Joe Perry Interview

As lead guitarist for Aerosmith, Joe Perry saw platinum records and S.R.O. crowds. Then in October '79, Joe Perry left Aerosmith to put together his own group - the Joe Perry Project. They've released two albums on Columbia Records with a third on the way.
We talked with Joe Perry following the release of his second and most recent album, "I've Got the Rock 'n Rolls Again."

Q. Back in the Aerosmith days, you supposedly hated the road. If that's true, why did you put together this group and go back on the road again?
A. The thing about the road I didn't like was staying over in towns other than Boston and not playing. You see Aerosmith played on the average three days a week. The other four days we'd be stuck in some off the wall town, 'cause it would be too expensive to fly home. Now I'd just as soon go out on the road for six weeks, play every night of the week, and then go home. That's my job. That's my gig. That's my career.

Q. Why couldn't you have played your music in "Aerosmith"? why'd you leave?
A. It was a hierarchy of vibes. It was sort of like everybody's mind was on some other thing. We wore ourselves out over the years. I was getting frustrated with only playing six shows in six months. It was driving me crazy, one show a month. I was frustrated with "The Night on the Ruts" album taking so long to gel done. My leaving wasn't a cut and dried thing. I had a few reservations about it, but I never looked back. The image of "Aerosmith" was supposed to be Steven Tyler as the driving force, but you can see what they've done since I left and that's nothing. I've released two albums, working on a third, been around the country once, and I've been working a lot. You can draw your own conclusions as to where (he power was.

Q. Do you see yourself as a guitarist who is constantly improving?
A. I think, my technique is still developing. I'm always looking for new things to do. I think what's developing more is my songwriting and that's a big part of it too.

Q. Have you ever seen a guitarist who maybe is as good or better than you and realize he will never get the breaks yon got?
A. It's not just a matter of being good. It's a matter 'if being in the right place at the right time and making sure you're in the right place at the right time. There's also a lot of hard work involved. There have been guitar players in bands that opened for Aerosmith that 1 would see sometimes that have more technique than me, or more scoring, or whatever. It takes more than that. It's applying what you know to entertain people. It's the whole performance.

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