Aerosmith's Joey Kramer on Music From Another Dimension! and Rockin' & Roastin'
See Also: Aerosmith at the Pepsi Center, 8/1/12
Despite ongoing feuds between frontman Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, Aerosmith has been a vital force in rock music for more than four decades. In the 1970s, the band built a solid fan base on the strength of songs like "Dream On," "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion," and the '80s produced multi-platinum albums like Permanent Vacation and Get a Grip. The act's latest album, Music From Another Dimension!, originally slated for release this month but pushed back to November, is the first disc since 2001's Just Push Play. We spoke with drummer Joey Kramer about the new record, working with producer Jack Douglas again and Kramer's new coffee company, Rockin' & Roastin'.
Westword: Can you give me the lowdown on Music From Another Dimension?
Joey Kramer: We did just like we did our old records -- old school -- all in the room together playing. We captured some new material and new songs with the old spirit. It's a very interesting record. There are some surprises on there, and I think everybody's going to really like it. I hope so.
I was reading about "Legendary Child" dates back to the Get a Grip sessions back in 1991, and I guess you reworked that song. Are there any other songs that you might have had on the backburner that you resurrected?
No. Everything is new. It's all new material, other than that one.
This record marks the first time Steve and Joe have written together in a decade or so, right?
Well, we haven't done a record in a decade. Yeah, they did a bunch of writing together.
How are they getting along these days? It sounds like they've gotten some of the water under the bridge.
Yeah, everybody's getting along really well, man.
How is working with producer Jack Douglas again? I know he worked on a lot of your albums in '70s.
Well, it's great to work with Jack because he does the most important thing you can do when you're making a record, which is have fun. And when you have fun doing it, it comes out great. That's what happens when we work with Jack. We always have a good time.
Any particularly fun experiences you had making the record?
Yeah, but nothing I can really tell you on the record.
I know Jack was sometimes called the sixth member of Aerosmith. Did he help write any songs on the new album?
Yeah, I think Jack co-wrote a couple of songs on there. He always takes part and gets his ideas in there.
How would you say the new record stands up to the rest of the band's catalog?
I think it stands up really strong. It's reminiscent of some of the older ones but with a new twist. They're modernized.
What can fans expect for this leg of the tour?
Well, a song or two from the new record. We got a couple of surprises up our sleeves to change things around a little bit. I think everybody's going to be happy with what it is we'll be doing, because I know we are, and we're excited about taking it out, and we look forward to coming to Denver.
I know there are a few rumors floating around regarding the origin of the band's name, but from what I gather you were the one who came up with Aerosmith, right?
Yep. That is correct. That's the definitive answer. Joey thought of it.
I guess you were writing it on a book in school, right?
Yeah, I used to scribble it all over my books in high school. I came up with it with another friend of mine in high school, and you know, I kind of had it tucked away for a long time.
I have to talk about my new coffee company, you know? It's called Rockin' & Roastin'.
When did you start that?
It's been up and running for about five months and right now you can get it online at www.rockinandroastin.com, and we hope to be in the supermarkets soon. It's gourmet coffee from Sumatra, Guatemala and Ethiopia. It's really good gourmet coffee. For those of us who love coffee, you'll love it.
Are you a long-time coffee aficionado?
Oh yeah. Years and years.
Was this something you'd been thinking about doing for a while?
Yeah, I was thinking about it for a long while, and then it took about eight or ten months to put it together. We're just starting now, but all good things take time. But this is some of the best coffee I've tasted. So I hope everybody enjoys it.
Any idea when it will be in the stores?
It probably won't be for a while because we're working on the deals now. But if you order it online, it gets sent out right away, and you get it really quickly.