Bred in the bone

Joe Perry’s kids get their rocks off in TAB the Band
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  March 18, 2008

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Ben Tilestone and Adrian and Tony Perry wanted to offer their own update on the vintage Aerosmith/Stones sound of the early ’70s.

Rock and roll may be about rebellion. But sometimes the apples don’t fall far from the tree. At least that’s the sense you get with TAB the Band, a blues-influenced hard-rock trio whose “apples” are two of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry’s kids, lead singer/bassist Adrian Perry, 26, and guitarist-backing vocalist Tony Perry, 21. It was not, the Perry brothers say, inevitable that they would end up in a band together. Or even in a band at all. Adrian is at Georgetown University Law School; Tony just transferred to Boston University after studying film for two years in New York. (Drummer Ben Tileston, 20, is a long-time friend and neighbor of Tony’s — he’s also attending BU.) But it’s clear that rock and roll is in the Perry blood.

TAB the Band, who play Bill’s Bar this Friday, released two EPs last year and their debut full-length, Pulling Out Just Enough To Win, which they recorded at Aerosmith’s Vindaloo studio in Hanover, this past January. At the end of February, they played a private charity gig with their dad at the Hard Rock Café — doing a few of their own songs, Aerosmith blues-rockers, Joe Perry solo numbers, and a ripping cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” “It’s great to be here with my boys and my next-door neighbor,” said Joe from the stage.

The new CD is chock-a-block with classic-sounding rock influenced by Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, and the Who. The songs have a whiff of raunch, a little snarl, and a parcel of hooks. “Secretary’s Day,” the single, is a sizzler, but the entire album kicks ass in a smart way — with short, sharp shocks. Was there an over-riding theme? Adrian: “It deals with the celebration and tabloidization of the celebrity lifestyle. It’s become ubiquitous. The songs take various perspectives criticizing it, celebrating it, or both.”

The Perry boys formed the band about 16 months ago. Their mission: to offer their own updated take on the vintage Aerosmith/Stones sound of the early ’70s. “When we got together we just said we want to rock out,” says Adrian. “Make it really organic. There’s no superfluous parts. We don’t shove guitar solos in.”

Tony adds, “I think we put a nice little spin on classic rock, modernize it, shorten it up. People nowadays don’t have the patience — they like their short pop songs, and people want to rock, too.”

Adrian and Joe had played separately for years. Adrian grew up with his mother — Joe’s first wife, Elissa — on the West Coast; Tony grew up with his mother — Joe’s second wife, Billie — and Joe in Duxbury. They saw each other on holidays and long weekends, jammed on Aerosmith songs, and wrote goofy rap songs. In 2006 it came together. Tony brought in Tileston, with whom he’d played in various bands since high school.

For the band’s name, they took the first letters of their first names. “It made sense at the time,” says Tony. “There was no thought given to it.” They added “the Band,” they say, (a) to avoid a lawsuit from the Coca-Cola Company and (b) to be at the top of Google search. It worked; their Web site comes up first and their MySpace page second.

TAB THE BAND + KASHMIR + TRAGEDY | Bill’s Bar, 5-1/2 Lansdowne Street, Boston | March 28 | 617.421.9678

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