INTERVIEW: Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton

For a while there it looked like Aerosmith were done. Steven Tyler had fallen off the wagon (and subsequently the stage), and at some point he was in consideration for a proposed Led Zeppelin tour in the absence of an unenthusiastic Robert Plant. Along the way bass player Tom Hamilton was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer (he recovered but the cancer returned last year, and after treatment he’s recovering well). And of course Tyler went off and took a job as a judge on American Idol too. When the band finally reconvened and hit the studio, the question was “Which Aerosmith will be making an album? The 70s bluesy rockers? The 80s/90s hard rock superstars? The FM smash balladeers?” It turns out the answer was “All of them.” Music From Another Dimension! manages to have something to appeal to fans of all three of the band’s main eras, and with 15 tracks on the standard edition it’s pretty much a case of “If you don’t like the ballads, there’s plenty of the other stuff.” Whether intentional or not, Aerosmith seems to have found a way to please everyone.

Hi Tom!

Hi! Have you had a chance to listen to the record?

Yeah! I like that there’s three Aerosmiths here – the 70s feel, the 80s/90s stuff and the ballads. Something for everyone who likes something about Aerosmith.

Yeah, I noticed that’s how it came out. Every era of our career is represented. I don’t think it was a conscious decision. We’ve learned that it’s so much about songs, and we’ve dipped into different styles throughout our career. What always comes back is it’s all about songs. We want to have really kickin’ drums and blasting guitars, and Steven singing amazing vocals. And I’m a musician so sometimes I’ll listen to music just for the bass player, but not that often. I really believe that the song is the thing.

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NEWS: Zakk Wylde to rock American Idol

Now this I gotta see. Zakk Wylde will be on American Idol tonight performing with James Durbin. I’m not sure what they’re gonna play but it’s sure to be heavy and laden with many a pinch harmonic. Will they do an Ozzy or Sabbath song? Or something else? Tune in to find out! [EDIT: The performance just happened and they played “Heavy Metal” by Sammy Hagar. Vote for James and Zakk here!]. Zakk tried to get on Dancing With The Stars recently but didn’t make the list – maybe this’ll push him over the edge for next season.

Durbin tweeted from rehearsals: “Who’s ready? Hurt my knees during rehearsal..but nothing will stop me from doing my best for you! LET’S ROCK N ROLL!!!!! \m/” You can follow him on Twitter here.

Check out my most recent interview with Zakk here.