We made a lot of right decisions and a lot of wrong ones. We burned every bridge we could and we made sure the foundations were broken too, but we're still here."
When the tour wraps, Perry is going to promote his upcoming autobiography, Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith, which hits shelves on October 7th. "After that I'm going to be working on a new solo album," says Perry. "I know that Steven [Tyler] is going to work on an album, too. We'll see what happens after that. I'm hoping we'll get back on the road sometime next year, but I can't really say."