Steven Tyler is responding to harsh criticism from Kid Rock by taking the high road ... Well, sorta.

Kid Rock blasted the Aerosmith frontman for his decision to take a seat at the 'American Idol' judges table, calling it "the stupidest thing [he's] ever done."

"He's a sacred American institution of rock 'n roll, and he just threw it all out the window," Kid told Entertainment Weekly. "Just stomped on it and set it on fire."

Those are words Tyler refuses to let faze him. "Kid Rock was there when we went to the White House," he recalls to Billboard, referring to the Kennedy Center Honors, when both men were on hand to pay tribute to the night's honorees. "I looked at him and said, 'You know what man, I'm not going to argue with you. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.'"

The 62-year old rock icon says he has no harsh feelings for the Detroit rocker/rapper and rather has empathy for him. "We're all an outcome of what we've been, and he's certainly lived a rough life," Tyler acknowledges. "He's got a single coming out and he's like a pregnant animal. When you have an album, you want to protect it. You want to do whatever you can to make it happen. I just know that deep down inside, his comments don't mean s---. It just doesn't mean anything in the great scheme of things. It's television. I've never done this and it's going to be fun, and if he thinks for a minute that it's going to take my career down ... I want what he's smoking."

Kid Rock may be opposed to the new judge, but one former 'Idol' contestant, Chris Sligh, thinks it's a step in the right direction. "I have a feeling Steven Tyler is going to be a genius move," Chris tells The Boot. "Everybody is questioning it, but I think it's going to be genius because that guy is so high all the time, it's going to be like Paula, except for in a crabby male version. It's going to be like if you combine Simon and Paula without the empathy. It's going to be awesome."

The show, which launched the careers of Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington and Danny Gokey, among others, will have several other changes besides the addition of Steven. He will be joined by fellow newcomer judge Jennifer Lopez, as well as returning judge Randy Jackson. In addition, the show has added a mentor for the contestants (music producer and Geffen exec, Jimmy Iovine), lowered the age limit from 16 to 15, and will skip straight to the Top 12 semi-finalists, instead of the previous method of starting with 24.

The new season of 'American Idol' kicks off on January 19 at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.