“During the chorus, we had a big bonfire going. I burnt my eyebrows off, but it was worth it,” the singer tells PEOPLE. “We went through [the sequence] and the wind blew. The jacket I wore had little fur pieces on it and I could smell the burn on it. It blew the flames right at me!”
Despite his red-hot start, Tyler, 67, says his country career has been a long time in the making. The Aerosmith front man reports Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta had been trying to coax him to make a country album for a while, and the two finally inked a deal this past spring. The star-studded label, which boasts such artists as Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line, unveiled the video for Tyler’s debut country single on Friday after seeing it climb the charts for the past two months.
The clip begins with Tyler’s microphone and a string of his scarves in an empty arena and travels through the various phases of his life, flashing back to the cabin in the 1,200-person town he grew up in – and featuring an appearance by a special furry friend.
“Growing up, I lived in a cabin by the lake and I had a pet raccoon,” Tyler says. “I told that to [director] Trey Fanjoy, so she put it in the video.”
The girl in the video represents Tyler’s muse, he explains to PEOPLE, and she drags his scarves “through my life … over the river and through the woods,” from his childhood “to another life, which is my country [music] now.”
The video was shot in a forest on the outskirts of Nashville with a whole entourage, including the band Loving Mary and Fanjoy’s son, who plays Tyler as a kid.
“Take me out of it, take all my ego out of it, if you just watch the video, two things will happen: One, you’ll hear a really great song because it just is,” Tyler says. “And number two, you’re going to see a lot of love, and you’re going to see a lot of believability, and you’re going to see a lot of beautiful shots. It’s fun to watch. It’s very gypsy-chic!”
Tyler continues, “After I saw it, I called Trey back and I literally cried.”
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While the singer-songwriter did not pen “Love Is Your Name” – that credit goes to Eric Paslay and Lindsey Lee – he has co-written the majority of songs that will be on his solo record.
Tyler is halfway through a two-month tour with Aerosmith and will go back into the studio in Nashville in the fall to record the full album, which is slated for a winter release.