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- Posted on Oct 2nd 2009 3:30PM by Mike Ayers
"I listened to it, and I was knocked out," Perry tells Spinner in an interview taped in our New York City studio. "I said, 'This guy's really got it, if this is the real deal.' You really don't know, once it's gone through the internet. You don't know how he's recorded it or if it's been manipulated."
Perry contacted him, first through e-mail and then through a series of phone calls, and determined that he indeed would be someone he wanted on his record. With that settled, the guitarist ponied up for a plane ticket and Hagen came over. "You know, I didn't think he was going to be some kind of axe murderer, or whatever they use in Germany for that kind of thing," he says.
Luckily, Hagen wasn't any sort of internet weirdo; he'd sung vocals in cover bands for years, honing his voice, which compared to Tyler's, is radically different. He takes lead vocal duties on four of the 10 cuts on 'Have Guitar, Will Travel,' and sounds reminiscent of a young David Johansen. But bringing Hagen into the studio isn't all Perry had in mind. He wanted someone he could take on the road and help him tackle a handful of covers, some Aerosmith tunes and the Joe Perry Project material. Which is good for him because, as he says, Aerosmith can't really keep up with his output.
"I realized that a lot of these songs I was writing, I was going to be able to either just release the records, maybe tour behind them. I needed to have that outlet," he says. "The amount we were putting out just wasn't equal to the amount I was writing."
'Have Guitar, Will Travel' is Oct. 6. Check out our exclusive video interview with Joe Perry below.