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Back to Marti Frederikson Marti Frederikson Talks New Aerosmith and What it Means to Be a Song Writer – Interview


I remember when I became a huge Aerosmith fan, it was the “Get a Grip” era but it wasn’t because of that album, although their popularity from that album probably helped. Somehow I had made it to age thirteen with out hearing the song “Dream On,” but when I saw them play it with an orchestra on MTV I thought this is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard and from there my fandom grew.

Aerosmith has a new album coming out on November 6th of this year…my birthday, weird. Anyway I got the chance to chat with long time songwriter Marti Frederikson about the new Aerosmith album as well as his career as a songwriter. The guy has seen a lot, he needs to write a book some day.

Zoiks!: Right now you’re one of the go to songwriters, but when you started your career what was your goal?

Marti Frederikson: Man, when I started my career my goal was to do what all these guys are doing and that was be in a band and be like them. It just didn’t happen (laughs).

Z!: The Brother Kane songs “Got No Shame” was the song that put you on the map as a song writer, was the success of that song how you got involved with Aerosmith?

MF: It sure was, that song singlehandedly was. John Kalodner their A & R person at the time loved the song, the band liked the song, I think Brother Kane even got to do some shows with them as well from having that hit song. So I got an opportunity from being an outside guy working with the band. ‘Hey, write a “Got No Shame” for Aerosmith.’ So I got in a room with them and gave it a shot.

Z!: You’ve worked on what, four songs off the new Aerosmith album, “Music From Another Dimension?”

MF: Yeah, five songs I got on the record, three of which I produced as well.

Z!: Have you heard the whole album and what can fans expect from the album?

MF: Yeah I heard the whole record and it’s got a lot of good stuff man. I think it’s got a lot of everything that fans will love, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope everyone loves it.

Z!: How close to all the drama that they experienced over the last couple of years were you?

MF: I’ve seen drama in and out from the band. I try to keep my nose out of it and let them deal with what they have to deal with. For the most part, on the record and the recording there’s a little drama in between, but I just came in to do what I’m supposed to do and then scooted on out. I know Jack (Douglas) doing the majority of the record, I’m sure he was definitely more a part of the drama. I’ve been a part of it in other circumstances, but these kind of bands, when you’ve been together for so long, even younger bands, there’s always drama, whether it be with their management or something else between the band, not necessarily the making of a record, but it could be the tour or who knows.

Z!: Aerosmith along with others like Ozzy Osbourne etc have gotten flack for working with outside songwriters like yourself. It’s never really bothered me because I’ve always looked at it as a bunch of friends in a room writing together. Is that criticism something that’s ever bothered you?

MF: No, that’s how I look at it too. I’ve always been a fan of classic rock and just good music. Just to be in the room with these guys, I don’t know how I deserve to be there, but what an opportunity. When we are in there its all about having fun and just throwing ideas out there. It’s exciting to go through the motions of getting a song.

Z!: You’ve been in the business before it really took a turn for the worse. I’ve talked to a lot of bands who have had to deal with the decline, but never an outside songwriter, how has the decline in the music industry affected artists like yourself?

MF: I got in a little bit before it started happening, but for the most part I got in right when it started tumbling. It’s good that iTunes is out now and that people are downloading songs, because before that it was Napster and no downloads. Being in a band you have your merchandise that you make money on, your ticket sales. You can’t steal going to a concert. For me I get paid if someone buys a song or if I’m a producer the same way. Still a lot of people are sharing music and it’s definitely taken a hit. I don’t know we’ll see what happens in the future. The future may be that the music is just for promotion and that the artist/songwriter gets a small percentage across the board to compensate for the promotion of them.

Z!: What are your future goals?

MF: I’ve been thinking about doing something’s myself, but keep up the co-writing, maybe doing a few more things in the pop genre as opposed to the rock. I’ve been doing a little bit of the country stuff because it’s pretty straightforward instrumentation. I’m trying to dabble into this pop stuff and just incorporate a good song, maybe not produce it, but maybe just be a songwriter.

Z!: Artists often refer to their songs as their babies, is it ever difficult letting another artist adopt your baby?

MF: No, no, I’m for the artist, I’m writing for them, that’s the main goal it’s to get something for them to keep it going.

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online