An inside look at Aerosmith’s ‘Another Dimension’

From left: Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, and Joey Kramer promoting their new album in West Hollywood earlier this year.
From left: Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, and Joey Kramer promoting their new album in West Hollywood earlier this year.

They’ve have had their differences over the years, but the members of Aerosmith are nothing if not perseverant.

After a couple of botched attempts with different producers and a whole host of major band dramas, the Boston rockers will finally release their first album of new material in 11 years on Tuesday with “Music From Another Dimension!”

The band — frontman Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bass player Tom Hamilton, and drummer Joey Kramer — will celebrate the album’s release with an outdoor show at 1325 Commonwealth Ave., the address where the band members once lived, Monday at noon.


Earlier this year the Globe spoke with Tyler, Perry, Hamilton, and “Dimension!” coproducer Jack Douglas — who helmed the band’s acclaimed early albums including “Rocks” and “Toys in the Attic” as well as 2004’s mostly covers release, “Honkin’ on Bobo”— about the album, its genesis, and various tracks. Many of the tunes were penned by the band, while others were co-written with collaborators including Douglas, Jim Vallance, Desmond Child, and Marti Frederiksen, who also coproduced a few tracks. Top 40 hit machine Diane Warren contributed a song as well.

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The group began writing and recording last summer here in Massachusetts — at the band’s space in Hanover and Perry’s home studio, the Boneyard — and continued work earlier this year in Los Angeles during Tyler’s stint as a judge on “American Idol.”


Douglas: For the most part, this record is really hard, dirty, funky, R&B-based rock. It has very deep grooves. Steven writes about the things that he knows best, which are sex and heartbreak. And all of it’s done with really good humor, very sharp-witted and very tongue-in-cheek.

Hamilton: You know, we never sat down and talked about what we wanted the record to sound like and what kind of texture we wanted it to have. We just went song by song and when a cool riff came up, we pursued it.


Perry: It was really inspiring because he was always on his game coming back from “Idol.” We’d wait for him in the studio and he’d show up and he’d be ready to wail.


Tyler: The last four months [of recording] is when I moved into a hotel room with a couple of speakers and a [expletive] of notepads and I wrote lyrics to things that just weren’t there. Like Joe said, I would do “Idol” and that was six hours, and two hours live on TV and then go to the studio and spend another 6 hours and then come back to the room at 3 and that’s when the best stuff would come. It’s just magic.

Hamilton: I admire the way he got to a point and just went into this super-focused mode and we wound up having songs with vocals a month later.


Douglas: You know how “Rocks” started with “Back in the Saddle” and you thought, “Whoa, OK, I get that”? This one starts that way.


Tyler: Brad started jamming in the studio and we wrote this song. . . .It was [originally called] “Sweet Jesus” but after going to work every day at “Idol,” I’d go across the Sunset Strip and there’d be this guy in a robe with his long hair looking just like Jesus, and so one thing led to another.


Douglas: I was considering that song for a long time, but I wanted to make sure I got all of the good [original] stuff from the band, the real deal stuff. I was thinking, “Jeez, should I spring a big mushy ballad on them, even though it’s just gorgeous?” Much later, it was Joe who brought up the song. Joe, he’s a hard rocker, and he said, “That Diane Warren song is really beautiful, what are you thinking?” And I said “Man, I kind of had that in my back pocket the whole time.” Joe was totally into doing it, and of course Steven already loved the song. (Warren also penned the band’s fan-dividing number-one hit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”)



Hamilton: It’s crunchy on the outside with a chewy center. (Laughs.)

Douglas: At some point Steven was digging around like, let’s go look in the attic and see what’s left over.

Perry: I can remember writing the first riff to that in Rik Tinory’s [Cohasset] rehearsal room 20 years ago. Just that riff, so it’s been kicking around.

Tyler: It’s been tossed around for most of the albums we did up in Vancouver, but it just never felt right. When you have songs you’re working on they’ve got to make sense. They’ve got to be able to dance with the other songs, and that one didn’t. It was one of the first ones we evoked working with Jack again. It’s hard to keep away from crazy new stuff, but we knew we wanted to stay true to our roots and evoke some of that stuff.

Douglas: I pointed out that most of these things had already been bootlegged and downloaded, but maybe we could get away with one. At that point we were still struggling to come up with material, so anything to just get going. It was: Here’s a song that already has lyrics, there’s a melody line. So we re-recorded it. We changed some lyrics. We updated the arrangement but basically it’s a song that was conceived in that period of time.

Tyler: When Joe and I started playing it again and getting into the grind of that lick and started working and I threw lyrics on it, I remember the moment looking at Joe and saying, “Holy [expletive] we’re back.” That was the spark that fanned the flames of this album, and that’s why it’s “Music From Another Dimension!” because once that happened we pulled songs out of the air.

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