Indian music speaks to soul: rock icon Steven Tyler

Indian music speaks to soul: rock icon Steven Tyler

But there are things about Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler that only a few know of  - that he heard Indian musician Ravi Shankar as a teenager and finds joy in his children's laughter at Christmas.

The 63-year-old, who has been a part of the American hard rock band since its inception over four decades ago, admits he has limited knowledge of Indian music, but thinks highly of it.

"I'd have to say that my limited knowledge of Indian music and film is based on seeing Ravi Shankar when I was a teenager," Tyler told IANS in an e-mail interview.

"I'm aware of some of the genres of Indian music. On the whole, a lot of Indian music seems to be speaking to the soul, which is wonderful.  I know there is a world-famous music and movie scene in India and I'm sure that its growing influence will continue," he added.

The singer has once used a 'taste of India' in the Aerosmith's 1997 eponymous song. The number contains elements of Indian music and the sarangi intro by Sangeet Natak Akademi Award winner Ramesh Mishra is not to be missed.

Aerosmith's other Indian connection came in 2007 when the world-famous band came to India to perform in Bangalore. It's been a while since their India visit and, with the Indian fans getting an increasing dose of international stars like Bryan Adams and Akon, when do we get to see the band back in action here?

"Well, soon enough!" said Tyler who has four children - actress Liv, model Mia and Chelsea and Taj Tallarico from different wives.

Aerosmith has been known for songs like "Crazy" and "I won't want to miss a thing".
As of now, Tyler is basking in the success of his single "(It) feels so good", released on Sony Music. The song was actually rejected by the band members, says Tyler.

"Once I was staying at the Sunset Marquis (a Los Angeles hotel) and I went out and sat down by the pool in my thong waiting for my girls (daughters) to come. Because they didn't turn up - and I thank god they didn't - I wrote down all these lyrics instead.

"The band didn't like it, so I just kept it with me for the last couple of years! And now I can hear it coming out of people's cars this summer! I'm a fool for melody, man. I've got to have melody. I miss it, and there it is!" he added.

Tyler is also penning a song with Hollywood star Johnny Depp, working on new music with Aerosmith with a follow-up to 2004's "Honkin' on Bobo", and enjoying every bit of his new role as a judge on the on-going season of "American Idol" - a platform he is sharing with Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.

Over the years, Tyler has just loved being part of 'The Bad Boys of Boston', a pseudonym for Aerosmith. But he has tried to introduce his softer side to his fans through his memoir "Does The Noise In My Head Bother You".

"I would have been dead several times over. A rockstar with problems is nothing new. My memoir, 'Does The Noise In My Head Bother You', is just that. Yes, I did have many medical problems, a torn ACI in my knees, a broken blood vessel in my throat and, worst of all, Hepatitis C! But being in a band with Aerosmith, you're kinda depicted very differently - bad boys. And people love the Bad Boys of Boston.

"Everybody's always intrigued by the badness of it all. And then I thought, why not share with the world the way it really is, and share my feelings about the different aspects of my life, how I am addicted to Christmas time hearing my kids laugh - I don't think they know that side."

And even though many wouldn't expect an unusually fit man at 63 jamming on stage with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand, Tyler is as evergreen as it gets when he says his association with Aerosmith will be "FOREVER!".

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