Aerosmith are to start auditions for a new frontman to "fill in" for Steven Tyler until the rocker is ready to return to the band.
The group was thrown into chaos last year (09) over reports Tyler had quit the group, and he has since kept his baffled bandmates in the dark over whether he plans to continue as their singer or go solo.
Guitarist Joe Perry reveals Tyler, who was recently admitted to rehab to fight an addiction to painkillers, wants to return to his role in the band, but is about to undergo a series of operations which will leave him unable to perform for at least a year.
So the musicians have decided to search for a new singer who can front the group until Tyler is fit again, with auditions set to kick off in February (10).
Perry says, "We're already getting the word out there. The word's been out there for a while. We'll start having some auditions, making some phone calls. Hopefully, we'll have found a new singer by the summer, and Aerosmith will be able to go back out on the road.
"From what I've heard, (Tyler) hasn't left the band. As far as I'm concerned, he hasn't left the band. He's never said he was going to leave the band. It's just that he wanted to go off and do some of his own things. He just never told anybody in the band about it. But his manager has told our manager that he wants to take some time off. And then lately he's been saying he wants to come back.
"But he has to have leg surgery and foot surgery and it's basically going to take him out of the picture for about a year, year and a half. So, in the meantime, the rest of the band wants to play. We're gonna find somebody to get in there and fill that spot. Just like when (bassist) Tom (Hamilton) was sick - we got David Hull to come in and play bass. When (guitarist) Brad (Whitford) was sick, we got somebody else to come in and play for him. That's basically how I look at it; we need another singer to fill in."