Out On A Limb
With Steven Tyler
By Samuel Adams
An interview with Steven Tyler and his songwriter Marti Frederiksen on the rock legend’s latest album and his backing band Loving Mary
Iconic rock front man Steven Tyler has embraced the Nashville music scene with a new and talented backing band that also brings a little country flair of their own to the party. Opulence had a unique opportunity to chat with the very down-to-earth, multi-instrumentalist and longtime Aerosmith songwriting collaborator, Marti Frederiksen, about his friendship with Tyler, his own music career and hitting the road with The Loving Mary Band. And Tyler gave us his two-cents, as well.
“I headed down to Nashville last spring to start working on this project, wrote some kick-ass songs with some of Music City’s finest songwriters and now we get to share them with the world,” said Tyler. “Country music is the new Rock ‘n Roll. It’s not just about porches, dogs and kicking your boots up. It’s a whole lot more. It’s about being real. And nothing is more real than understanding We’re All Just Somebody From Somewhere.”
Meet the Songwriter-Producer
Marti’s songwriting relationship with Steven Tyler goes back to early 1997 and the two are close friends, which led to The Loving Mary Band being handpicked as Tyler’s backing band for his latest tour [Steven Tyler’s Out On A Limb] supporting a new solo album We’re All Somebody From Somewhere.
“The record has some country flavors, and at the end of the day, it’s a really great record… I ended up producing three songs…” Frederiksen said. Grammy Award-winning producer T-Bone Burnett also lent a hand in the production role, as did Tyler himself.
“The Loving Mary Band is the most phenomenal band I get to sing with,” Tyler said. “There’s a metamorphosis that happens when you’re with other people that do things another way if you’re open to it.”
To spice up the show’s tour, while audiences become familiar with the new material, Tyler is throwing a few Aerosmith classics in the set list, too. “He is one of the few artists who is still singing the original songs in the same key…he’s a freak of nature!” said Frederiksen. “Steven is having more fun than I’ve seen him have in years…he’s definitely got a smile on his face.”
While the members of Loving Mary are all accomplished songwriters who have penned successful tunes for themselves and other artists, Marti is a master craftsman having written for both Aerosmith and Ozzy Osbourne. As Marti pointed out, sometimes it is the unintentional aspects of a session when the best material comes out. “When I wrote [the Aerosmith song] Jaded with Steven, he was on the phone and I just started playing that guitar riff that starts the song. He was like, “What’s that, what’s that you’re playing?” I was like, “I don’t know, I’m just waiting for you to get off the phone!” Steven hung up, and we wrote the song and you know what? If he wouldn’t have said anything, I would have moved on to something else and that song would never have existed.”
Marti notes there are sometimes challenges between guiding the artist and suppressing the inner musician. “There’s definitely been times being in the studio with multiple artists where you want to say, ‘no, not like that, let me play it,’ but sometimes it’s hard to grab a guitar out of someone’s hand and say, ‘play it like this!‘”
The Loving Mary Band
Regarding Tyler’s new backing band, Marti said Loving Mary’s repertoire is a blend of musical genres.
“Through the rock music that I’ve played over the years, I’ve always been a fan of harmonies and melodies. Between everybody in The Loving Mary Band, the music is almost rock, pop, country…we’re definitely left field of the country thing, maybe more of an Eagles or Fleetwood Mac style approach. We’re just enjoying each other’s company and making music. We will see where we end up, but we’re sure having a good time and we see people smiling in the audience when we play.”
With more hooks than a home for aging pirates, The Loving Mary Band’s debut release, Little Bit Of Love, should keep the crowds smiling while Marti and his bandmates Rebecca Lynn Howard, Suzie McNeil, Elisha Hoffman, Andrew Mactaggart and Sarah Tomek continue spreading love across the land on their own – and, of course, backing Steven Tyler.
American fans can experience live versions of the new tracks, in addition to signature hits throughout the limited-run, 19-city solo tour, ‘Steven Tyler’s Out On A Limb.’
Tickets are now on sale, bringing the dynamic front man to a series of intimate venues for a once-in-a-lifetime evening with rock royalty.