"We got a grip on all the things that make us Aerosmith," says Steven Tyler as he chomps on a carrot stick during a final mixing session in Vancouver, British Columbia, for Aerosmith's upcoming album, Get a Grip. The always upbeat Tyler sounds especially excited about the new album, set to be released by Geffen Records in early March.
"We got a grip on all the things that sometimes get too refined along the way," Tyler says. "We got a grip on what we're all about. I mean, this stuff is something. This is rocksimus maximus!"
"This album was hard in a lot of ways," says his fellow former Toxic Twin, Joe Perry. "It was the hardest in terms of the time we put into it. We basically made two records in order to finish it, without a tour in between, which is always the payoff for me. But the work was worth it."
Aerosmith and producer Bruce Fairburn – "the same old son of a bitch," says Tyler warmly of his longtime associate – began recording at A&M Records in Los Angeles in the early part of 1992. "We basically made a whole record there except for the mixing," says Perry. "But we decided the songs just didn't jump, and we had to keep going." The band – Tyler, lead guitarist Perry, bassist Tom Hamilton, rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford and drummer Joey Kramer – was going to record just a couple more songs to complete the album. But when Tyler and Perry started working at Perry's home studio, in Boston, the singer says they came up with "a shit load of great stuff." Says Tyler, "We knew we had to make it the biggest, the baddest, the bravest and the scariest Aerosmith record yet."
The songs tentatively set for Get a Grip – one of Aerosmith's two remaining albums for Geffen before starting its new mega-deal with Columbia – include "Eat the Rich," "Livin' on the Edge" and "Cryin'." As usual, Tyler and Perry wrote most of the material, though outside collaborators included Mark Hudson and Lenny Kravitz, who co-wrote "Line Up," which Perry says is "pretty funky, with horns and everything." There's also a rare Perry vocal on "Walk On Down."
So after all that work, how are things up there in Vancouver?
"F-c-k," barks the always quotable Tyler. "The only thing missing is u."
This story is from the January 7, 1993 issue of Rolling Stone.