Do you mind that I'm more of an AC/DC fan?
Best rock-'n'-roll band on the planet. Well, short of the Stones. I wouldn't even put us in that category. If I was on an island, just for melody--because my father went to Juilliard--I would take albums by those two and the Beach Boys' Smiley Smile. Just for the melodic f--- all.
Aerosmith is currently on the Global Warming Tour. Why did you call it that?
When we write a song and people come to see the band perform it, what is it? What is it that people come to? At the end of the day, it's that they warm their asses around our tribal fire.
You estimated in your recent memoir that you spent $20 million on drugs. Now you're on the road again. Are you sure you can stay sober?
I was sober for 12 years. Then both my parents died, I was trying to beat hepatitis C, which is 11 months of hell, and I had two operations on my feet. Walking was so painful that I decided I'd have to leave Aerosmith. That was even more painful, so I decided to take some meds that would allow me to stay with Aerosmith, and I fell off the stage. I did the Betty Ford trip and came out of the wormhole. I grabbed [guitarist] Joe [Perry] by the scruff of the neck, and I said, Let's do an album better than any we've ever done.
This will be your first studio album in 11 years.
Listen, we weren't wasting time. We were busy getting ready! We were collecting our marbles, so to speak.
Was band harmony one of the marbles you collected, between you and Joe?
I'm Italian, so I fight with everybody. But you know, when egos and drugs get in the way, it always turns into--like, for instance, when I fell off the stage. No one in the band called me up for 26 weeks. And I went into a shame spiral. The band got angry that the tour was canceled. Afterwards, we always find that stuff is good for the life of Aerosmith. Like me taking Idol. The band was pissed, looking for other singers. But then they found out that it brought the catalog up 270%.
Why leave Idol then?
It's television. It's not my forte. I'm one of those people that--obviously, since I've wound up in rehab eight times--take dangerous things and jump in with both feet.
You're saying instead of heroin, you took American Idol?
I think so. I think I'm addicted to adrenaline. It was a risky thing. I didn't know whether I'd get berated.
And this from a man who has two little dogs?
A Yorkie and a Morkie. One is a teacup I put in my pocket. And the other one I put in a sling over my shoulder, and I walk around, and it's the cutest f---ing thing on the planet.
People often get dogs after their children leave home. Is that what happened here?
I guess there's that certain amount of love that could be missing for a rock star after he comes home from raping and pillaging and dragging his balls across 100 miles of broken glass. Dogs have a lot of love. They sleep right next to my neck--you know, after I wipe 18,000 people off my body. I miss my kids a lot. I miss inviting four girls in the front row to ...
You're not doing that now?