Aerosmith's Brad Whitford: A Bunch Of Volatile Guys:

BY Jeb Wright

Two Thousand and Twelve is proving to be an exciting year for Aerosmith. The band is back on the road and has a new album is in the can, just waiting to be released. Even more exciting for classic rock fans is the fact that Aerosmith have Cheap Trick onboard as their opening act. Brad Whitford, a huge Cheap Trick fan, exclaims his excitement for the show, “I think Aerosmith and Cheap Trick are my personal favorite package. We’ve had some good openers over the years, but I think Cheap Trick is just amazing. They have so many great tunes and they are a great live band. They bring the house down night after night. It is a great opportunity for them and for us.”

Indeed, the hits preformed at a Cheap Trick and Aerosmith concert include many of the most iconic songs of the last 35 years. Whitford admits, however, that fitting all of Aerosmith’s most beloved songs into one show is impossible, “We normally play about two hours in concert and that allows you to do around twenty songs, and that makes it hard to pick. We have 100 plus to pick from and to narrow it down to twenty is not easy. It makes it impossible to play everything that people want to hear, but we try to make it fair and include stuff from most eras of Aerosmith. Some albums get overlooked and certain songs get overlooked, as that is the nature of the beast.”

To make things even tougher on America’s favorite hard rock band, Aerosmith have a new album in the can and want to promote it during the tour. They are currently performing the first single from the upcoming album, “Legendary Child,” as well as another tune that Whitford is excited about, “We do one new song called ‘Oh Yeah’ and we have a lot of fun playing that song. It is a song that has a good old fashioned Joe Perry rock riff and those are always a lot of fun to play. We included that song to sort of test the waters and people are liking it. It translates really well live because it is straight ahead rock.”

Whitford explains the recent rumors that Steven Tyler may have to cancel some gigs due to health reasons, “Steven always goes above and beyond. He gives 110% every show. A lot of times, he ends up pushing his throat a little more than he should, but he is like a racehorse, you can’t hold him back.” In fact, the entire band is as excited as Tyler to be on the road in 2012. “We are all still here and we all still want to do it. Right now, Aerosmith sounds better than I have ever heard us sound. I really think everybody in the band feels like I do.”

The new album, Music From Another Dimension, originally to be released this August, has been pushed back to November, perhaps to take advantage of the Christmas Season holiday buying public. No matter what the release date, Aerosmith fans are excited to hear the new tunes, as the band has teamed up with Jack Douglas, who produced such Aerosmith classics as Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, Rocks and Draw the Line. When asked if working with Jack in 2012 was any different than it was in the 1970’s, Whitford admits, “It is like putting on your favorite pair of old slippers and settling down. It is always a very comfortable and creative situation when we work with Jack. He has a great way of helping us with all of these tremendous musical ideas that we come up with. He is able to coalesce them into something that is meaningful and the result is true Aerosmith.”

Whitford goes on to explain that the upcoming release may be the best complete collection of songs Aerosmith has ever released on one album, “The album came out even better than we even hoped for and we are really pleased about it. When we work with Jack, what we get is a true representation of the classic Aerosmith sound. It has a little bit of everything that we have always liked to do on a record – or a collection of songs, or whatever they call it nowadays. I still call it a record. It might be one of our best collections of songs ever. We find ourselves listening to it quite a bit and we are still pretty impressed by it. Usually, by this stage of the game, sometimes you’re not sure of this, or that, but with this one, we are very confident. It has all of the elements that we brought to even our first album. There is a lot of good old fashioned garage rock and there are some beautiful ballads and, to me, it seems like it’s all there.”

At the end of the day, the band may be excited about the new music, but don’t think everything is peachy keen within the band. It is well documented that certain members of the band prefer to stay more current while others, Whitford included, prefer the guitar oriented hard rock of early Aerosmith. One thing is for sure, maturity has not put out the fire to make new music, or to argue about the direction of the band. Whitford confesses, “I am not sure how we do it. We all have the passion to keep doing this and that passion makes everybody want to do the best job that they can. A lot of times, someone will have a different idea and we have to flush all of that out and find the best approach for the certain song, as well as for an entire album. We have to work at it because it is not always peaceful, because sometimes, you have to fight for an idea. We are a pretty volatile group of guys and everybody is passionate and committed. It is not always as smooth, or as easy, as you think it can be. Sometimes it gets a little rocky but it has been that way since day one and, at this point, I would guess that it will never change.”

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