Steven Tyler has spent the last few months preparing for his first season as a judge on American Idol, but he tells Rolling Stone that's he's still keen on recording a new Aerosmith album. "I'm trying to rally the guys together," he says. "We're having trouble getting Joe [Perry]. I don't know where he is, but just come down to L.A. at the end of January sometime. I've had enough downtime."
Perry and Tyler started recording a follow-up to 2001's Just Push Play a few years ago with producer Brendan O'Brien, but old tensions surfaced and they abandoned the project. Since then the group has continued to tour together, even though Tyler and Perry admit that they barely speak offstage.
"As far as Joe goes, look, the guy's got LSD — Lead Strummer Disorder," Tyler tells RS. "We've been brothers forever. He's just going through his thing. I think the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of unrecorded Joe Perry licks floating around in the ether somewhere."
Tyler thinks the two can find common ground. "We just have to get together and put the shit together," he says. "That's all. We're all musicians, and what does that say for itself? We're like peripheral visionaries. We don't see what's in front of us more often than not. We see what's off to the sides. I just need to get them all together and put it together to be a band that is. That's all."
In a September interview with the Calgary Herald, Joe Perry revealed that he first learned that Tyler was going to be a judge on American Idol through the media — even though the band was on tour at the time. "We sat down not too long ago, when we decided to do this tour, and we basically laid out plans for the next two years," Perry said. "When you're sitting there talking about that and one of the band members knows full well he's signed a contract that's taking him out of the music business for seven months of the year — that kind of throws a wrench into things."
In the same interview, Perry once again raised the possibility of replacing Tyler with a new singer. "You've got four guys that are great together," he said. "If you find the right singer, there's no reason you can't go and entertain people."
At the time Perry had no kind words for American Idol. "It's a reality show designed to get people to watch that station and sell advertising," he said. "It's one step above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When we put this band together, this is not something that [Steven Tyler] would do. It's his business, but I don't want Aerosmith's name involved with it."