Legendary guitarist Joe Perry had a pretty simple reason for releasing Have Guitar, Will Travel, his fifth solo album: He had tons of material lying around — the kind of stuff that would make most axmen quake in their boots — so, he figured, why not?
“Like about 2 million other guitar players out there, I had all these riffs. And I figured I should do something with them, so my wife would have something she could put out if my motorcycle hit a tree,” he laughed. “So by finishing off the stuff, I figured I’d have something to leave besides a bunch of guitars … and I wanted to get out there and play, so I recorded it with a band, to make it sound live, we want to make it the soundtrack to a live show.”
So he revived his on-again, off-again side band — the Joe Perry Project — to do just that, but with a full slate of Aerosmith activity on the horizon, Perry wasn’t sure when he’d be able to take the group (and his new album) on the road. But then, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler took an onstage tumble.
“I planned on doing [my band] after the Aerosmith calendar was clear and the Aerosmith record was done and the tour was done and we’d take our usual break. But as the album got postponed, I thought, ‘I got to get in the studio and start doing this,’ ” Perry explained. “I got enough time to finish this record before starting the tour. And I was fortunate that I did, because the whole tour got canceled.”
So now, with Aerosmith effectively off the road — they have a pair of Hawaiian gigs slated for this weekend, and that’s about it — and no new album on the horizon, Perry is free to focus on playing (and promoting) Have Guitar. And, from the sound of things, that’s not going to be changing anytime soon.
“Well, from where I sit, and from the latest I have heard from the other guys … I talk to the three guys probably every week or 10 days or so, because we have a couple of gigs left to do. We’re gonna be on indefinite hiatus, I think, at this point,” Perry said. “We need some time apart. For myself, it’s worked out great, because I’ve got this project going, and I’m getting all kinds of offers to do things I would normally have to turn down. … Being in charge of the ship, I can say, ‘Well, we’re not going to work that night. I’m gonna go do this show.’
“I think that Aerosmith needs some time apart to get back into the same headspace of making the record,” he continued. “We need to do a great studio record, and I want to do with an A-list producer. … I think we need some space at this point. That’s from me. You’ll have to ask everybody else and ask Steven what he thinks, but that’s where I’m at.”
MTV News wasn’t able to reach an Aerosmith spokesperson for comment by press time.