Joe Perry on his appreciation of the Fender Stratocaster: “I was a stone-cold Gibson man, but I seemed to gravitate more toward Strats”

“One of us was playing a Strat and the other was playing a Les Paul; We liked the idea of having two different guitar sounds.”

Joe Perry performing live with a Fender Stratocaster

Credit: Neil Lupin/Redferns

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Hosting the likes of Walk This Way and Sweet EmotionAerosmith’s Toys In The Attic is a true landmark rock ‘n’ roll record, and it wouldn’t have sounded the same without the Fender Stratocaster.

In a new interview with Total Guitar, guitarist Joe Perry opens up about his Strat love affair in ‘75. “I think a lot of people, when they think of us in those years, are us playing Les Pauls,” he says. “But I recorded a lot with Strats.”

While Perry had always had eyes for Gibsons, recording Toys In The Attic was a surprising change. “I was definitely a stone-cold Gibson man, but I seemed to gravitate more toward Strats and that variety of tones,” he recalls.

Perry was always insistent on the group playing a variety of guitars. The dynamic range allowed for a richer sonic world, and more expansive selection of tones. “I always felt like we should sound like one of us was playing a Fender Strat and the other was playing a Gibson Les Paul; We liked the idea of having two different guitar sounds,” he explains.

While he would initially only pick up the Strat to experiment with tone, he found himself getting a feel for it. “With a Strat, I always felt like you could get a little more out of it,” he says. “Plus, you have the vibrato, which you could use as a sound effect. Musically, I always felt like it was like one more colour on your paint palette.”

“Ergonomically, a Strat is laid out so well,” he continues. “The volume knob is right there, it’s a little thinner, you’ve got the toggle switch. It seemed like you could go more places with a Strat.”

Of course, his love of Strats hasn’t detracted from Perry’s love of a good Les Paul. His ‘59 Burst played a key role in many of Perry’s iconic ’70s riffs. “That was an important guitar,” he fondly notes. “I wasn’t glued to it! But, when it was time for a Les Paul, yes, that was it… that was the guitar. I loved the way the neck of a Les Paul felt, the thickness of it.”

Aerosmith will be embarking on their Peace Out: Farewell Tour this September, kicking off in Philadelphia. The 40-date trek will be a victory lap to close out five strong decades of rocking.

“It’s not goodbye it’s PEACE OUT! Get ready and walk this way, you’re going to get the best show of our lives,” the group wrote on Instagram.

For tickets and a full list of dates, head to Aerosmith.com.

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