You Won’t Believe What Band Actually Offended Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler in an Extra Minutes extended interview, 2013 - 60 Minutes Australia / Youtube
The realm of rock music has been a hotbed of conflicts and controversies throughout its storied history. In an industry where countless musicians vie for the coveted top spot, it’s no surprise that a fair share of them find themselves entangled in disagreements and disputes. These often manifest as brief verbal skirmishes among artists, but on occasion, they evolve into long-standing feuds.
One of the most bitter and memorable rivalries in rock were of Aerosmith and KISS, two highly successful musical acts formed during the 1970s, have both enjoyed substantial careers marked by the release of numerous hit albums and impressive commercial achievements.
And for Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, the feud was quite personal. As someone called the Demon of Screamin’, Tyler did not mince his words when asked about their fellow heavy hitters during an interview with 102.5 The Bone back in 2012.
“They’ve got a couple of hits, but they’re more comic-book – you see them in their spackled faces,” the rock singer said in unrestrained disgust.
It started with a knife fight
In the same interview, Tyler revealed the personal reason why he despised the makeup-wearing hard rockers.
“I remember when we went out with Kiss in 1976 or something, one of our roadies got into a knife fight with their guys. I hated them ever since,” Steven remembered.
The bands have traded barbs since then. Even when they co-headlined a tour in 2003, Tyler remained not a fan of KISS, and even refused to do promotion for it, which was revealed by guitarist Joe Perry via Variety.
The bitter feud was further exacerbated by Aerosmith’s appearance on the The Cowhead Show aired by 102.5 The Bone.
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KISS is a ‘comic book rock band’
After calling KISS a “comic-book” band with “their spackled faces”, Tyler shared that Aerosmith have always a band that “had something to prove”. ”We always wanted to blow off whatever band it was,” he added.
While Tyler did reveal that the feud has mellowed a bit since he has gotten to know Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and that “they’re beautiful people”, he still thinks that the two bands are worlds apart, especially with guitarwork as he referred to Perry.
“I sometimes, depending on the time of day, get offended. I go, ‘It’s alright, but do they really mean it? What’s this all about?’” the frontman mused.
Guitarist Perry chimed in: “It’s two different animals. They went the theatrical was and used rock’n’roll as their soundtrack. For Aerosmith, the music is our show.”
KISS & Aerosmith, 2003. pic.twitter.com/L6lLj4xgBB
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) July 12, 2022
Kiss was “so much more”
Stanley did not take thing lying down, and his rebuttals are not pretty.
“Look, I love Steven and Joe, and Aerosmith is a great band. Maybe Steven’s feeling a bit full of himself because he’s got an album coming out,” Stanley said during with Rockline Bob Coburn.
The guitarist also believed that the antagonistic Tyler, especially during their co-headling tour in 2003.
“There is some sort of — ambivalence or looking down his nose a bit towards Kiss. So I have to say that seeing him go on after us, to play to an underwhelmed audience and see people walking out didn’t feel too bad to me,” Paul remarked.
Stanley further attacked Aersmoith in his book Face the Music: A Life Exposed, saying that Tyler’s group was “a rock band” and Kiss was “so much more”.
Kiss, 1979. Photo by Bob Gruen. Kiss tends to be a band that is either loved or hated? Where do you fall? pic.twitter.com/SQ8uJIOxhw
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) September 26, 2023
Two different worlds
While KISS utilized their stage show as a means to captivate their audience during their rock and roll performances, Tyler, on the other hand, leaned towards letting the music speak for itself whenever Aerosmith took the stage.
Attending an Aerosmith concert is an electrifying experience from the very moment Tyler steps into the spotlight, transforming into one of the most magnetic frontmen in the annals of rock history, all the while delivering songs that would test the physical endurance of most vocalists.
Even amid their bitter jabs at each other, Perry took the extraordinary step of sharing the stage with the rival band during their 2003 tour, going as far as to perform the song the hit “Strutter” with them, donning a pair of Simmons’ oversized dragon boots.