Q&A With Aerosmith: Steven Tyler 'Itching' to Make Solo Album
Joe Perry and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith attend the Songwriter's Hall of Fame 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner in New York City.
This Saturday night, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry will receive yet another honor when the Aerosmith guitarist and frontman are inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Patti Austin and John Legend (who is being welcomed into the hall by Stevie Wonder) are also being recognized by the iconic venue.
It's a special night on many fronts for the "Toxic Twins." In separate interviews, Tyler and Perry spoke to Rolling Stone about their history with Wonder, the importance of music education (which the event benefits) and why Tyler wants to do a solo album while Perry finishes his autobiography.
What does the Bowl mean to you?
Steven Tyler: Look at who played there – Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, the Stones, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra – and every time we hit that stage, don't you think I stand there and think about the people that looked out at the same thing I'm looking out at? It's just astounding. What an honor. Plus, the L.A. Philharmonic has a music program and it gives money to the schools, because they cut all these programs for kids to try to maybe play something or learn how to play. Schools, the first thing they cut is music programs. They don't realize how important music is to kids. Through song you learn, and I think school systems need to learn that. Through the rhythm you can learn better, through melody, with something you need to learn, it's a vehicle for it. I think it's a good thing the L.A. Philharmonic is doing, and they're gonna raise a lot of money from this event.
Joe Perry: We've played it four times. The history of the place is not lost on us. I would rather play the Hollywood Bowl than any one of the other arenas around. It's a tough place to play for a rock band, but it sounds great, and the history of who played there, just great to be able to stand on that stage. [And] it's for a good cause. The most important thing to remember is the money goes to really help bring music to places that it's being taken away daily – the cutbacks in the government and music programs in the school. That's bigger than the event and the people that are playing it. I think that's really important, that kids get exposed to music as soon as they can – not necessarily to become musicians, but at least have an outlet. It's an art form that's easily accessible to young ears.
Plus you get to play with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Tyler: We're doing "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." That's a great song to orchestrate and I'm gonna meet with these guys a couple days earlier and go over their arrangements and throw some shit in. I love it when it's twisted and turned around like this. It's just gonna be so good – I'm so looking forward to it. The critics should have a field day with this shit, right? The critics love having their way with us. I guess they're afraid of my style. I love it [laughs].
Perry: We're doing five songs. I'm always anxious to hear how the pop guys deal with some of the rockers. But we're gonna do two ballads. It's just going to sound amazing, especially in the Bowl. I think it's going to be 98 pieces [in the orchestra]. We're going over the charts and stuff, and it's gonna be good.
Stevie Wonder is presenting John Legend his honor. I am sure you have a long history with him.
Tyler: I've met Stevie many times. I went to his birthday party in the Bahamas, I met his family. I know him well, I love him dearly, and I've spoken to him many times about Talking Book and so forth. But the greatest joy of my life, one of them – and God knows there have been many – was on the set of Idol, I was turning 64. I came back from a commercial break, I went down to talk to some people, and I turn around and out on the stage comes Stevie Wonder. I thought, "Oh my God, what's this about?" And he sang "Happy Birthday" to me and I went "What the fuck?" And that was the first year. On the second year on my birthday Joe Perry came out.