Joe Perry talks new album, Patriots and being back in Boston – Metro US

Joe Perry talks new album, Patriots and being back in Boston

Joe Perry

Like the rest of New England, Joe Perry is pretty excited about how Tom Brady and the Patriots are playing ahead of their latest Super Bowl appearance.

The Aerosmith guitarist and Lawrence native was back in Boston on Thursday for a special appearance at Newbury Comics to promote his new solo album “Sweetzerland Manifesto.” During his trip to town, Perry told Metro that he’s been keeping up with the team while travelling the globe by watching games online, that is when he’s not busy recording, performing or working on projects like his new Monster speaker collaboration.

“The Patriots are showing the world what they got, and I’m proud of that,” Perry says. “It’s great to see them doing what they’re doing around the world.” 

Ahead, the Grammy-winning musician opens about returning to the Hub, working in the studio with his Hollywood Vampires’ bandmate Johnny Depp and more.

How does it feel to be back in Boston?

Good. The park looks just the way it should be, a little bare. Obviously it’s a little prettier in the summer. Boston, in some ways, it feels like it hasn’t changed, and then other times, we’ll be driving down the street and I’ll go, “Where the hell are we?” They’ve changed so much of the downtown. I haven’t been here very much at all in the last three or four years. 

What inspired you to do another solo record?

It started off with a friend of mine saying, “I don’t think you’ve done your best solo record yet.” So we started working everyday. It was kind of near the end of doing the book I was working on. I think we recorded the first track in 2012. Over the last years, I’d have to stop and put in on the shelf to do different projects–Aerosmith stuff, the tour and we did the Vampires record and toured behind that. When I had time off, I’d be in the studio. But in the last six months, it really started rolling. 

What was it like to record the album in Depp’s home studio in the Hollywood Hills?

It was always a party. It’s like 24/7 up there in that studio. Some of the best work I’ve done is six in the morning with the curtains closed so the sun doesn’t hurt your eyes. But that’s what that place is. That’s why we called it “Sweetzerland Manifesto,” because it’s kind of like an enclave. It’s almost like a little artist colony kind of thing. He’s got writers coming through, directors, producers, painters, all different kinds of art. It’s a kind of place where the rest of world, you just leave it out there. There’s no pressure, just create.

How do you feel like you’ve evolved as an artist over the years?

Slower than I would like, but I guess everything takes it’s own pace. I like doing the solo stuff and I’ve always done it when Aerosmith had downtime. Most of the time, I get to do what I need to do in the studio with Aerosmith. It just seems like, between albums, it’s just gotten longer so I’ve had more free time. The solo things, it keeps coming because I’m always in the studio.

The other thing was, I was able to do a lot more soundtrack stuff. The “LAbyrinth” movie that is coming out this summer, Johnny said, “Come on down and meet the director. They’re thinking maybe you could add a couple things to the soundtrack.” I ended up spending a couple of weeks working on that, throwing some different tunes in there. I met with a few other movie score guys that think in terms of longer bits of music. It was really interesting to work like that. I have a short list of things still yet to do out there, but right now the main thing I’m focusing on is the new Vampires record.

Is there anything in the realm of music that you haven’t done yet that you’d like to explore?

I’d like to do more soundtrack work, but it’s just finding the time. You kinda got to be there. Being on the road and travelling as much, you don’t get the chance. You got to be there physically because stuff happens really quick sometimes. I’d like to do more of that, but I love being on the road and playing live too, so I’m pretty wall-to-wall.

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