It may have seemed difficult to imagine Aerosmith not returning with a new album at some point. But it became clear during a mid-October teleconference interview with singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry that the band’s future was in serious question at some points — especially about three years ago.
That’s when Tyler fell off the stage at an August 2009 show in Sturgis, S.D., breaking his shoulder and hurting his neck and head, prematurely ending an Aerosmith tour.
The rest of the band reportedly was angry at Tyler for the fall and for losing what was shaping up as a successful tour.
Tyler, meanwhile, was upset that his Aerosmith bandmates did not communicate with him more or provide more support in the aftermath of his injuries. That November, Perry announced that Tyler had left Aerosmith.
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But soon after, Tyler joined the Joe Perry Project on stage at a show in New York City and said he was not leaving Aerosmith.
Sure enough, in 2010, Aerosmith returned to the road for a 40-date tour.
But then came more questions in fall 2010 when reports surfaced that Tyler was working on a solo album. Then he announced he was joining “American Idol” as a judge.
Around this period, Tyler also flirted with becoming the singer for a possible Led Zeppelin reunion tour.
But by summer 2011, Aerosmith — with Tyler — began work on “Music From Another Dimension.” And that fall, Aerosmith toured Latin America and Japan.
Any further questions about Aerosmith’s future evaporated this past spring when the band announced its summer “Global Warming Tour” — which comes to Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena on Sunday. Then in July, Tyler revealed that he was leaving “American Idol” after two seasons.
So, what happened?
Tyler said the five members of Aerosmith (guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer round out the lineup) decided to put aside their differences. Simple as that.
“After I fell off the stage at Sturgis, and there was a lot of tumultuous times where during my time of healing I didn’t feel like I got any love from the boys, and so I just, I needed to heal. And they were busy out trying to find another lead singer so they could go on tour and make some money,” Tyler said. “So when I finally got right with it, I just called up and said, ‘Come on, let’s not be foolish here.’ ”
“It was all for the sake of forgiveness,” he said.
In a sense, “Music From Another Dimension” was more of a pure band album than recent releases such as “Just Push Play” (2001) and “Nine Lives” (1997). On those albums, Tyler and Perry did considerable co-writing with Marti Frederiksen, Mark Hudson and other outside tunesmiths.
Tyler and Perry wrote with some outside writers (including Frederiksen and Jim Vallance) on the new CD. But the other band members got back into the act as songwriters.
“This album, we started working on Tom’s songs, and we got a couple,” Tyler said. “And Brad’s song, ‘Street Jesus,’ and Joey’s got a song (‘Closer’), and I got a bunch, and Joe came in with three, and it was more of a band endeavor, is what I’m trying to get at here. So everybody was on fire with the fact that we were doing this together and as a band.”
The finished album is a long one — 15 songs — that has a bit of a split personality. There are several raucous rockers (“Oh Yeah,” “Legendary Child” and “Lover Alot” that bring back memories of “Toys in the Attic” and “Rocks,” the two mid-1970s albums that rocketed Aerosmith to its first wave of major success. Other songs, including “We All Fall Down” and “What Could Have Been Love,” are more reminiscent of the poppier power ballads that were part of Aerosmith’s second wave of success.
With its deep catalog of hits and fan favorites, Aerosmith probably can’t play as many new songs as the band might like. But it is making room for a decent sampling of new material in its shows in November and December.