Bob Zerull of Zoiks! Online recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH bassist Tom Hamilton. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Zoiks! Online: AEROSMITH played their first gig on November 6th, 1970. On November 6th, 2012, “Music From Another Dimension!” was released. Was this just a happy coincidence or was this planned, because I know the release date was moved back?
Tom: That’s funny. I didn’t realize that November 6th was when we played our first show, I knew it was in the fall of 1970. That’s pretty cool. [laughs] No, it just came about, I’m pretty flabbergasted as we speak. What was the rest of the question?
Zoiks! Online: I just wanted to know if it was a happy coincidence or if it was planned.
Tom: It was a total coincidence. The record was essentially finished in the beginning of the summer. It could have come out anytime between June or July. The record company wanted to bring it out on November 6th, because they wanted to release it a day when there wasn’t a lot of other big albums coming out so that it would get as much attention as possible. Boy, it was torture waiting for that, I’ll tell ya. We had this record and we were so jazzed that we had this thing finally finished and tied down. We were dying to get it out there and see what people thought of it. Now we’re finally at that point and we’re starting to feel that initial feedback from the fans and the press and everybody about what they think about it.
Zoiks! Online: It had to be tough too, because you were on tour at the time and you almost want to have the people hear the songs first before they hear them live.
Tom: It’s an interesting situation now. It used to be that if you were out on tour before your album came out you would never hesitate to play new songs from it. Now everybody in the audience is a photographer and publisher. If you go up and blow it one night and screw it up because you haven’t been playing it that long, all of a sudden it’s on YouTube. You think, “Oh, my God. Do we want to risk that?” But we couldn’t resist. Early on, we just started putting songs in there.
Zoiks! Online: AEROSMITH is somewhat famous for your fighting within the band. I don’t want to ask you about the fighting, but I do want ask about the media and how something you say or tweet at any given moment could be a headline around the world in ten minutes. Has that taken some getting use to?
Tom: It’s funny, because I see some of my bandmates still believing you can have a fair fight in the press or you can influence your bandmates by manipulating events by talking to journalists. It’s not something that I’ve ever believed in. I never thought first of all that it was a very nice thing to do. I’ve also seen the way things get interpreted in the press and rehashed. I’ve never been a believer that you can settle these deeply personal things that way. It’s funny, though, because a lot of what this band goes through, it’s been cycles of stuff that we’ve been going through our whole career. It just never used to be so public. Because there are so many ways to spread information now with the Internet and everything, a lot of little stuff that people observe when they’re around us, people pick up on it, they post something about it and it becomes public knowledge. I’m pretty much ready for that, I accept that and it’s actually kind of fun sometimes. You have to keep your head turned in the right direction and you have to remember that it is about the songs and it’s about the audience and everything else will take care of itself once you have those two elements together.
Zoiks! Online: You guys did the “Walk This Way” book, Joey Kramer did his book “Hit Hard”, Steven did his, I think Joe Perry is working on one. Will there ever be a Tom Hamilton story?
Tom: I think there probably will be. People have been asking me that. I always thought, “OK, if you have two or three band members already having their book out, who wants to read another one?” I think maybe there is some perspective that I could bring to it that may not have been covered by the other three. I think we’re going to have a bunch of time, a bunch of down time in the first half of next year. I’ll have to get myself into a disciplined pattern of writing every day and I’ll see what I come up with. I do have a lot that I’ve written over the years in terms of journaling. There was a period when we first had our website where I did, I guess you’d call it a blog now, I just called it “News From the Road.” I have a ton of that, that I’ve done and piles of notebooks that I need to spend some time with, sitting down, reading, and compiling and seeing what’s there and seeing if I can finish it off into something that people would be interested in reading. I’m getting far more interested in it, because it seems like in the last few weeks so many people have asked me this question.
You can check out the entire interview in text and audio formats at Zoiks! Online.