Steven Tyler on Today’s Rock: ‘There Really Isn’t Much of It’
Rock 'n' roll gave voice to the dreams and disappointments of several generations, but Steven Tyler wonders if its days as a major cultural force are over.
"Look what happened with the rock world," Tyler told the Arizona Republic. "Look where it went. It kind of spun off like a supernova and now there isn’t really much of it at all. You don’t hear anything like the Kinks or the Stones. You won’t hear ‘You Really Got Me.’ Something that when you hear it one time, you go, “f---!” and you know you won’t ever forget it. That kind of era is gone with rock."
Arguing that louder, gloomier rock has supplanted the stuff he grew up with — and which made Tyler and his peers superstars — the Aerosmith frontman suggested that it's this musical erosion that inspired him to take a country slant with his new solo LP, We're All Somebody From Somewhere. Beyond the stereotypical "new country" sound that's so popular (and frequently derided), Tyler argues that the spirit of classic rock still lingers in Nashville.
"There’s a bit of commerciality about the Daisy Dukes and all that s--- over and over and over, but for the most part, three chords and the truth," " he added. "It’s f---ing great. And when it’s twisted just the right way? I love it. It’s what I’m all about. I mean, listen to Eric Church. That f---ing guy plays s--- that’s like Zeppelin. His band is so bad-ass, right? I mean, there’s some songs he plays that are easygoing but some he plays that are like ‘Oh, my God, who the f--- is that?’ Well, that’s Eric Church."
Tyler expanded on his thoughts regarding modern country versus today's rock 'n' roll in an interview with Rolling Stone, urging readers to challenge their preconceptions of the genre.
"Country songs really spell out what's on a guy's mind in no uncertain terms," he mused. "Rock 'n' roll can be a little more aloof. But country is changing. Jaren Johnston and the Cadillac Three and Florida Georgia Line are proving that you can go any which way. Modern country might add a little a cappella or raps or heavier beats. God knows Brad Paisley plays guitar like a motherf---er. ... Everyone is trying to stretch out."
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