Indy: You had to miss the 2007 Aerosmith tour after you were diagnosed with throat cancer and needed radiation and chemotherapy. That's a life-altering event. Did it change your outlook on life?
TH: I think going through that cancer experience, it kind of grabbed me by the head and made me look at a lot of stuff. And just sort of in general, you think of things you always wanted to do someday. Well, someday is here. So I got a lot of that, which I think is a positive thing because it really focused me. And I've come a long way musically since that happened. It was almost a gift of the whole process that I'm probably a better player, writer, recorder now than I would have been if I hadn't gone through that.
Indy: You've been given a clean bill of health, but how much do you think about the cancer in your daily life?
TH: I'm still in a mode where you're in there [for doctor visits] once every couple of months, but I've learned really well how not to dwell on an appointment coming up. There's just no constructive reason to worry.
Indy: You guys have started working with producer Brendan O'Brien on a new studio CD. Will it be a raw, live-in-the-studio type record like your previous album, Honkin' On Bobo, or a more polished production like the Just Push Play album?
TH: Honkin' On Bobo was a neat exercise because it recalibrated the band after doing the Just Push Play album. But we're not technology reactionaries. We're not going to go in the studio and say, "All right, no computers." Because it's too much fun. Computers make wacky ideas possible.
At Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Englewood, Aug. 1.