Interview: Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on new ‘Music From Another Dimension’

Aerosmith has a pretty good track record with songs in Bruce Willis movies. Remember a little hit called “I Don”t Want To Miss a Thing” from 1998″s “Armageddon?” The song gave the band its first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

They are reuniting with Willis for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” which will feature Aerosmith”s “Legendary Chid,” both within the movie and as the end title. They band debuted the crunchy rocker (embedded below) on Wednesday night”s  “American Idol” finale with little fanfare and no announcement about its tie in with the movie. Undoubtedly, this was because the same day the group was officially set to announce the news, Paramount said it was  pushing the movie”s opening from June 29 to  March 29, 2013 in order to convert the film to 3D.

[More after the jump…]

Earlier this week, Hitfix talked to Tyler and Joe Perry in anticipation of the announcement (and before the movie”s date changed). In our interview, they revealed much more than that, including the album title for their first studio album since 2004″s “Honkin” on Bobo.” “Music From Another Dimension” will come out Aug. 28. As we previously reported, it is produced by Jack Douglas, who produced such legendary Aerosmith albums as 1975″s “Toys in the Attic” and 1976″s “Rocks”; Marti Frederiksen, who has been part of the band”s resurgence since the mid-90s; Tyler and Perry.

Any evidence of past strife seemed far away as Tyler and Perry congenially joked on the phone, brimming with enthusiasm about the new album and getting back on the road.

HITFIX: “Legendary Child” was originally written around 1993″s “Get a Grip.” How did it get resurrected for the new album and for “G.I. Joe?”

It was a sketch back then, it was a thumbnail sketch. Someone leaked it to the internet, it got out there… We were jamming it with Jack and so forth. I re-wrote lyrics and it became “Legendary Child,” about Aerosmith. This thing came along with the movie, which [features] Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson, the Rock, and Channing Tatum and all these people who play legendary parts and we just thought that fits perfect. I rewrote the lyrics for this project, but when you hear it, you”ll see that it”s about us and our career. But it really goes hand in hand with the movie, that”s all, it”s just one of those things that works great.

HITFIX: The band, Bruce Willis, and movies have a pretty good track record, don”t you?

PERRY:  I think that…the age of just slapping songs into movies, that”s done. This one, it works. And it wasn”t something they were looking for when we first got together-to put a rock song in the movie. But after they heard the music, it worked up against the video. I saw a daily, and the whole vibe and the whole energy of the movie just seemed to work with the vibe of the song, the strut, the rock, the whole thing. It wasn”t some kind of thing where the promotion department said, “Let”s put this band with this movie and it”s going to be great.” This really was a case where the art brought it together.

HITFIX: Are you the two co-writers?

PERRY: The song was in bits and pieces. One of the riffs I can remember writing at least 20 years ago, so every time I play that part of the song, it brings me back to almost 20 years of this thing drifting around in Aerosmith-land, but never actually making it to vinyl or digital or whatever you call it.

As songwriters, that must be gratifying to know the riff just needed to find the right home, it wasn”t a lost child,

PERRY: Well, they never are…It”s like every riff has its day and with this record we”ve had a chance to bring a lot of these things up to light.

HITFIX: A younger crowd has learned about Aerosmith through Steven”s role on “American Idol.” Will that help bring a new audience to this album?

Listen, just doing what we do, we put it together one day at a time. We”re a band and a band is a bunch of guys who make music from day to day. We”re not the kind of band that doesn”t talk to each other for five years and then gets together for a tour and goes out and plays all their old songs and we”re basically we”re a cover band for our own music. We look at ourselves as a live, vital band that”s always evolving. It”s just a matter of doing it from day to day.

Here we are, we”re getting ready to go out and put out another record. We hope it”s better than the last one. It”s not as good as the next one and we”re going to get out there and play the best we can. We know what”s going to happen is we”re going to see a batch of new people. There are certainly people who have followed Steven on “American Idol” and have never seen the band live, so, yeah, it”s always exciting. Back when we did “Armageddon,” there were a lot of people who came to see us play live who had never seen us before.

Here you are more than 40 years in to your career and you”re saying this album is “not as good as the next one,” meaning there”s no resting on your laurels. You stay hungry.

TYLER:  Every time we [get together], we cause a 9.5 on the Richter and that”s the good news….One of the things that amazed me after the ’70s, was the longer we stayed together, every time we wrote an album and went out on tour, the front row was always filled with really young kids, even way back when. It”s not that ‘Idol” hasn”t helped that-of course it has-but it”s always been. It never did gravitate to what AC/DC has: an audience full of guys. It”s always been beautiful women and young kids and it”s because of the music. The music speaks to our feelings, which is sexy and rocks and it”s young and virile and it”s always got a life of its own. When we get together in the band, the music and energy outweighs anything we brought to it. It becomes so much more. We take one breath and the damn thing starts dancing around the room. We”ve been really lucky in our life.

HITFIX: Speaking of, when you”re on stage, despite all the past history, do you ever look at each other and think, we”re the luckiest guys ever to still be here, especially given how many artists we”ve seen pass recently?

We used to say that in the ’70s (laughs). The war zones that we lived through- be it managers, accountants, lawyers, whatever we had to trudge through to get on stage- was unreal. The fact that we were standing back then was astounding.

PERRY: You know, we can”t really dwell on that kind of stuff too long. A lot of this stuff is beyond our control. All we do is take it day to day and make it the best we can.

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitfixMelinda