Not as close as once were, Aerosmith back to Europe

LONDON, April 19 Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:11am EDT

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - U.S. rockers Aerosmith are not as close as they once were, but the "Boston bad boys" have put their differences behind them to tour Europe for the first time in three years, guitarist Joe Perry said.

Perry, who led a recent uprising against lead singer Steven Tyler, said of his bandmate that he was "stronger than ever" despite a stint in rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers related to 10 years of performance injuries.

Perry also played down the unusually public dust-up between members of a group whose history has been littered with divisions, drug abuse and debauchery.

"He didn't really leave the band," Perry said of Tyler.

"He made it very clear from the very beginning that he wasn't going to leave the band and he just wanted some solo time," the guitarist added in an interview.

He was referring to Tyler's expressed wish to take a break from Aerosmith in order to write a memoir and focus on what he cryptically termed "brand Tyler."

"The press kind of twisted it around to sell papers but you know the bottom line is I just knew things were just going to work themselves out," he told Reuters.

"And he is back and he is stronger than ever."

The words of reconciliation were a far cry from a recent falling out during which Perry announced the band was searching for a singer to replace Tyler.

Perry and Tyler, dubbed the "toxic twins" for their hard-living days of old, wrote classic tracks like "Walk this Way" and "Love in an Elevator" together.

NO LONGER CLOSE

Perry, 59, admitted that the Grammy award-winning band, formed 40 years ago, had drifted apart over the years.

"When our kids were younger and our kids were growing up together we were a lot closer together," Perry said.

"As the kids got older and they started going off their own ways and Steven ended up getting divorced ... you know, the family get together we don't really do that much any more." He added that the band did not "hang out together that much", with 62-year-old Tyler spending time with his own group of friends and Perry with another.

"But it doesn't interfere with the band," he said.

Aerosmith hits Europe with its "Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock" tour starting in Sweden on June 10 followed by two dates in Britain on June 13 and 15.

The 11-concert tour also visits Romania, Greece, Holland, Belgium, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Italy.

As well as Tyler's stint in rehab and desire to go solo, Aerosmith was also forced to cancel a disastrous 2009 tour when the lead singer fell off stage and broke his shoulder.

The group, which said it had sold "well over" 150 million albums, has not released a studio album of new material since 2001. (Writing and additional reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)