Bad boys of Boston are back - interview with Aerosmith's drummer Joey Kramer

Photo by Ross Halfin

They’re back! Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Brad Whitford (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Joey Kramer (drums) of Aerosmith are coming to Houston on July 30 for the Global Warming Tour at the Toyota Center. Tickets are still available at the Toyota Center box office, online at houstontoyotacenter.com and by phone at (866) 446-8849. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Aerosmith, who covers more than 40 years, last played Houston nearly two years ago – Aug. 5, 2010, to be exact – but more importantly are set to release new material for the first time in 11 years with Music from Another Dimension!, slated for an early November date. It’s the band’s first record of new tunes since Just Push Play in 2001.

There’s not a lot that hasn’t already been said about a band that’s sold more than 150 million albums (best-selling American rock band of all time), won a slew of Grammy Awards, battled adversity and still have the fire to produce great music, allowing their loyal fans to be blessed with more Aerosmith.

I had the pleasure to chat with Joey Kramer before the tour stops in Houston. The drummer, author and now coffee entrepreneur feels this is the best Aerosmith to date.

 

How has the tour been going?

Really well. The band is probably playing better than we ever have. Everyone is getting along, having fun on stage, and we are playing some new songs. This is probably the best Aerosmith show ever.

Did you ever imagine some 42 years ago Aerosmith would reach iconic status and be releasing new music in 2012?

Certainly not. Even today, we are swimming in foreign waters just as we were when we first started because nobody expected it to last this long. We love what we do so much, there’s really nothing for us to do.

A new record, ‘Music from Another Dimension!’ is scheduled for a fall release. What led to bringing producer Jack Douglas back into the mix? He’s produced, what, five albums for you guys with four coming in the ’70s?

We wanted to get back to the closest thing we sounded like when we recorded the likes of albums such as ‘Rocks’ and ‘Toys in the Attic.’ The best way to do that was to record the new album the same way we did back then, and Jack was a part of the equation. That, along with the band going into the studio, playing together in the same room and everybody participating in the songwriting. Between those three things, that is what we did, and what we came out with was the old Aerosmith spirit with new material. We had a bunch of stuff that was left over in the can from the likes of ‘Get a Grip,’ but we chose not to use any of that, instead coming up with all new material that you will hear on the record, which is fresh and new.

Any favorites on the new album?

I really don’t have one particular favorite. I really like ‘Love Three Times a Day’ and ‘Street Jesus.’ I am still loving them all.

I noticed a remake of ‘Shakey Ground,’ which was originally done by The Temptations. Why that particular song?

That was actually Steven’s idea. I think he heard the song and decided that he could sing the shit out of it and the band could play it. We love that kind of stuff, so we gave it a shot. It was originally going to be a bonus track for the Japan or European version of the album, but it came out so good we decided to use it.

With a large catalog of music, is it difficult to come up with a set list?

Oh yes. It’s really hard to please everyone all the time, but we try to. We usually switch out a few songs every night, but it’s very hard to do what we do, especially in a couple of hours on stage.

Of everything Aerosmith has accomplished, does any one moment stick in your mind?

I think right now, actually. This is a time where we are enjoying it more so than ever. I think it’s the first time ever I really get that; everyone realizes what it is that what we have, and I’m observing the gratitude that we all have, especially myself, for what I have in front of me. And for the fans to react to us and support us the way that they do — this is a great time right now.

Tell me about your Rockin’ & Roastin’ coffee that you have created.

It was something that I always wanted to do. I thought of it a long time ago, but never really had to the time or the energy to do it. It’s three different flavors — Sumatra, Ethiopia and Guatemala. I came up with those flavors with my travels around the world. The site where you can get it is at rockinandroastin.com, and we are working on some retail deals and I hope it will be in supermarkets soon. It’s fair trade coffee, USDA organic, and certified ‘shade grown’ so that it doesn’t destroy the rainforests. It’s some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, and I just want to share it with everybody else.

 

Website: aerosmith.com

Facebook: facebook.com/aerosmith

Twitter: @aerosmith

YouTube: youtube.com/aerosmith

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