Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton on 'Freedom Fighter' – Track-by-Track Premiere

Guitarist wrote song about child soldiers in Uganda

November 1, 2012 9:00 AM ET
Aerosmith, 'Music from Another Dimension!'
Aerosmith, 'Music from Another Dimension!'

Click to listen to Aerosmith's 'Freedom Fighter'

RollingStone.com will be premiering Aerosmith's Music From Another Dimension! album, one track at a time, in the weeks leading up to the November 6th release.

Politics doesn't come up a lot in Aerosmith songs, and that's just as Joe Perry likes it. But the guitarist has been outraged by the story of African warlord Joseph Kony, whose Lord's Resistance Army has been widely condemned for abducting thousands of children as soldiers and sex slaves in and around Uganda. Perry learned of the atrocity as a result of documentary footage that has gone viral (Jason Russell's Kony 2012), and found himself deeply inspired by the documentary filmmakers behind it.

Perry sings "Freedom Fighter" himself, growling across jagged layers of rock guitar of the documentarians he calls "freedom fighters."  Kony has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. In the song, Perry attacks the warriors behind him who are kidnapping children and spreading death: "The guns you carry and the bombs you make / Cause too many tears, too many hearts to break."

100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Aerosmith

It's one of two songs on Music From Another Dimension! to feature Perry on lead vocals. Actor Johnny Depp and producerJack Douglas are on background vocals. Bassist Tom Hamilton calls the track "a blazing rock song."

"We don't really get into politics and stuff," says Perry, "but I felt so strongly about this guy [Kony], and the freedom fighters that are out there who do so much good by going to the front lines with cameras and tape recorders. They're freedom fighters, and it was a tip of the hat to those kind of people. I was really so moved."

The final song is stripped down hard rock, with ricocheting guitars and keyboards."The hardest thing was picking the lyrics because I wrote so many verses for it," says Perry. "The music came as an afterthought because it had to have the drive and the power. I didn't really care if it sounded like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith or what – it had to have the drive to capture the freedom fighter thing."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »