Katz: You toured last year and you're going out again. Why so soon?
Perry: We usually let more time go between tours. But I feel a band is really a band when it's onstage. As you go through life, everybody has different interests. You can go through weeks where you don't really talk. We've all got our name on the recording contract and we've got the same manager, but it's not really a band until you play together.
Katz: You've been getting so many honors lately - an MTV Icon event, the American Music Awards' International Artist Award, headlining the World Cup soccer concert in Tokyo. Are you touring to keep the hot streak going?
Perry: The main reason is that we had so much fun on the last tour. We were hitting peaks. It made me realize we have to keep this going. Plus, it's not like we have another 20 years of hot rocking. So I don't want to take five years off. We're late bloomers. I'm a much better guitar player now than I was in 1975. (Guitarist) Brad (Whitford), (bassist) Tom (Hamilton), (drummer) Joey (Kramer), we're all better now. We're the best band we've ever been. Some people have their hot creative streak at the beginning of their career. For us, I think it's the opposite. We're feeling that we have a better song to write, a better record to make and the best show is yet to come. That sounds like (expletive), but it's the truth.
Katz: The new greatest hits set points out the fact that Aerosmith actually had more big hits in the '90s than in the '70s.
Perry: It's an interesting thing. We had some hot years in the '70s when we were really young. So when we put it back together in the' 80s, we weren't that old. We fit in with that MTV thing. It really was a good platform for us to start rebuilding. The ball's been rolling pretty steady since then. . . . If I'm not working for Aerosmith, I'm down here in my studio making music. I look at it like if my car hits a tree, my wife will have something to put out. But to do a solo record at this point, there's just too much going on with Aerosmith.
Katz: So there could be a Joe Perry basement CD someday?
Perry: Yeah, and I may not have to hit a tree to get it done. . . . I finally decided I'm going to do a small production company and try to facilitate some baby bands getting signed. I've just heard too many good demos go by my desk and through my CD player. It's something I've wanted to do for a while and finally I feel the people around us are supportive of those kinds of things. We don't have a lot of self-serving stuff in our inner circle now. We're encouraged to do things. If Brad wants to go off and race his F-1 on the weekends, he does it. We can all have our different interests.
Katz: When I spoke with Steven an hour ago he mentioned the possibility of an Aerosmith blues album, which is something you told me you were thinking of doing five years ago.
Perry: It's going to happen. I didn't really have a picture in my mind of what it would be back then. Would we cover Muddy Waters' songs? Artistically, I didn't see it. Now I do. I can feel it's going to work. After we get off the road in six months, we can do this thing early next year.
Katz: Will you take a vacation first?
Perry: You know what? If I'm not on the beach in Florida for a couple of weeks, I'm in the studio anyway. The band is going to keep rolling. I'm inspired, and inspired to do this blues thing. A few weeks off is nice, butt here's nothing else I want to do. Man, I'm just starting to get good.