Joe Perry on the unexpected challenge of relearning his solo material: “I should know these, but it’s like learning somebody else’s songs, as I’ve never played these riffs before live”

"I have to go back and get my head back in the space for when I wrote those riffs.”

Preparations for the upcoming Joe Perry Project shows are well underway and the guitarist at the centre of it all has revealed an interesting challenge he’s faced with in the process.

Speaking in an interview with Boston radio station WBUR, Perry said, “We’ve been gearing up. I have seven solo albums and a lot have never really got worked [live]. The last one, for instance, we did one show at the Roxy in L.A. and the next day we went back in the studio to start working on the new [Hollywood] Vampires record, so I never really had a chance to promote the solo stuff the way I would have liked.”

This means that the guitarist has a good number of songs from his solo catalogue that he’s never played live.

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When asked about how preparations for those songs have been like, Perry admitted that relearning his solo material wasn’t the easiest thing in the book: “When somebody tells you ‘By the way, you have to play X minutes of songs you’ve never played live before’ but are so close to your heart it’s like, ‘OK, twist my arm.’”

“I should know these, but it’s like learning somebody else’s songs, as I’ve never played these riffs before live. I have to go back and get my head back in the space for when I wrote those riffs.”

The rocker also shared some of his thoughts on hitting the stage again after “two-and-a-half years at home”, saying that while he “miss[es] playing and getting out of that routine”, the situation is a “double-edged sword”: “This is how most people live and there’s a lot to be said for it. Actually walking out on stage and seeing people looking at me, expecting something … once we rehearse and get in the groove it’ll click in.”

After headlining two shows in Brazil at the Samsung Blues Festival, the Joe Perry Project will play a trio of US dates later this month.

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