Interview by Robert Cavuoto
Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Derek St Holmes of Ted Nugent’s band have joined forces once again to develop a soulful, maximum infused CD entitled, Reunion, due out this June. With melodic riffs generated from members of two of American’s biggest bands, the dynamic duo are reclaiming the magic to create their second CD in thirty years!
With Derek’s blues bravado vocals and Brad’s driving guitar riffs, the two unleash some memorable tunes like “Catch My Fall,” “Hot for You,” “Hell is on Fire,” and “Shake it.” Songs that steamrolls the listener and ignite the fires of the heart. To coincide with their release the boys are also partnering up with Whitesnake for a 17 show trek starting June 3rd in Dallas, TX.
I caught up with the legendary guitarist, Brad Whitford, to talk about their new CD, the tour with Whitesnake, and the future of Aerosmith.
Robert Cavuoto: Congrats on your new CD, Reunion, I’m really enjoying it! I have to wonder does the making of this CD feel liberating from the recording process of the big machine of Aerosmith?
Brad Whitford: Oh totally, it’s like going on a vacation [laughing]. Derek and I work well together and always have. It’s so different than Aerosmith’s process.
Robert: Tell me about the writing process with you and Derek?
Brad Whitford: Typically we both have ideas that we kick around and bring to the table. We are able to pull together all these ideas very quickly. Several of the songs were written together on the first day of the recording session. It’s not tedious and we keep it moving all the time – it’s quite fun actually. We let the songs dictate where they want to go. The guys in the band are all such good players that we can put together ideas quickly, keep things fun, and it never gets boring.
Robert: Tell me about your history with Derek and how this second CD came about?
Brad Whitford: A couple of years ago we ended up living close to each other in the same town. It was always a long distance relationship so now we live only a few miles apart. It was just natural for us to be playing and the songs just started happening. We accumulating a lot ideas and material until one day we said we have to do something. Then came the band and then the record.
Robert: Did the touring break with Aerosmith help facilitate this CD?
Brad Whitford: With Steven working on his CD, I had a lot of time. It worked out really well for me.
Robert: Which song would you say had your biggest imprint on it?
Brad Whitford: Probably the last song “Flood of Lies” as I wrote all the music and lyrics.
Robert: Did you revisit any leftover demos or riffs from the first CD?
Brad Whitford: This was all new stuff that was spawned from jamming over the last year and a half.
Robert: The guitar tones and distortion are varied from song to song like on “Shapes” which is smooth to “Shake it” which is trebly and chunky. What can you tell us about the different elements you explored during the recording of Reunion?
Brad Whitford: It’s basically different guitars; all the amps were pretty consistent. Derek and I have a lot of guitars and tried to make use of them to give the songs different flavor. We recorded the basic tracks on the first two days; it’s what gives the CD the recorded live feel. We didn’t do any layering and we didn’t double track guitars, we tried to keep it sounding like a live band at all times.
Robert: You and Derek are primarily known for being great rhythm guitarists how did that work out in the studio as I noticed there weren’t a lot of leads on the CD?
Brad Whitford: We really let the songs dictate what they were asking for. We were trying to be true to the song where ever it was coming from. It wasn’t about being a guitar virtuoso type of thing. It was more about the song than showing off our guitar pyro techniques.
Robert: Do you enjoying playing and writing leads?
Brad Whitford: I do like playing leads when it’s called for. I really like our approach of the song being the focus and if it calls for a solo here or there than great.
Robert: You have a tour with Whitesnake coming up. What songs can we expect to hear live?
Brad Whitford: I’ve been friends with David Coverdale for a long time and he thought we would be a good match for the tour. It’s a great crowd for us to showcase the CD. I can’t wait to do it. We would like to play the whole CD and one or two off the first CD, but it really depends how long our set is going to be. Opening for Whitesnake the set will be a bit short than doing a full on show.
Robert: You’ve always been a straight shooter when I have spoken with you in the past, does Aero have another CD in them or will the next tour be Aerosmith’s retirement tour?
Brad Whitford: I really don’t know. There are a lot of musical ideas floating around as Joe has a bunch. It’s just a matter of us getting together and developing it and whether that’s going to happen we just have to wait and see.
Robert: With AC/DC going on tour with Axl Rose, does this open the door to Aerosmith reconsidering a short tour without Steven and possible some guest vocalist?
Brad Whitford: Absolutely, we have considered it but whether it will happen I don’t know. I think it would be great.
Robert: If you had a wish list, who would you like to see fronting the band?
Brad Whitford: A lot of people, everybody from Myles Kennedy to Axl [laughing]. We had a bunch of people a while ago like Sammy Hagar. It would be a lot of fun.
Robert: Does all the turmoil with Aerosmith ever get old where you just roll with it?
Brad Whitford: There is still a lot of turmoil and can be frustrating. It should be easy. The whole thing started because of the music, if the focus was right there everything would be fine, but we don’t [laughing]. Let the drivers drive and let the music happen everything will fall into place. We get caught up into a lot of silly stuff.