[1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

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[1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby StyxGuy » Sat May 05, 2018 1:39 am

http://www.styxcollector.com/tssterling93.html

This is one of the most telling stories about how Styx and the guys in the band work... right from Tommy's mouth. I haven't read the Sterling book, so this is "new" to me ;)

TS: I don't know. I think I know . . . I think he (JY) was really mad because when I joined Damn Yankees I had been discussing the possibility of re-joining Styx. But I wasn't very excited about it, because I still was feeling the same dynamics . . . you know, it was, "Here's what I want. . . here's what I want." There was never any discussion of, "What would you like?" So I didn't feel particularly emotionally attached to the possibility, and so when Damn Yankees came along, all of a sudden I was totally hooked emotionally. Because musically, socially, and in all things it was like the old days of being back in MS Funk. It felt like a band. And I never really got back to those guys about the reunion. JY was very, very upset about that. My experience with those guys is, as intelligent as they are, their one downfall is their difficulty in forgiving and moving on. Once you have gotten on their bad side, you're pretty much locked in that position.


Difficulty forgiving and moving on.... like with Dennis in 1999 Tommy?


SW: The albums say "Produced by Styx". Does that mean that each of you produced your own work?

TS: We each spent more time on our own songs, but Dennis was the guy, he was the anchor there. He knew more of what he was doing than the rest of us did. Knowing what I know now, I see what he was doing then. But at the time I didn't understand why he would just keep working at things. I just wanted to move on to the next thing. Dennis had a real vision, and he knew which song to put more emphasis on to get it through.

SW: Was he as pushy as people portray him as being?

TS: Not pushy, I just think focused. You've got to be able to keep things moving when you're making an album. You just can't keep taking little side trips, otherwise you lose your edge.

SW: Quite a number of people have potrayed him to me as someone they don't like very much.

TS: I think Dennis is very likeable. You know, not everybody gets his humor. He's a very bright, very charming guy. Except for when he's mad at me, I enjoy being around him.

SW: So what is it about him that seems to rub so many people the wrong way?

TS: Well, he's very confident, he's very intelligent, and he suffers no fools.

SW: Sincerely, a lot of people feel like he thinks he's the Lord of the Earth and they are just peons.

TS: (Laughs). I know Dennis better than that, and I know he can come off like that. But I have a lot of respect for Dennis. I think there's more to Dennis than what people know. I think he has more talent than has been appreciated.
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby yogi » Sat May 05, 2018 2:43 am

GREAT find
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby Boomchild » Sat May 05, 2018 4:42 am

This seems to point out one the main underlying reasons they had problems. Which is that these guys never gelled on a personal level. It seems that they had just a business partnership more then anything else.
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby masque » Sat May 05, 2018 5:26 am

^ boom is truth speaking.
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby StyxGuy » Sat May 05, 2018 6:06 am

Yep... they were all less true friends and more business partners it seems.

Even Tommy talking about how JY even sent lawyers letters to his fellow band mates instead of talking to them directly, like really dude?

I enjoy in this interview how raw and up front Tommy is about the band and the relationships within it. It does seem that something obviously changed in the late 90s because you have him here saying how much he respects Dennis and how Dennis really isn't a terrible dictator that others pan him out to be.

I even recall on the RTP DVD Tommy stating how incredible of a talent Dennis is and how lucky he is to get to be on stage with Dennis every night. That was probably recorded during or just before the BNW sessions, I think.
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby Boomchild » Sat May 05, 2018 7:03 am

StyxGuy wrote:Yep... they were all less true friends and more business partners it seems.

Even Tommy talking about how JY even sent lawyers letters to his fellow band mates instead of talking to them directly, like really dude?

I enjoy in this interview how raw and up front Tommy is about the band and the relationships within it. It does seem that something obviously changed in the late 90s because you have him here saying how much he respects Dennis and how Dennis really isn't a terrible dictator that others pan him out to be.

I even recall on the RTP DVD Tommy stating how incredible of a talent Dennis is and how lucky he is to get to be on stage with Dennis every night. That was probably recorded during or just before the BNW sessions, I think.


Here is my two cents. When they reunited in '95, they started out with a less complicated plan. They were going on tour together. Which consisted of doing some rehearsals, showing up to gigs, being onstage together for a few hours and going on their merry ways. Then they came up with the idea of doing a new album together. From there it was all downhill. I contend that if they just stuck to doing tours they may have stuck together.

On a side note. StyxGuy if you haven't seen it already, seek out DDY's interview with Artist House Music. I think it is the most in depth quality interview he has ever done. In it he talks about his musical career, being a songwriter, the band and the music biz. At one point in the interview he gives what I think are two great analogies about what it was like working in the band. If remember correctly they go something likes this:

It was like your mother, mother in law and your grandmother are the kitchen and trying agree on how make a cake.

It was like your dad, your uncle and your grandfather are in the garage building a bird house. They are trying agree on how big the hole should be on the bird house.
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby StyxGuy » Sat May 05, 2018 7:36 am

Boomchild wrote:
StyxGuy wrote:Yep... they were all less true friends and more business partners it seems.

Even Tommy talking about how JY even sent lawyers letters to his fellow band mates instead of talking to them directly, like really dude?

I enjoy in this interview how raw and up front Tommy is about the band and the relationships within it. It does seem that something obviously changed in the late 90s because you have him here saying how much he respects Dennis and how Dennis really isn't a terrible dictator that others pan him out to be.

I even recall on the RTP DVD Tommy stating how incredible of a talent Dennis is and how lucky he is to get to be on stage with Dennis every night. That was probably recorded during or just before the BNW sessions, I think.


Here is my two cents. When they reunited in '95, they started out with a less complicated plan. They were going on tour together. Which consisted of doing some rehearsals, showing up to gigs, being onstage together for a few hours and going on their merry ways. Then they came up with the idea of doing a new album together. From there it was all downhill. I contend that if they just stuck to doing tours they may have stuck together.

On a side note. StyxGuy if you haven't seen it already, seek out DDY's interview with Artist House Music. I think it is the most in depth quality interview he has ever done. In it he talks about his musical career, being a songwriter, the band and the music biz. At one point in the interview he gives what I think are two great analogies about what it was like working in the band. If remember correctly they go something likes this:

It was like your mother, mother in law and your grandmother are the kitchen and trying agree on how make a cake.

It was like your dad, your uncle and your grandfather are in the garage building a bird house. They are trying agree on how big the hole should be on the bird house.


Thank you, I will seek out the interview! I appreciate your views and input on this forum :)
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Re: [1993 Interview] Tommy Shaw

Postby Boomchild » Sat May 05, 2018 11:45 am

StyxGuy wrote:
Thank you, I will seek out the interview! I appreciate your views and input on this forum :)


Sadly it looks like their website (http://artistshousemusic.org/) no longer has the full interview up. It just has two small clips.
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington
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