Since 1970, Steven Tyler has been a one of a kind artist and performer. From a four octave vocal range to a scarf decorated microphone stand, Tyler brings something to the stage that no other performer can. As lead singer of American rock band Aerosmith, he’s made history in more ways than one and has earned the title of a rock and roll legend. But as he believes himself, “The sky is the limit…”, Tyler is on the road to making a name for himself in a new genre. On July 2 he will begin a solo summer tour titled Out on a Limb, introducing his country music career and his debut solo album, “We’re All Somebody from Somewhere”, out July 15.
After 40 years of rock music, 68-year-old Steven Tyler is fully on board in pursuing his new country music career. In a recent phone interview, he told stories of how his journey as a country artist began and where it has taken him as a musician. It’s clear that Tyler has always been an artist that lives his life through his music; with this solo project, he was able to fall even more in love with the whole process of making music, taking risks, and following his intuition.
“I’ve always jumped into things with both feet, whether it was an Aerosmith album or this thing,” said Tyler. “...And I love that when I hear something back I actually hear the risk that I took in a song.”
What began as renting a house in Nashville and seeing what would happen with the idea of a country record turned into a permanent stay in Music City and an album that he’s very proud of. Tyler has spent months in Nashville working on his new music and recently joined hundreds of country music legends as part of the lineup for this year’s CMA Music Festival in the heart of the city.
“The vibe here in Nashville is ridiculous. The passion, the soul… It may be big here but the music aspect still has the passion… there’s so much music dripping out of this honeycomb town that I’m in.”
It may be difficult to picture a rock and roll legend like Steven Tyler taking a turn to country music, but nothing about Tyler’s new music feels unnatural. On June 11, he took the stage at Nissan Stadium during the CMA Fest where he performed a mixture of Aerosmith hits and his new country singles. Tyler fit right into the mix as he surprised the audience with a guest appearance by Martina McBride, the two performing a duet of Aerosmith’s “Cryin’” and proving Tyler’s astounding presence on the country music stage. Having only released two singles from the album so far, “Love Is Your Name” and “Red, White & You”, his work has already proven that this path was the right one. The tracks have the lyrics and the steel guitar of country music, but have that familiar Steven Tyler touch; the raspy voice and distinct melodies- which Tyler claims gave him success in the new genre.
“It’s always been about melody and melody and I are not strangers” said Tyler. “And coming down here and working with these folks, it’s more melody and more about words and carving meaning out of stuff. And I get a chance to sing really—you know, four-part harmony which I can’t with Aerosmith.”
Tyler has grown to love Nashville and the “musical mecca” that he believes the city to be. In the interviews he expressed his ample excitement to start his summer tour and to tell his stories through the art of country music. “…Because country is the new rock n’ roll, if you will.”
The Out on a Limb tour begins Saturday, July 2 in Las Vegas, and will run through September 13 before he joins Aerosmith for their Farewell tour through South America. Excited doesn’t even begin to cover how we’re feeling about being there for this legendary night. Check out 901 Music on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@901Music) for live updates and photos from opening night of the tour.