Aerosmith hold auditions to replace Steven Tyler

The band's lead guitarist, Joe Perry, claims they are seeking a 'fill-in' singer while Tyler recovers from surgery. Then they'll welcome him back. Probably ...

Aerosmith will hold auditions to replace frontman Steven Tyler, guitarist Joe Perry revealed – again – this week. Although the band threatened to do this last year, the storm cloud appeared to lift after Tyler entered rehab at the end of December. "I love performing as the lead singer in Aerosmith," Tyler underlined at the time. "I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with [the band] as soon as things are handled." Maybe, er, not.

Speaking to Canada's QMI Agency, Perry said he hopes to work with Tyler again – he just isn't sure that will happen. "It's hard to get a straight answer about what's going on," he said. "[Steven] has to have leg and foot surgery and it's basically going to take him out of the picture for about a year and a half. So, in the meantime, the rest of the band want to play. And I want to play with the other guys in Aerosmith. So the four of us are just making our plans. We're gonna find somebody to get in there and fill that spot."

Last autumn, Aerosmith seemed ready to jettison their singer after nearly four decades together. Tyler "doesn't act like a sober person", guitarist Brad Whitford said. The frontman was rarely in contact with the band, spurning their phonecalls and keeping to a separate backstage area. After Tyler requested a two-year hiatus, Aerosmith began looking for a replacement. One false reunion later, and the hard-rockers re reportedly in talks with Lenny Kravitz, among others.

However, last Christmas the drama evaporated. Tyler admitted an addiction to pain-killers, entered a rehabilitation programme, and said he was "committed to getting things taken care of". Everyone seemed relieved. The problem is that Aerosmith don't want to wait. "The word's been out there for a while," Perry said. "Hopefully we'll have found a new singer by the summer, and Aerosmith will be able to go back out on the road."

For the moment, Perry sees the replacement as temporary. "Just like when Tom [Hamilton] was sick – we got David Hull to come in and play bass. When Brad was sick, we got somebody else to come in and play for him. That's basically how I look at it – we need another singer to fill in."

As for the identity of these "fill-ins", Aerosmith have already talked to "a few people". "As far as auditions go, we'll probably just sit around and have a couple of drinks and see if we get along. Because we're already gonna know that they can sing." And when Tyler is back on his feet, Aerosmith claim he will be welcomed back. Probably. "We'll see," Perry said. "I'm ready to write with him, to play on stage with him anytime he's physically ready and wants to do it. But it's really up to him."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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