Steven Tyler's claims that Aerosmith will be launching a final tour next year are simply "an option," guitarist Joe Perry tells Rolling Stone. "I always hold my breath whenever Steven does an interview on his own," he says with a laugh.
Nevertheless, the guitarist – who is indecisive about the prospect of a final tour – says the odds are in favor of a farewell. "It could be the last," Perry says. "But it's really hard for me to imagine a last gig. Sorry."
The band first discussed the idea of doing a final tour a decade ago but it felt premature then, he says. But they've toyed with the idea since. The guitarist thinks that when Aerosmith regroup this fall for a short run, the band will feel rejuvenated and he hopes that that feeling will guide them. "The band gets better and better," he says. "It will probably be called the final tour, but I play every night like it's the last show anyway. Calling it that will definitely give a different flavor to this. … And who knows what's in the stars."
Regardless of whether or not the group calls its next trek a final tour, Perry says the band could still make records.
At this point, though, he cannot come to terms with the notion of a farewell tour. "I don't know how it sits with me yet," he says. "To actually call it a 'final tour' and think I'm not going to look over and see Brad [Whitford] and see Steven out there. It's really hard for me to imagine that.
"It's kind of like writing an autobiography," he says. "I always put it off because it's like, 'Hey, there's more to come,' but if anything does happen after we're done with this, I can write another one." Perry laughs. "I can write a new edition and add more. But at this point in our lives and our career, maybe it is time to say, 'OK, it's the end of this era, but a new era is on the horizon.' So I don't know if I'm comfortable saying 'final tour' and making a big deal out of it, but we'll see what happens. If it was going to happen, we're closer to it than, say, any other time in our insane career."
Despite his apprehensions about fully embracing the concept of a final tour, Perry says "it's a good possibility [the upcoming trek] could be that." He says that embarking on something that's billed as a "final tour" would add a different vibe to Aerosmith's legacy, at least for him.
"I look at it more as a benchmark in our career," Perry says. "We've done just about everything else, so we might as well try this. We'll see what happens."
Tyler – who is currently promoting his debut solo album, the country-focused We're All Somebody From Somewhere out next month – resolutely told Howard Stern earlier this month, "[Aerosmith] are doing a farewell tour, but only because it's time." When asked if Perry was aware of the plans, the singer said, "Mmhmm." And regarding how long it could last, he said "probably forever" and laughed.
Meanwhile, Perry is on the road with the supergroup Hollywood Vampires, which also features Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, among others. He's also recording what could become a Perry solo album that will feature Iggy Pop, David Johansen and Terry Reid, among other guests.