PHOTO: Tim Mosenfelder | Getty Images
Rumors that Aerosmith are looking to replace frontman Steven Tyler have been swirling since the singer launched his country music solo career last year.
Signs of discontent among the band members have been made public in recent months, with guitarist Joe Perry saying he and his bandmates take a dim view of Tyler’s solo music and career plans.
Those rumors got a boost last week when Brad Whitford, Perry’s coguitarist, told Metal Rules Aerosmith have been talking about the possibility of finding a new singer.
“Absolutely, we have considered it,” Whitford said. “But whether it will happen, I don’t know.”
Now Perry has come forth now to say the band is not looking to replace Tyler, despite any signs of tension between the lead singer and the group.
“Any rumor out there about us looking for another singer is completely untrue,” Perry says. “All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City.”
That rumor aside, the band’s future has not looked very good in recent months. In early April, Tyler hinted that Aerosmith’s next tour could be its last.
“I’m doing 30 [solo] shows from May until August,” he told Rolling Stone. “And then in 2017 we go out with Aerosmith. We’re probably doing a farewell tour.”
That led Perry to issue a clarification that the possibility of a final tour had been discussed for a long time and was not a new development.
“A farewell tour is something we’ve talked about doing for years, let’s say roughly in the last five years,” Perry said. “It’s just something the band’s talked about at various times. At this point, the five of us have never sat down and said, ‘It’s time to do it.’ So ‘considering’ is an appropriate word for that statement. A farewell tour is definitely not confirmed.”
At present, Aerosmith have booked a fall tour in South American, after which it will decide its next move.
“We’re talking about some different options at this point,” Perry says. “Whether it’s to do some shorter tours like the last couple we’ve done or go into the studio and knock a few songs out and see how that feels, I’m not sure yet. But right now we’re really taking time off from the band and everybody’s off doing their own thing.”
Perry has been working with Hollywood Vampires, his “supergroup” featuring pal Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper. Their self-titled debut album came out last year.
Tyler’s new career as a country crooner has met with early success. “Love Is Your Name,” the lead single from his album, landed in the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart last year.
His good fortunes have not sat well with his bandmates, however. Perry told USA Today that he and his bandmates are “not happy” about it, and he said he was not impressed by Tyler’s solo music.
“Hey, if I didn’t know him when I heard the song I’d go, ‘It’s okay, next,’ ” Perry said. “I’m not going to say anything else about that.”
“Steven is in Nashville doing whatever he’s doing,” he added. “He’s got a rhinestone cowboy hat going, ‘Yippee ki yay.’ I don’t know what else to say about that.”
In response, Tyler told TMZ that Perry was suffering from “jealousy” but added, “I really, really, couldn’t be here doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for Joe Perry. It’s a strange catch-22, but if you slow down enough you get to see it. It’s as obvious as balls on a tall dog. I wouldn’t be anywhere without those guys, so I’m as grateful as I can be.”