Among dozens of awards and achievements throughout their career, hard rock pioneers Aerosmith have earned many labels, including ‘America’s greatest rock and roll band’. They are the country’s highest-selling rock band of all time, having gone gold and multi-platinum more than any other group in the USA.
40 years into their career and the five men are still rocking harder than ever before with a brand new album, Music From Another Dimension!, that has been unleashed upon the world, their first studio record since 2004’s Honkin’ On Bobo.
The grandfathers of hard rock are gracing Australian shores for the first time in 24 years this month for a couple of special shows on the east coast. After originally scheduled to play a headliner in Sydney, the almighty Aerosmith jumped on the premiere bill of Stone Music Festival.
The debut two-day festival will showcase some big names but the addition of Aerosmith makes for a very special co-headliner bill when they join Van Halen on the Saturday night for their one-off Australian show; added only weeks before the festival commences at ANZ Stadium.
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton is “psyched to come back to Australia,” and justifies their extremely late-notice addition to Stone Music Festival as the band “[wanting] to do something really spectacular” in Australia for reparations of their absence.
“The shows are going to be absolutely incredible,” states Hamilton confidently.
With a very extensive back catalogue, the veteran rockers are “just trying to figure out what perfect setlist we can play but we’ll never get to that,” Hamilton says with humility.
“So there will be a lot of guesswork but we want to master it because a lot of people have been waiting a very long time.” He is assuring that the classic tracks will be thrown in that Australian fans have been wanting to hear live for decades.
As for their newer material, from last year’s Music From Another Dimension, Aerosmith will be playing some of their newer songs among the sea of hits. “We were playing a few different ones on our tour in the States and we’re probably going to play 2-3 songs from the new album [in Australia],” Hamilton reveals.
But the innovators of hard rock are bringing more than just a sharply defined setlist down under. “We like to bring as large a production [set] as possible.”
Hamilton claims they’re bringing down the absolute maximum set-up to Australia. “It’s an exciting light show with a giant video screen” – a luxury to a live show that the band did not have in the early days: “We love all the visuals and the lightshow.”
Whilst Hamilton is impressed with the technology in production nowadays, he wants to have it all, “like when the lights are moving and changing to the beat of the music, the atmosphere is even more sensual and exciting.”
Hamilton describes these effects like he has never been exposed to them before – at least he doesn’t take the production for granted.
“Many years ago, these lights were the big thing in California where you take acid and they (the bands) do some super freaky lighting designs during the gig,” explains Hamilton, “I think that really started the concept of lighting.”
Obviously with a brief run of shows on the east coast, there are some unhappy campers scattered over the country. “It comes down to the economics so much because it’s very expensive to come down to Australia,” reasons the bassist, noting the band adheres to the logistics of touring. “We’d like to be there for a month playing everywhere but it can’t always go the way you want it to.”
“Hopefully the shows that we do play get people so excited that we come back to play more shows in the near future,” he adds.
Maybe we’ll see Aerosmith ‘walk this way’ back to Australia sooner than we think. After correcting the bassist on how to pronounce the capital city of Western Australia, we can cross our fingers and hope for the best.
With vocalist Steve Tyler is no longer caught up with his judging commitments to American Idol, it has freed up more of the band’s time so they are able to come to places like Australia, says Hamilton, which they have neglected for so long.
Hamilton is also very proud of Tyler’s efforts on the mainstream musical talent show. “Steven did a cool thing on that program,” he says, but left after some time to continue commitments to Aerosmith.
“I knew he was going to be good on that show because there’s a lot of his personality that we in the band have seen for years,” a personality that the public had not previously seen.
“His sense of humour and quirky personality has always been hidden to audiences,” Hamilton continues.
So after conquering the music world, are cameos and celebrity appearances all that’s left for Aerosmith? Most certainly not – “I am looking to go back into the studio and do another record but under certain conditions,” Hamilton teases.
The bassist is not looking to perfect any future music produced and “examining every single detail of a record.” He hopes instead to just have some fun with his bandmates, or as he visions it, simply “slap on the bass, get the drums rockin’ and the guitars blazing with Steve on those vocals with melodies and harmonies.”
Sounds like a reasonable request for a band that definitely has nothing to prove to anyone.
Before Aerosmith get stuck into a new record though, they’ve still got some touring to get out of the way first. “We didn’t think we would be doing a lot this year but it turns out there are a lot of shows coming up.”
When ‘the bad boys from Boston’ wind up their Australian tour, they will be “going to places we’ve never been to before, like New Zealand, Jakarta, and Manila.”
There is also the possibility of a Japanese tour on the cards, “and then we’ll be going to South America after a few brief shows in the US,” Hamilton adds. “We’ll actually be home for a lot of the time but definitely will be doing a lot of work throughout the year for sure.”
Some may say they’re getting old, but their attitude seems to be that age is just a number.
Music From Another Dimension! is out now through Columbia Records. Aerosmith’s Australian tour kicks off at Stone Music Festival on Saturday 20th April, co-headlining with Van Halen, full dates and details below.
Aerosmith Australian Tour 2013 Dates
All tickets go on sale from 12 noon on Monday 4th March from the below outlets.
Exclusive premium tickets & packages are available now from http://www.showbiz.com.au
Wednesday 1 May – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, BRISBANE
ph: 132 849
Saturday 4 May – Rod Laver Arena, MELBOURNE
ph: 132 849