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Interview with Steven Tyler of "American Idol"
on FOX 1/18/11.
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol Conference with Steven
January 18, 2011/1:00 p.m. EST
I'm very annoyed at myself for missing this one...but I
honestly don't know if I would have gotten the chance to speak with him,
anyway. When it's a big star, sometimes I sit there for an hour and
listen and don't get to ask questions. He's very awesome, though,
and this is a great read.
Alex Gillespie Ė FBC Publicity
Steven Tyler Ė Host, American Idol
Moderator Welcome to the American Idol interview call with Steven Tyler.
Iíll now turn the conference over to Alex Gillespie for opening remarks.
A. Gillespie Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining us for the
Steven Tyler conference call. Just as a reminder, American Idol begins
tomorrow night from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Fox. If you need any
photos or any video, you can go to our press Website called
Without further ado, Iím going to turn the call over to Mr. Steven Tyler
who will be available to take your questions.
Moderator Weíll go ahead and take the first question from Reg Seeton
R. Seeton Can you talk about some of the concerns that you had stepping
into such a popular show, and what it was like to find your own identity
as a judge?
S. Tyler None whatsoever. I got such an identity with this band and for
all the videos that Iíve done I figured itíd be a shoe in. The part
thatís a little difficult is judging young kids that I think they all
have a voice, but actually being honest and open. So it took me a couple
of minutes to get into the role of that, but Iíve grown accustomed to it
and itís fun, and I get to sit next to J. Lo and Randy taking the you
know what out of everybody, and itís been good.
I donít take whatever happened to me this morning or last night or with
the band or with exes, I donít take that into judging kids like some
other people might have. I kind of take what Iíve grown up with, which
is being a very harsh judge of myselfómy own vocals, my own bandóand
kind of laid that across the talent that comes across my view.
Moderator Weíll move on to Anthony Jones with Celebrity News Service.
A. Jones Iím a huge Aerosmith fan, so Iím a little bit more interested
in what youíre going to be doing when youíre not at the judgeís table.
Are going to be planning on working on the new album when youíre out
there in L.A.? Itís going to be the first one since Just Push Play,
which is ten years now.
S. Tyler Yes. As a matter of factówell you know we did Honkiní on Bobo.
Weíve done a bunch of things since and weíve certainly been writing. I
know Joeís got the licks and I got a bunch of songs that Iíve written
for solo and/or Aerosmith. Next Saturday we start with the guys are
coming out to L.A. where I will be flying out of New York tomorrow and
be back in L.A., watch the premier Wednesday night. I get Thursday off,
and Friday Iím writing with Marti Frederiksen, and Saturday weíre into a
writing program with the band. Weíre already booked for a tour
November/December thatís to be South America and Japan. I mean what you
hear in the press about Aerosmith getting in the way of American Idol
itís just isnít so.
Moderator Next, weíll go to Hal Boedeker with The Orlando Sentinel.
H. Boedeker What do you think you do for American Idol, and what does
being a part of the show do for you?
S. Tyler You know Iím not sure. Iím just a judge. Before we say anything
Iíd like to say thank you for the Kennedy Center what you said about
that, but I think Iím not going in there to be a harsh judge or an
overly bearing judge. Iím just bringing my Italian on how to work a
room, Aunt Phyllis honesty, 40 years that front guy in Aerosmith whoís
judged the hell out of himself and kind of made a good career out of it,
and with hopes to find some kids in America here for American Idol to
take the stage and no more, no less.
I think itís funny. I think thereís love up there youíll never seeó
Certainly, thereís camaraderie that you havenít seen in 10 years. About
that Iím really happy that I get along with Randy so well. J. Lo is a
fox, sheís also street, sheís also got a good big heart. Weíve seen a
lot of people this year and weíve got our top 40, so weíre ready to go.
Moderator Next, we have Rodney Ho with the Atlantic Journal
R. Ho Have you said anything so far as to any of the contestants during
the auditions that youíve regretted immediately afterwards?
S. Tyler Yes. I made some harsh comments the first week, and they
snapped back and said, ďWhat do you mean?Ē But I only did two of those.
There were only two of those because I didnít want that to happen again.
I couldnít say that you were no good without substantiating why, and a
couple times that I said, ďYou know you just donít have it,Ē they did
ask me why, and I couldnít tell them why.
I just heardóItís like Iím looking for that certain something. Well I
heard that certain something in a negative way. I didnít see the star. I
didnít see this and I didnít have the Ö to tell them that. I hadnít ever
really watched the show, and I wasnít really versed in that type of
judging. Iíve got three daughters, so itís hard for me. Those two times
after that I was ready to go and I jumped back in both feet.
Moderator We have a question from Rachel Maresca with Life & Style
R. Maresca You recently opened up about your past. Do you have any big
regrets? You have one year sober. Do you have a new outlook on life?
S. Tyler Yes. You know what Iíve got no regrets. Everything that came my
way has cut me into what I am today, and what I am today is Iím
grateful, recovering drug addict/alcoholic. Iím not without my faults
and my marks and my scars. Iím proud of them. I show people them. I have
for 40 years. Thatís why they love my music because Iím honest and I got
no regrets. Things have been good. I thought you meant you listened to
Howard Stern this morning because after that life will never be the same
for me. Nor will it be tomorrow night after this show
Look, Iím always ready to take it up a notch. Iím not sure if itísóit
used to be my Ö but now itís Iím addicted to adrenalin. I still like a
good challenge, and Idol was with the best people. Itís with the best
network. I get to meet all these Fox people. Someday Iíll have my own
show calledódifferent type of Survivor. I donít know what. Theyíll put
me in a barrel and throw me into the ocean. Itíll be called Message in a
Bottle. Theyíll put me in a giant bottle and see what shore I land on.
Then Iíll marry the person and weíll see what kind of kids look like. I
donít know but Iím ready for anything.
Iím ready for anything, and nothing has been more convincing that Iím
ready for anything than this last year with Aerosmith. Yes, weíre
getting ready to launch a tour November/December; itís already booked.
The song writing starts next week. So everything you hear is just
hearsay and a lot of muck thatís been thrown around and thereís no
validity to it. Iím here to tell you that.
Moderator Next, weíll go to Jed Gottlieb with the Boston Herald.
J. Gottlieb Iím curious about bringing things a little slightly local
and thinking of like Siobhan Magnus, sort of a rock type performer, and
seeing if youíre going to bring a little more of a rock element, less of
a pop element, to the show. Something that has a little more edge, a
little more personality than sort of just a crooner.
S. Tyler You know itís interesting. Itís like again that would be my
judgment call on what rock is, and I havenít heard a lot of it, but what
I have heard Iíve come out through the worm hole. Remember itís got to
go through two other judges and for every week that Iíve run along
someone that I thought was great the next week after they were given the
wrong song in the wrong key, so we had to drop them. Thatís the beauty
of this show, which I didnít know before, and itís also the heartbreak.
Thereís one kid there thatís got a rock element about him. Heís totally
off the wall, and I donít know which rock star ever wasnít, but Iíve got
hopes that he makes it through. His voice is ridiculous; itís so crazy
and great. I hope he can stretch out and use the voice that I heard.
But will I bring a rock element? Yes, my personality but Iím also
veryóIíve got a good ear for all music and thatís what I thought I would
take this. Itís not just a one phase type judging. Iím good for all
different music and listening to voicing, and the spirit of, and the
imperfections of someoneís voice because not all great singers make
great rock stars. Itís some of those voices that arenít the best that
make the best rock stars I mean to say. So itís been fun. I donít take
this too seriously and I take it seriously, so itís been a real hoot for
Moderator Weíll go next to Gary Kennedy with the L.A. Times.
G. Kennedy Do you feel adding someone of your stature gives the show an
extra layer of credibility it might not have had before?
S. Tyler I like to think so. Itís interesting; I was just saying Iím not
bringing some grumpiness or something in my life thatís not been good.
Iím not bringing that to the table, and letting that cloak my judging of
these kids. Iím taking what they give me, cutting it up in three
different pieces: One is can they sing? Are they in pitch? Two, do they
have character? Three, do they have a star quality about them? Kind of
folding that all into one but that would be my expertise, and J. Loís
got her own singing style. But donít forget Iím a drummer. Iíve got the
pitch from my father, Juilliard, my own. Iíve got the drumming
sensibility and thereís a tonality and harmonic stuff, and I think Iím
going to take it up a notch.
Moderator We have Jonathan Takiff with Philadelphia Daily News.
J. Takiff Do you think as a road dog that you can be as sympathetic to
some guy whoís been working in a gas station as you can to some guy
whoís been out playing every night for the last three or ten years at
Joeís Roadside Tavern?
S. Tyler Thatís a great question. Iíve been sympathetic to that because
it did color my opinions in the past about someone who didnít go through
the clubs, and didnít walk the gauntlet in order to get their start. Iím
listening to these kids regardless. I listen for that certain something
that someone might haveó I mean look it I remember what I had before I
was allowed in the doors of this club. Itís an incredible thing to be
able to come out with the stars that causes me to have character, but if
theyíre good to begin with Iím hoping to see that. Itís certainly not a
coloring my thing. Iíve got my own melodic sensibility thatís judging
theirs and regardless of whether youíve sung in church, and sometimes
most people that have put their time in church have a great sense of
blues or time or melody more than the other ones. Iím hoping Ö really
Moderator Next, we have Jill Sergeant with Reuters.
J. Sergeant I wondered, Steven, how long have you signed up to this gig
for? I mean is it something you seeó Do you haveóif I can askóyou have
more than a one year contract or is it something youíre just going to do
for a year or so and then move onto something else?
S. Tyler I have more than a one year contract, but as you know things
are what they are, but I have more than a one year contract. Iíll give
you that one. Can I elaborate? No, I canít.
Moderator We have Jason Lipshutz with Billboard Magazine.
J. Lipshutz When you were deciding whether or not to be part of American
Idol last summer, did it matter who else was in or out? Did Jennifer
Lopezódid her involvement influence your decision?
S. Tyler It did at first. At first, I was told she wasnít, she was out,
and I was a little bummed, but I met Randy first before, and Randy was
the Ö. I loved Randy. I thought he and I got on within the first five
minutes. It was like we were separated at birth, and we had so many
similarities, and the music curriculum and program. Whatever heís been
through Iíve been through, and we mentioned names and we knew everybody
and it was like how we hadnít met before was beyond me.
But no and then when Ióand yes on the way from England to America, I saw
J. Loís movie Back-Up Plan and I fell in love with her. Iím watching
going, ďOh my God, itís Jennifer Lopez,Ē and I went, ďAlright Iíll watch
the movie.Ē I watched her and I fell in love with her because the way
she played that to a guy that was just falling in love with her, the way
she played her part I could so relate to and I thought anybody that
could be this open and honest even acting Ö. All I can tell you is when
I met her she was exactly all that and I was grateful that she got the
Moderator Weíll go next to Michael Lopez with MTV Tr3s.
M. Lopez Just curious if you had been a fan of Idol from years past and
if you had a particular favorite idol that had been selected from all
past few seasons.
S. Tyler Yes, Carrie Underwood. A great friend of mine wrote her hit so
Iíve been following her, and of course Kelly who Iíve done photo shoots
with and am enamored by the song that sheís put out, hugely so.
Moderator Next, is Allonna Diamond with TV.com.
A. Diamond I would love to know what kind of reaction do you expect from
long time Aerosmith fans as you venture into this new part of your
career as a judge.
S. Tyler Well like, Iíve studied this so far. Itís been 15 weeks already
Iíve been in it, and all the TVís getting is just that other side of me.
It would be like if there were reality cameras in the house when my kids
were growing up. Thatís the side of me theyíre seeing. If Aerosmith fans
donít like that then all they saw was the ominous, dark, or open,
however you choose to see me on stage with whatever lighting when
Aerosmith comes to town. Itís kind of bigger than both of us type of
thing, that Aerosmith thing, but here I get to be more vulnerable, more
honest, more open, more in the moment and less colored by the songs I
wrote and listening to the songs that they sing.
A. Gillespie We have time for one more question.
Moderator That will come from Lindsey Parker with Yahoo!
L. Parker One of the, I think, most overdone songs on American Idol is
ďI Donít Want to Miss a Thing,Ē which is a song that I donít think
anyone can sing as well as you can. Aerosmith songs get covered actually
a lot in the show sometimes with good results a lot of times with bad.
Iím just wondering are you going to call moratorium on Aerosmith songs
on the show. If not, how would you be able to judge a song that you had
sung yourself so well?
S. Tyler How would I have judged myself singing, ďDonít Want to Miss a
L. Parker No, someone else singing a song that is basically your song.
S. Tyler Well they have to sing it good, and a moratorium youíre
calling, how do you know? They must have sung in the 7 weeks they
probably got 15/16 ďDonít Want to Miss a ThingĒ and a bunch of Ö song by
Pinkóthey sang that song as well. It was hard for me because it always
seemed to me when they said they were going to sing it I knew that
someone at home wouldóďIf you sing this song Tyler will be enamored.Ē
When I didnít like it I felt a little ill at ease to tell them, ďYou
know what you didnít really sing it good,Ē but after the third or
fourth, like I said I got into it.
I think if anyoneís got anything bad to say about me this season it will
get better the next season, and I take that back. It will be easier for
me to judge live on TV because Iíve been through this mine field of
teenage entitlement with all the songs they brought, but specifically
for the Aerosmith songs, wow. I wish they would have sung like a little
something else but ďDonít Want to Miss a ThingĒ is definitely a hard one
especially when they have no accompaniment. They would stand in front of
me all by themselves and sing it, but if any of them sing it now
remember weíre down to 20 great people, so if they did it would be
nothing but good.
So there you have it you all. Thank you so much for listening.
A. Gillespie Thank you everyone for joining us. That concludes our
conference call with Mr. Steven Tyler.
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