Aerosmith frontman reveals album attempt crashed because he and Perry started using drugs again – but it saved their friendship
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler says the band’s shambolic attempt to make an album in 2008 collapsed because he and guitarist Joe Perry started using drugs again.
But the frontman says the situation threw up a terrible contrast: the once-celebrated Toxic Twins rekindled their friendship while they were high – but they couldn’t work as a band while they partied.
The Boston giants’ recent history is littered with near disaster. In 2009 Tyler fell off stage while under the influence of drugs, breaking his shoulder and forcing the band to cancel their tour with ZZ Top. Months later he announced he wanted to concentrate on his solo career, and his bandmates set about finding a replacement.
At the end of the year Tyler crashed a Perry solo show and told the crowd he wasn’t leaving Aerosmith. Months later the band settled their differences and hit the road again, with both Toxic Twins saying the situation had got out of hand, and hadn’t needed much conversation to repair.
Now the singer reveals the road to ruin started when he and his axeman revisited their drug usage – which led to the demise of attempts to record an album with producer Brendan O’Brien.
Tyler tells Rolling Stone: “It was just like 30 years before. I whipped out mine, he whipped out his and we got high together again.
“I said to Joe, ‘Wow, man, how you been? It’s been, what, 17 years since we got high together – and you’ve been running away from me ever since.”
But while the experience was positive for their friendship, it was the end of the album sessions. “Joe couldn’t play when he was high,” Tyler explains, “And I couldn’t sing, because I was snorting everything and it fucks up your throat.”
Aerosmith have scrapped the work they did in 2008 and last year started putting together a new record. But tensions haven’t completely evaporated between Tyler and his colleagues: especially when he told them he’d committed fully to the band, then announced he’d become a judge on TV gameshow American Idol.
But he insists it’s purely self-preservation. “I took the job to show the band that I can’t be held hostage any more,” he says. “The band can’t throw me out.”
Tyler’s first solo single, Feels So Good, is released next month, ahead of his autobiography Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?