These days, Jon Bon Jovi is hardly livin' on a prayer. He's got a new movie, Pay It Forward with Kevin Spacey, due in theaters Oct. 20, and his band's first album in five years, Crush, has spawned the hit single "It's My Life." The song's video recently cracked MTV's viewer-voted countdown Total Request Live, a playground usually reserved for such kiddie pop stars as Britney and 'N Sync.

"Not bad for an old man, huh?" laughs Bon Jovi, 38. "Especially one that doesn't dance or sing to tape." All joking aside, the veteran rocker isn't quick to write off teen acts: "Will any of those guys be around [in] ten years? Who knows? But once upon a time, people thought we were a fluke, too."

Indeed, despite changing musical tastes, the band Bon Jovi has remained wanted, dead or alive, long after many of its fellow '80s acts became punchlines (remember Warrant?). Bon Jovi thinks he knows why. "One thing we learned after the success of New Jersey was to not be [completely] reliant on the band," he says. "So many guys are, and many bands fall apart because of it. This life isn't always romantic. If it's the only thing you've got, it'll eat you up."

While the men of Bon Jovi have pursued other interests — besides Jon's foray into acting, drummer Tico Torres is an accomplished painter — they'll focus on their rock roots for the season premiere of VH1's Storytellers, airing tonight at 10 pm/ET. With eight albums worth of material, Bon Jovi may have a difficult time deciding which songs to include, but the father of two seems partial to Crush's "I've Got the Girl."

"You hear the title and think, 'Oh, great, another song where Jon Bon Jovi gets the girl,'" he says. "But listen to the lyrics. It's actually my first song about being a dad, and it celebrates the angst of being [one]. It's for all the fathers, me included, that are gonna go through hell when their little girls go out on that first date."