Aerosmith Hamilton force-feeds himself after cancer fight
Fit for purpose: Hamilton, second left, with Aerosmith
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton is in perfect shape to tour the world after his cancer battle – as long as he force-feeds himself on a regular basis.
And he says singer Steven Tyler’s decision to quit TV gameshow American Idol came after band meetings aimed at hammering out a solution… that almost involved real hammers.
The Boston giants are set to release comeback album Music From Another Dimension later this year, and Hamilton – who was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer in 2006, then again three years later – says hitting the road holds no fears for him.
He tells BraveWords: “I go to my periodic checkups and because I’m a cautious person I do them a little bit more often than the usual protocol.
“When it came back in 2009 it was quite a scare. My doctor thought it was a really bad sign. But not I’m at the three-year point. The next big milestone is the five-year. I’ll just keep going until that comes.
“It’ll be completely smooth sailing as long as I eat enough. My problem is getting enough calories – it’s a little harder to eat than it used to be and I have zero appetite. I’ve never been much of a food person, but now I have to put thought into making sure I eat. As long as I do that I feel great.”
Tyler recently announced he was stepping down from American Idol to concentrate on his “first love” Aerosmith after having strayed from the band. The singer upset his colleagues when he took the job after narrowly averting a split over his drug addiction issues in 2009.
Hamilton says: “The thing is it turned out to be quite a demand on his time. The whole plan of how we were going to deal with Idol is something we hammered out last year. It almost got to the point of using real hammers.”
The bassists says Tyler’s schedule caused few problems with the recording process, but continues: “What would have slowed us down is if we released the album and only had a few weeks to tour behind it. What pleases me most is that if we want to extent the tour we can now do it.
“He’s free of his day job – he can come back to his hobby.”
Music From Another Dimension was originally set for release over the summer, but was pushed back until November. At first that worried Hamilton: “The compulsion to tweak can come roaring out again,” he explains. “But I think we’re done and everybody is completely confident that we’ve got the best possible album we can have.”
Aerosmith reunited with producer Jack Douglas for the record. “We also worked with Marti Frederiksen, who produced two of the songs and he’s an extremely creative guy,” Hamilton says. “But what we needed really badly was a coach, and that’s the role Jack filled back in the seventies – when we learned how to make our best records. That’s exactly the chemistry that took place on this one. It just snapped right back into the way of working. Jack developed his relationship with us before we were ‘rock stars’. That’s what made this album possible.”