News Segment


April 30, 2005

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – One major benefit of releasing his first solo album in 21 years is that Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry can finally stop having to answer the incessant question from fans, “When are you going to put out another one?”

The self-titled album, which features Perry on all instruments (except drums) and vocals, comes out May 3 on Columbia. He produced the album, and even co-mixed the CD, with assistance from Paul Caruso.

Part of the impetus to finally record a new solo record was the feedback Perry received on “Ten Years,” a midtempo ballad he wrote for his wife, Billie, to herald their 10th wedding anniversary. Although he never intended for fans to hear the song, when he played it for friends they encouraged him to show the public his sensitive side, despite his reluctance.

Additional courage to pursue the project came from a strange place. “Howard Stern said when he starts twinging inside when he’s talking about something, he knows (he’s) hitting a taboo subject and he knows he’s doing good radio,” Perry says. “And I thought about that as far as being an artist goes: I guess whenever you show a piece of yourself that you’re a little scared to show or a little sensitive about, you’re treading on ground that’s actually important for the listener because it’s real.”


For inspiration for the album, Perry turned to the best. After preparation for Aerosmith’s last album, “Honkin’ on Bobo,” led him to delve back into his old blues records, Perry turned to the literary classics. “I didn’t go to college, I wasn’t exposed to much other than what came my way, which wasn’t much.” He read Hemingway, Keats and other masters as he wrote.

While making the album, Perry also had to deal with the shifting dynamics of recording a solo album versus an Aerosmith album, which are legendarily difficult endeavors. “A solo album has its own batch of problems,” Perry says. “I had to spend more time digging down. There’s a good side to working with four other guys, but you have to sublimate part of your own ego to work in that environment. With a solo album, you can put too much of yourself into it and think everything’s great and it’s not. That’s probably the scariest part of it.”

But soon, the album demanded to be born. “I had all these songs, but I didn’t plan on doing a record,” Perry says. “I thought if I had another year and another $100,000 to spend on it, I’d take this batch of songs, play with a band, work with Rick Rubin, but it felt like it was time.”

The first single, the stomping “Shakin’ the Cage,” was released to active and heritage rock radio stations on April 12.

Perry will play a few live gigs to support the release, but his day job beckons. Aerosmith goes back on the road this fall before starting work on a new studio album. In tandem with the tour, Columbia will release a live album recorded primarily at Hard Rock’s the Joint in Las Vegas in 2004.

Courtesy of