Aerosmith to continue without Steven Tyler

The wizened rockers fear their long-time frontman is back on drugs, saying that he 'doesn't act like a sober person'

Aerosmith have confirmed that they are seeking a new singer to replace Steven Tyler, saying their long-time frontman "doesn't act like a sober person". Guitarist Brad Whitford and drummer Joey Kramer have reiterated the comments made by lead guitarist Joe Perry, who warned that Aerosmith would need to find a new singer for next year's 40th anniversary.

"Steven, he isolates more and more all the time," Kramer told "That's what gives it away to me that there's something going on. I don't know what that is. I know he's made some not so great choices and he's got some negative influences around him now. I love the guy. I just want to see him get some help."

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Whitford went even further. "[Steven] doesn't act like a sober person," he said. "I'm not hanging with the guy, but his history of drug abuse is well documented. And like many other people in this same position, the prospects aren't good. For most people, full-blown recovery is a tough thing to pull off."

In just weeks, Aerosmith have gone from stadium giants to band in crisis, as Perry revealed the depth of the group's alienation from their frontman. Although Tyler joined Perry onstage last week, declaring "I am not leaving Aerosmith", the singer has asked for two years off – allegedly focusing on "Brand Tyler" and his solo career. This holds little allure for other members of the group, who say they are worried about Tyler's health.

Tyler's problems with drug use are well-documented – he entered rehab in 1986 and again last year. The 61-year-old has lately been clubbing with 35-year-old Justin Murdock, heir to the Dole Pineapple fortune, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Various anonymous friends have claimed he is "a different man than he used to be" and "in terrible trouble". Certainly, Tyler seemed unpredictable when he performed with Perry last week, announcing: "I, motherfucker, am the rainbow!"

Ultimately, Kramer said, the problem is that the band just can't get through to him. Tyler has even hired separate management. "I have called him and left voice mails and texted him to no avail," Kramier said. "I get no reply. One of his biggest things is that, 'Well, nobody calls me' ... That's bullshit, because I have. I've always been there for him and I probably always will be. I can only hope and pray that Steven will get healthy."

Meanwhile, Aerosmith want to play. "I can't sit around for two years and not play my drums," Kramer told Classic Rock magazine. The band are considering several singers. "Famous people," Kramer said. "People that we know or are friends that we think may consider doing it," Whitford added. "Hopefully, we'll do something creative and push the boundaries of what we do, maybe make some new music, not just go out there and be, like, an Aerosmith cover band."

Aerosmith may even change their name, as many fans have suggested. "We're contemplating our options," Kramer said. And certainly, they would always welcome a Tyler back into the fold. "We would never shut the door," Whitford promised. "There might be a sign on that door that has a list of qualifications, but we would never shut the door."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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