Aerosmith frontman and newly-minted country artist Steven Tyler stopped by The Howard Stern Show Tuesday for a wide-ranging interview with Howard Stern. Among the topics covered was the Guns N’ Roses feud and how Tyler helped facilitate the group’s buzzy reunion shows.
“I said, ‘You need to get f—ing back together again soon, because we all miss you,’” Tyler said when recounting conversations with Axl Rose. “I have such a huge ego about keeping the fire and the music together. If people come up to me and say ‘Dude, I got laid to your music’ or a woman comes up and says ‘We got married to your songs,’ you had something to do with the fabric of people. Guns N’ Roses had something to do with the fabric of humans on this planet.”
Tyler added that when advising Rose he drew on his own conflicts with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry over the years — and that if Guns N’ Roses didn’t reunite soon, “in another four or five years, no one’s even going to know who they were.”
Despite dispensing wisdom about keeping rock bands together, Tyler has ruffled feathers within Aerosmith recently for going solo and pursuing country music. But Tyler urged that he’d “be nothing without that band. … I love them to death.” He also added that he intends to record more music with Aerosmith in the future.
Tyler also discussed his struggles with substance abuse at length. “I was a humongous, to-die-for drug addict,” Tyler said. “But I keep it in check. I’ve got a 12-step thing that I do.” When Tyler said he was “out of the rabbit hole” of his addiction, Stern pressed him, asking if he felt “confident that [he’ll] never go back to using anything.” “That I don’t,” Tyler responded. “I’m just a hit record away.”
The singer contextualized his personal challenges within America’s attitude toward drugs and alcohol. “It’s so hard to survive in this world,” he said. “People want a little release. I don’t blame people for getting high; I took it to the wall.”