Crash Of The Crown (album)

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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Wed Jul 07, 2021 4:26 am

Waiting for Suite's review of COTC.
STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby StyxGuy » Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:02 am

ChicagoSTYX wrote:
Monker wrote:Did COTC stay on the charts for a second week?


The charts are a day behind with the holiday.

On Amazon it's #6 on new rock albums and #16 on overall new releases. Not bad since it's been out almost 3 weeks.


Greatest Hits hit #47 on iTunes Top 100 Rock Albums today ;)
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby LtVanish » Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:05 am

I've listened to the album quite a few times now and I'm kinda bored with it already to be honest. I actually shelved the album already. It's an alright album, JY's little influence on the album makes it feel even less like an actual Styx album, but that's ok. I just view this line-up as the Tommy Shaw Band now and that is fine. This album is missing something, I just can't put my finger on it yet. I actually hope they keep making music, maybe eventually there will be an album that will keep my interest for over 2 weeks.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby brywool » Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:45 am

yogi wrote:He sure wasn’t looking back on Kilroy. He was pretty dead on. Outside of Kilroy I always felt his songs were pretty in the moment about what he really knew & cared about, with some minor exceptions ( Castle Walls, Born For Adventure..). But even the theme for Kilroy was in the moment.

Now he seems to be writing a lot about time & how it passes quickly, learning from mistakes etc..

It’s all good with both sides. I liked Volume 1 MUCH better than Volume 2 but I LOVE Crash Of The Crown. Album is PERFECT!

Still wish they would make amends with or without a reunion.


I totally agree with you on the Kilroy concept. I LOVED the concept. I loved the movie. MR was a bit weird, but not a deal breaker. When I read the concept on the album cover, I thought it was very cool. But his solo work is so much about the past. With All Due Respect, Last Guitar Hero, and Isle of the Misanthrope are notable exceptions.
NO. He's NOT Steve F'ing Perry. But he's Arnel F'ing Pineda and I'm okay with that.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby SuiteMadameBlue » Thu Jul 08, 2021 6:47 am

brywool wrote:
yogi wrote:He sure wasn’t looking back on Kilroy. He was pretty dead on. Outside of Kilroy I always felt his songs were pretty in the moment about what he really knew & cared about, with some minor exceptions ( Castle Walls, Born For Adventure..). But even the theme for Kilroy was in the moment.

Now he seems to be writing a lot about time & how it passes quickly, learning from mistakes etc..

It’s all good with both sides. I liked Volume 1 MUCH better than Volume 2 but I LOVE Crash Of The Crown. Album is PERFECT!

Still wish they would make amends with or without a reunion.


I totally agree with you on the Kilroy concept. I LOVED the concept. I loved the movie. MR was a bit weird, but not a deal breaker. When I read the concept on the album cover, I thought it was very cool. But his solo work is so much about the past. With All Due Respect, Last Guitar Hero, and Isle of the Misanthrope are notable exceptions.


Brywool
You’re a very accomplished musician and as such you listen to music differently than the majority of Styx fans and me. I never cared about “prog Styx” just Styx. But your observations about Dennis’s lyrics are dead wrong. While there is some looking back, his lyrics speak directly to current events and to our very souls. And the music itself is classic Styx. The kind most everyone here exalts.
The subject matters he touches on in these volumes are as up to date as you can get and they actually have meaning. Mission to Mars?

Add these to your list of WADR IOM TLGH.
Observations on the current state of our nation

A KINGDOM ABLAZE It’s about greed, politicians and the fall of an empire. America in crisis today.

THE PROMISE OF THIS LAND “There ain’t no guarantees it’s up to you and me to keep the promise of this land” It sounds to me as though he is speaking directly to all Americans about our current political situation.

UNBROKEN
It is really the same idea. It’s about America with our broken politics with a hopeful message.
Against the rain we'll forge a chain unbroken
And we'll defy every lie that's spoken
And now if we join together
In the age of the great divide. THE GREAT DIVIDE that’s us now.
And face the truth with our eyes wide open
Our hearts, our minds, this dream
Will stand unbroken, unbroken
Unbroken, unbroken. I hear “America America from SMB

The above lyrics in TPOTL are about “the dream” of America.
When he states “Once upon a promised land”. he is suggesting the American dream is only a fairy tale unless we make it otherwise. The above 3 songs are all connected to the times we live in.

YOU MY LOVE
He has said it was written about his daughters divorce. Some here Dennis sing a ballad and assume it’s about Suzanne.

ST. QUARANTINE This is about the past? Like what 1918? Please. And that end guitar solo wow.

LITTLE DID WE KNOW
It’s about the pandemic and politics and how he thinks people have behaved.
“So many were the days when life seemed unbearable. Caught up in the haze that poisoned the air”. Covid of course.
And how we have treated each other over politics.
“Unable to change or even to bend we lose our family and friends no compromise”.
Who among up hasn’t lost friends and family members over recent politics.
Do you believe this is living in the past?

YOUR SAVING GRACE
This reminds me of SMTW and HG and POH
His search for a higher power. This is always current.

Reflections on a life. Or as you put it to “so much about the past”.

East of Midnight
Damn the Dream
No Turning back Time
Always Time (Although the verses sound like all of us during the lockdown)
And Hello Goodbye which is purposely nostalgic and does musically paraphrase Beatle songs with clear intent. But it’s out in the open not hidden.

We know you like Tommy, I like him too, he’s a guitar player like you. But you needlessly commented about hearing echoes of BOT everywhere on Dennis’s albums so you could justify your gushing about COTC. The BOT music is similar but different in Grace and you know it but we all know where that came, that would be Dennis himself.
When he references something musically it’s him in Styx not a half dozen other bands that were Styx’s peers.
“Mission” was devoid of those blatant musical rip off’s. But COTC has Queen, Kansas, The Who, Pink Floyd etc. flowing throughout. Fans everywhere including on their own Facebook have commented. Check YouTube comments. Too many negatives.

Summing it up.
5 songs about the past and the passage of time from someone 74. Being someone of a certain age I hear these words, “Time gone like a thief down an alleyway, bending its way round the Milky Way” or
“ And oh for the chance to rewind and replay and relive the summers of innocent days
And to find all of the things we’ve lost and hold them close no matter the cost”.
and they touch me deeply in ways that no “tricky” time signature (Todd)or key change or instrumental do dad ever could.
But that’s just me.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby Monker » Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:50 pm

brywool wrote:
yogi wrote:He sure wasn’t looking back on Kilroy. He was pretty dead on. Outside of Kilroy I always felt his songs were pretty in the moment about what he really knew & cared about, with some minor exceptions ( Castle Walls, Born For Adventure..). But even the theme for Kilroy was in the moment.

Now he seems to be writing a lot about time & how it passes quickly, learning from mistakes etc..

It’s all good with both sides. I liked Volume 1 MUCH better than Volume 2 but I LOVE Crash Of The Crown. Album is PERFECT!

Still wish they would make amends with or without a reunion.


I totally agree with you on the Kilroy concept. I LOVED the concept. I loved the movie. MR was a bit weird, but not a deal breaker. When I read the concept on the album cover, I thought it was very cool. But his solo work is so much about the past. With All Due Respect, Last Guitar Hero, and Isle of the Misanthrope are notable exceptions.


Dennis about Isle of Misantrope:
The first single from Volume 2 will be “Isle of Misanthrope,” a track DeYoung claims captures the “grand ‘70s Styx tradition.” “This tune hopefully will transport you back to a time and place of your choosing (hopefully in front of your computer ordering the album)," the rocker declared. "Prog noggins this ones for you as I bid farewell.”

Sounds to me that he ADMITS to being stuck in the past on this one, and hopes that you are, too.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby Monker » Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:36 pm

SuiteMadameBlue wrote:We know you like Tommy, I like him too, he’s a guitar player like you. But you needlessly commented about hearing echoes of BOT everywhere on Dennis’s albums so you could justify your gushing about COTC. The BOT music is similar but different in Grace and you know it but we all know where that came, that would be Dennis himself.
When he references something musically it’s him in Styx not a half dozen other bands that were Styx’s peers.
“Mission” was devoid of those blatant musical rip off’s. But COTC has Queen, Kansas, The Who, Pink Floyd etc. flowing throughout. Fans everywhere including on their own Facebook have commented. Check YouTube comments. Too many negatives.


Sorry, but this just sounds so pathetic now. Nobody needs to "justify gushing over CotC". It's officially a hit album. You can downplay it all you want but the FACT is Styx doesn't need, or want, DDY in the band for their music to touch the masses. "Too many negatives." Bullshit. Too many Dennis B's out there trolling forums and YouTube...the way CotC has been accepted speaks for itself. Not even a Queen B like you can drown that out.

Summing it up.
5 songs about the past and the passage of time from someone 74.


Funny that he said vol 2 was dedicated to his early influences, to his time in Styx and the Beatles. Funny how he posed for a Beatles cover. Funny how one pic shows him driving away in a 60's Mustang, reminiscing of "Desert Moon", maybe...and driving it through what looks like Abby Road. Titling his songs off Beatles songs and cribbing their lyrics. Intentionally going into the songwriting style of his early Styx days. And, whining for YEARS about Styx.

But, no, he's not stuck in the past. Whatever.

Being someone of a certain age I hear these words, “Time gone like a thief down an alleyway, bending its way round the Milky Way”


Uh, huh, huh, you said, "time bends". That was cool.

and they touch me deeply in ways that no “tricky” time signature (Todd)or key change or instrumental do dad ever could.
But that’s just me.


The thing is, Styx did not just throw those Progressive elements in for them to be there. They make sense in the songwriting and many times build the emotional impact of the song. That is one of the most impressive things about this album and why it is genius. And, the lyrics are just as timely...ALL of the songs being about politics of the day, the isolating of the pandemic, people taking sides and refusing to listen or understand each other. And, it does it without preaching to people, or calling them assholes, or being all dramatic about it. It is far beyond any other songs I have heard commenting on these topics. It makes Journey's new song sound like a toddler wrote it.

If this is what Will brings to the band, bring him on. Hopefully, he can keep the band writing and releasing new albums...and being successful at it, too.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby jrnyman28 » Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:27 pm

Makes sense to me that DDY would be reminiscent of the past since this is reportedly his last album.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:20 am

New Music from H.E.R., Styx, Tom Morello, and Buckcherry https://www.amazon.com/vdp/03432aadadd9 ... a67de4e2bd
STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby Monker » Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:50 pm

jrnyman28 wrote:Makes sense to me that DDY would be reminiscent of the past since this is reportedly his last album.



Yes, it does. What doesn't make sense in the Queen B. arguing against it.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:57 pm

Monker wrote:
jrnyman28 wrote:Makes sense to me that DDY would be reminiscent of the past since this is reportedly his last album.



Yes, it does. What doesn't make sense in the Queen B. arguing against it.



He used to write about the future, "Don't Look Now But Here Comes The 80s". Now he writes about his kids coming over for a steak dinner and seeing his wife at the high school dance.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby StyxGuy » Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:05 pm

ChicagoSTYX wrote:
Monker wrote:
jrnyman28 wrote:Makes sense to me that DDY would be reminiscent of the past since this is reportedly his last album.



Yes, it does. What doesn't make sense in the Queen B. arguing against it.



He used to write about the future, "Don't Look Now But Here Comes The 80s". Now he writes about his kids coming over for a steak dinner and seeing his wife at the high school dance.


LOL.. that was a good chuckle :P

Dennis DeYoung has NEVER been wrong about writing a hit :P https://youtu.be/x8qXaIjEAFQ
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jul 13, 2021 6:01 am

STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:00 pm

https://www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/po ... c#stream/0

Good interview with JY. I knew his wife was ill but did not know she is an invalid needing 24/7 care.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby StyxGuy » Wed Jul 14, 2021 12:03 am

ChicagoSTYX wrote:https://www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/post/james-jy-young-styx-introduces-new-music#stream/0

Good interview with JY. I knew his wife was ill but did not know she is an invalid needing 24/7 care.


Oh wow... I knew she had suffered an aneurysm in 2008 which ended up being the first time Styx played shows without JY (at his insistence) but was not aware her condition was that bad.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby SuiteMadameBlue » Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:25 am

ChicagoSTYX wrote:https://www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/post/james-jy-young-styx-introduces-new-music#stream/0

Good interview with JY.


He explains here what some of us have noticed for a very long time and that’s it’s undeniably Tommy’s band. JY’s lack of knowledge regarding so many aspects of Tommy’s Styx is telling. He barely knows what’s going on with anything especially the creative process which has been evident to most of us for years.
Shaw Inc. now makes all creative decisions. Those who claimed otherwise have been foolin themselves.
Those who love this band as is and their last two albums can thank Wil and Tommy.
However most of us know if Dennis ever did anything like this he would be public enemy number one. The coup is complete. There is now only 1 Alpha Dog.
The real dictator is now in plain view.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby yogi » Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:25 pm

GREAT interview with JY. Live life to the absolute fullest. Not corny at all but great advice. Praying for his wife, JY & family.

One observation of the interview was as much praise as he laid at Wills feet he also seemed somewhat lukewarm about the situation.

Fantastic interview.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:50 pm

SuiteMadameBlue wrote:
ChicagoSTYX wrote:https://www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/post/james-jy-young-styx-introduces-new-music#stream/0

Good interview with JY.


He explains here what some of us have noticed for a very long time and that’s it’s undeniably Tommy’s band. JY’s lack of knowledge regarding so many aspects of Tommy’s Styx is telling. He barely knows what’s going on with anything especially the creative process which has been evident to most of us for years.
Shaw Inc. now makes all creative decisions. Those who claimed otherwise have been foolin themselves.
Those who love this band as is and their last two albums can thank Wil and Tommy.
However most of us know if Dennis ever did anything like this he would be public enemy number one. The coup is complete. There is now only 1 Alpha Dog.
The real dictator is now in plain view.


and you feel the situation with JY's wife has nothing to do with it? you failed to mention that in your comments about JY's involvement. It has everything to do with it! JY is happy with the way things are going with the band and he clearly said that. Queen B spin doctor!
STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:56 am

STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:33 am

STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:27 am

STYX new album coming in 2024
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:08 pm

https://newmexico.networkofcare.org/opi ... ?id=125331

TOMMY SHAW: STYX'S CRASH OF THE CROWN REFLECTS ON OUR NATION'S ISSUES
Montgomery Advertiser - 8/3/2021
Styx music is undeniably Styx music, no matter what decade it's from or which generation hears it.

That's certainly the case for Crash of the Crown, the latest album from the band with Montgomery rocker Tommy Shaw, who first joined them in 1975. It was released June 18 on the band's label Alpha Dog 2T/UMe.

The Advertiser caught up with Shaw, who offered some insight into the new studio album that had recordings made in Shaw's Nashville home. While Crash of the Crown has some feelings of the pandemic, Shaw said most of it had actually been in the works before anyone had heard of COVID-19.

Shaw said there were only two album cuts written during the pandemic: "To Those" and "Our Wonderful Lives."

The rest of this album touches on other issues affecting the nation. While they're not a political band, Shaw said that optimism and a realistic view is where a lot of Styx's music continues to come from. He said they're like a gospel caravan, sending out positive messages wherever they go.

"If you think back, the country's been a little divided. It's just been kind of building up for various other reasons," Shaw said. "That's the kind of thing that our antennas are up about. We feel it like everybody else does."

One particularly moving piece from the new album is "Hold Back the Darkness," which opens with the sound of raindrops. It sets up a story about a young person wanting to break away from his family, who are trying to keep him on the right path.

"It was melancholy," Shaw said. "A friend of ours lost her son to the opioid problem. It was terrible, and another friend of ours son was with him when it happened. It was so devastating to them. That's where that came from."

Along with Shaw, Styx's lineup has James "JY" Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass). The new album also has an appearance by original Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo, twin brother of the late Styx drummer John Panozzo who passed in 1996.

"I'm constantly amazed at how Tommy's songwriting continues to connect with the social consciousness that spans across generations," said Chuck Panozzo, who plays on "Our Wonderful Lives" and "Lost at Sea." "Both he and (producer Will Evankovich) have been able to tap into the core elements of the human condition, which is something that's not going to change that much in 50 years — or even 500 years. That's why STYX remains relevant after all this time, because we're part of the human condition."

The title track is a first for Styx, featuring three lead vocalists - Shaw, Young and Gowan.

"I'm always looking for the one different thing we can do and still have it be STYX, and that's the song I'm most proud of," Gowan said. "The beauty of it is that it's the culmination of all our talents crammed together into one song, Abbey Road-style. I also got to use some gear I never thought I'd have the chance to play on a STYX record like Tommy's Hammond B3 organ, my Minimoog, and my Mellotron."

Efforts to record began during the fall of 2019 at Shaw's studio with Gowan and Evankovich in the room working on "Common Ground." As the pandemic set in, they implemented quarantining and testing requirements before anyone could visit to work on the album's 15 tracks.

Just days before Crash of the Crown, Styx released The Same Stardust on June 12, an EP on 12-inch vinyl in celebration of Record Store Day.

Crash of the Crown comes at a notable time. Their previous studio album The Mission turned four on June 16, plus July 7 was the 44th anniversary of Styx's Grand Illusion album.

"It has stood the test of time," Shaw said of The Grand Illusion. "Who would have ever expected that? We were lucky to have success in the first place."

Follow them online at styxworld.com.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:50 am

https://519magazine.com/styx-are-making ... eir-lives/

Finally, after more than a year of lockdowns and people wondering if live music would ever come back, multi-platinum classic rock recording artists STYX have embarked on a long awaited tour to promote their latest release, “Crash Of the Crown”. Opening their shows with the anthemic first cut, “The Fight Of Our Lives”, the band seems to be making a clear statement that it’s been a tough go, but we’re back and we’re ready to rock! We talked about the new album and tour with keyboard player, vocalist and Canadian musical icon, Lawrence Gowan.

The new STYX album just dropped last month.
It’s been overwhelming. It went to number one on the Billboard Rock Album Charts I’m very pleased to say and I’m enjoying saying that at the top of every interview. That’s quite an astounding achievement for a band that’s been around for nearly half a century. Just to see that number one next to our names and number one on the bestseller list from Amazon as well, but the billboard distinction is really quite remarkable.

STYX has been around almost half a century and you’ve been in the band for 22 now. You’re still kind of the new guy. I remember Rush joked that Neil Peart was the new guy pretty much their entire career.
That’s right, he was. I don’t mind being referred to as new for anything at this point in my life. When they put the word new next to me, I’m quite happy to accept it.

I really love the new album. I think it’s amazing. I think you guys are writing your best stuff right now at this point in your career. Does that surprise you?
Thank you for saying that. Dan, you should definitely quote yourself on that. It surprises me from the perspective of being 15 years old and hoping that I could have a music career that could maybe get me to 23 or 24 years of age without having to get a job. So it does surprise me that the longevity of it has proven to be a great thing.

I think I felt that we were entering into this great kind of creative renaissance in the band around 2015 when we were putting together “The Mission” album. There was a sense that we had struck the right balance between the prog side of STYX, which is what I’ve always been most attracted to and what I try to champion the most in the band, and the accessible pop rock side of STYX that makes it so easy for the masses to absorb and to see themselves in the songs.

styx - Crash of the CrownThat’s the other side of the band that I’ve always thought was really unique, you know, “Blue Collar Man”, “Come Sail Away”, “Renegade”. People can see themselves in these songs, in the narrative and I think we’re just in a great spot right now and having found the right producer and now band mate in Will Evankovich helped facilitate this to where we’re in a very good creative mode.

The last album you talked about, “The Mission” is another great album. One of my favorite songs on there is “Khedive”, just a very short two minute song but really powerful. My feeling is from what I see is the band is really tight, really cohesive, and you support each other and lift each other up in your various roles in the band. Is that a pretty good assessment?
That is extremely astute. We enjoy each other’s company and we particularly celebrate the notion of what you just brought up. We really do kind of lift each other up on stage, and when you’re doing that in front of thousands of people, that creates a bond that is very unique and something that we’re very fortunate to share. Even now, because we’re touring right now, the dressing room rehearsals, you can feel everyone tightening the little nuts and bolts before we go on stage.

It’s quite a euphoric outcome that leads to the end of the night where we really share this triumphant moment together after you see what I call a sea of a thousand smiling faces looking back at you and telling you that something just happened through that musical medium that we don’t fully understand but we use to enrich our lives. It’s just a phenomenal moment that really happens, so that that is a very accurate assessment on your part.

What have the shows been like the last month after having the year off? You guys rely on heavy touring so it must have been really tough for you not to be able to get out and play.
You don’t want to make too much of that because a lot more people have had a much tougher time than we did. We were able to navigate our way through the year by focusing on finishing the record and getting it ready to release when and if the time came that we would get back on tour. Having the focus of that was really a great galvanizing thing where we were able to stay together, and doing Zoom calls, like you and I are doing right now, became the norm for millions around the planet. It did for us as well and this is how we stay connected and focused on what our trajectory was going to be as far as getting back out on tour.

You asked me about the tour. So we’ve been out now for just over a month and I don’t know if I’m projecting this onto the audience, but there’s definitely an extra layer of emotional release that’s very evident in the audience. Throughout the show, quite frankly right from the very beginning, it’s quite an emotional moment because we did learn over the course of the pandemic just how valuable music was to people’s lives.

The new album maintains that classic STYX sound, it’s still easily recognizable. “Our Wonderful Lives”, that’s got to be a Tommy song, Right?
It is. I think that’s very much in the tradition of “Boat On The River” for Tommy to write something that is so poignant and from such a unique perspective he brings to a song such as that. The other connection I see between that one and “Boat On The River” is on the original recording Dennis DeYoung played accordion. On our live versions of that I use a harmonium which is a little acoustic keyboard that you usually see in Indian Raga type bands. On “Our Wonderful Lives” he plays a banjo and I play that harmonium, so we got to use some kind of folk elements that brought those into the circle and it’s a very far reaching album with the instrumentation.

I think part of what you’re noticing with the overall sonic picture of the band connecting so well with the classic rock era is because we do go to great lengths to make sure that the instrumentation we’re using ties well to that era. There are a few exceptions like I just mentioned with the banjo and the harmonium on one song, but by and large it’s a band that consists of two guitars and some vintage keyboards.

I go to the Steinway piano and I go to the Hammond B3 first and foremost to sculpt whatever the keyboard approach is going to be with the song, and then when it gets enhanced with the synths, I have a vintage Oberheim and Moog and I even got a chance to use my Mellotron which is in working order just enough to make it onto several songs on this record. Sonically it’s going to pull you into that era while at the same time being very representative of a band that’s alive and very active in 2021.

Some of that was a result of the pandemic forcing you to record in Toronto at your own studio, right?
That’s exactly what happened to me. We had about two thirds of the parts that Tommy, I and Will had set up for the album prior to the pandemic arriving and those first couple of months of the pandemic everyone thought this would be over in six weeks. Then we got a little bit of a history lesson when we found out no, pandemics usually take about a couple of years to run the course and maybe with modern science we might be able to shorten that a little bit, but not much.

We began to really realize it’s ironic and beautifully synchronistic I guess that the lyrics to the songs and the themes related so well to what people were going through in a pandemic year. As a result we decided let’s record like this, let’s use the Zoom calls and use the Audiomovers apps.

So Tommy will be set up in his studio in Nashville, Todd did his drum parts from one of the most sophisticated drum rooms on earth in Austin, Texas, at his home, and I had my studio in Toronto, with Russ, the engineer that I work with all the time, and all my vintage gear made it onto the record.

It wouldn’t have otherwise.

I would have used the stuff that I keep in Nashville, which is newer and I guess, almost reverse engineered, the very reliable, you know, new Oberheim and new various pieces. But I got to use all the old stuff on this record and I think they really shine.

styx-2015Photo: Rick DiamondYou guys went through a period where you didn’t record any new music. That was a result of the record industry and the radio business, right? You guys seem to have adapted well to the “new” record business.
That’s it, you’re totally completely accurate.

When I joined the band, it’s 22 years ago now, we thought it would be a regular kind of touring and recording schedule that we’d follow. However, even then, it took us four years before we made our first studio record together, because the record industry was beginning to fragment and get into some serious trouble, quite honestly.

The focus went entirely on to let’s just keep playing live, keep making live DVDs of our shows, play with symphony orchestras and play a residency in Vegas, do a DVD of that, and we were kept really busy. We never played less than one hundred shows a year around the world so we kept extremely busy, but that fragmenting in the music business side of things, the recording part of it got worse and worse.

I’d say it was at its lowest from my vantage point probably 2008 to 2013, something like that. Then, as they began to come up with what the new paradigm is for the music industry, and how intricately connected with the internet it is, it was a force to be reckoned with and they finally reckoned with it I guess.

All the streaming services became part of the common way that records were being exposed. Universal Records came back and STYX was with them before and wanted to make a new album, so that was a great incentive to make a record that didn’t have to be on the radio because we know that’s moved in another direction.

Classic rock radio is going to continue to represent STYX to a great degree for as long as they exist, but they wanted us to make an album that felt like a real album that it wasn’t reliant on any one song or anything but it carried you all the way through. So we embraced that and made a concept record called “The Mission” and they stayed with it, promoted it over the two or three years of us touring that record to the point where we wound up playing shows where we would do that album in its entirety. We did three of them in Las Vegas. We did one in Boston, and we were about to do two in New York the week that the pandemic was announced.

That was a really unfortunate thing that was actually the thing that took the wind out of our sails the most when everyone got that first initial punch of it, but Universal have been very, very supportive. They said this record did well, let’s do another one, and “Crash Of the Crown” is the result.

Once again like you said, it’s a concept, there’s a story to this album, right? And it sounds like it fits with the pandemic but a lot of it was written before the pandemic, wasn’t it?
It is very odd. I can connect every single one of those songs to the experience that I had over the course of the last year and I think that’s really what people are doing. They can see themselves in “Fight Of Our Lives” or even “Crash Of the Crown”, obviously in “Our Wonderful Lives”. “Our Wonderful Lives” was written after the pandemic, two of them actually, I think the other one was “Stream”.

You can easily hear this as a conceptual album because the songs do interconnect in a very seamless fashion, but really what it is, it’s an album, and an album is a sort of theater of the mind that carries you through a forty minute adventure where you absorb the whole thing as one piece. If you can somehow see yourself in the picture of what this music is conveying, then it works in a conceptual way and that’s what the beauty of an album always has been.

It evolved into being two or three really good hits and then some other tracks and with our last two albums they really are complete musical statements for one thing, and you’ll see that one song bleeds into the next like side two, “Lost At Sea” is kind of an integral little bridge that takes you into “Coming Out The Other Side”, so it all kind of flows that way.

We used side two of “Abbey Road” as a little bit of a roadmap of how to do that in an effective way.

Maybe the best concept album of all time, if not the best album of all time. Is this coming out on vinyl?
It’s out on vinyl, and it’s back-ordered. They brought it out on regular black vinyl but they also have clear vinyl, and I’m scouring eBay right now trying to get a copy of that one. The clear vinyl was the first one I got a chance to open but of course it went to prize winners and stuff.

It’s funny that you can’t even get a copy of your own album.
I have a digital copy and we’ve signed a ton of them but yeah, Tommy just showed me last night on eBay he found one for like fifty-six bucks. That might be a little over my price range but you know what? I’ll do it; I’ll throw down for it.

It’s worth it, I think you should. So one thing I was going to ask you, it’s been 22 years since you joined the band. Did you see yourself here today, when you first joined the band? Did you think it was going be this long?
No, quite honestly in music you might be best to look at your life in music in six month increments and don’t really plan too much beyond that because you don’t know how the gods of rock are going to play the cards quite frankly, I did get a sense when I joined the band that this was going to work. I have said in the past and I stand by it, I had this inner feeling that I was doing the right thing because I felt so simpatico with them both musically and even more so personally.

I felt like yeah, I think I’m the right guy for this tour they’re doing over the next six months and then we’ll see. So we’re still in that I guess we’ll see mode and I have been for most of my life quite honestly, I don’t really project that far ahead. Not when you’re in an idiom that is as volatile as music is. But things worked out well so far.

Absolutely. I guess it helps you adapt by being open that way doesn’t it?
Well, it does that and it also it keeps me connected to my solo years as well. I’ve been doing more and more solo tours over the past 11 years now and it’s keeping that part of my life engaged. J.Y., Chuck and Tommy actually said that every time I go into a solo run I bring something fresh back to the band. Something in a subtle way shifts and so one kind of is helping the other and I know that I have solo things booked for 2022 coming up so that’s as far as my mind is projecting ahead at this point and getting through this and absorbing every great aspect of this current tour that we’re doing.

Can we look forward to seeing you in the Windsor/Detroit area sometime in the new year?
I certainly hope so. I keep looking for Michigan on the schedule. I think there are a couple of shows there. I don’t know if they’re in the Detroit area but certainly within the next 12 months we’ll definitely be in that area.

And when Canada opens up, I’d love to come and play in Windsor again at Caesars because that’s been a great venue both for STYX and for myself. I did a solo Gowan show there as well and STYX has played there at least probably four times now.

You guys are almost an annual event there I think.
Great venue there and Detroit obviously, we love playing Pine Knob and we’ve played Joe Louis Arena, yeah, we will be in the area. Michigan is such an important vital piece of the whole fabric of the STYX faithful, you know and Windsor being across the border I get to wear my own flag for a day.

That would be awesome to see you guys soon. I hope it happens and it’s been awesome talking with you.
You too Dan, thank you for listening to the record. I mentioned this yesterday during the interviews as well and earlier this morning. It’s great how people I have been speaking to have actually listened to the whole album. You’re bringing up deep cuts that are on there, they’re not even deep cuts, they’re just part of the record and people seem to be absorbing it.

I think if there’s one positive aspect of this pandemic, I think we take our time a little more to drink in the things that we really enjoy or want to delve into so maybe the album as a format is making a great resurgence.

I certainly hope so because I love the format. EPs are fine but they’re for people with short attention spans which seem to be the norm out there. Some of us still appreciate a nice long epic album with a story to it.
Exactly, I go through this as well where everything’s in ten second bites and I get that, I like how fast paced it is. But this isn’t the pace that I want my life to move in. I want to be able to drink things in and absorb them in a meaningful way that will stay with me, and the albums that I grew up loving, that’s how it is. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” means as much to me today as it did when I first got it.

I like putting the needle on and all that, and we want “Crash Of the Crown” to be that experience for people and so far that seems to be the case.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsxlF6 ... C9xnt6vHdQ

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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:57 pm

https://www.goldminemag.com/interviews/ ... test-music
Styx commands the "Crown" with latest music
Styx are back in form with the album "Crash of the Crown," an expansive, proggy endeavor that will delight their most adventurous fans. Longtime Styx guitarist James “JY” Young and bassist Chuck Panozzo chime in.
Martin PopoffUpdated:Sep 4, 2021Original:Sep 3, 2021
Might Styx take the crown for first post-pandemic band? It’s a strange thought, and probably a pointless one, but the band’s new album, Crash of the Crown, is elliptically about the hope and expectation as we break out from lockdown, bursting our self-imposed and government-prescribed bubbles.

Indeed, the record, arriving admirably soon after 2017’s The Mission, is the product of these bubbles, with guitarist Tommy Shaw and his songwriting partner Will Evankovich doing much of the work in Nashville together at Shaw’s home studio, taking visits from keyboardist Larry Gowan and co-bassist Chuck Panozzo, but with much of the work happening remotely, utilizing modern technologies. So there are workspace bubbles but also manpower bubbles at hand, each Styx album along the way featuring different prime creative drivers.

“Well, it’s leaning more prog, that’s for sure,” chuckles longtime Styx guitarist James “JY” Young, when asked about the similarity of this album with The Mission. “We’re definitely trying to spread the lead vocals around like we always do — that’s not really different; it’s just different members of the band at this point. I think this is the least vocals I’ve done on a record and I was less involved in the writing.

“I don’t know,” he adds, “I’m no spring chicken anymore. I passed 65, and there’s a lot of issues health-wise in the family that I had to deal with, so I wasn’t as involved in the writing process, let’s say. But Tommy Shaw loves to write, and his collaborator, Will Evankovich, we met when Tommy was in Damn Yankees, hanging out there in the Bay Area with Jack Blades (Night Ranger) and with (Ted) Nugent, of course, on his ranch or on the farm, or whatever he calls it, in Michigan. But Tommy and him are prolific writers. Nobody sells records like they used to, but we like to just keep putting new things out there.”
Asked about the theme of the new record, Young says, “No one has ever articulated an overriding concept to me. The Mission was quite obvious — it was going to be a story about a mission to Mars. This was a pandemic-made record, and I just think it’s a reflection of what the world has evolved into from our perspective. ‘Crash of the Crown’ can be interpreted in so many ways, but no one has ever really told me anything about the title. But one can look to the rise and fall of almost everything, which is happening as we speak — the rapidity of change, the velocity of change has increased. In a sense, we’re just kind of hanging on here and reflecting on that. There are hopeful songs on this record, some very upbeat songs, but there’s a little darkness there, too. It’s kind of standard Styx fare going way, way back to the beginning, influenced by bands like Yes and Pink Floyd — believe it or not, Pink Floyd has snuck into the thinking of Styx from time to time.”

Look no further than “Hold Back the Darkness” for that one, but elsewhere, there are the usual evocations of The Beatles and CSNY, but also Soundgarden and Jethro Tull, amidst many wide-angled, half-time grooves and even some banjo. Indeed, Crash of the Crown sounds like it cost millions of dollars (and hours) to make. But, says Young, “It sounds expensive, but technology has advanced to a point where you don’t have to go to a multimillion-dollar studio to record. Tommy has a phenomenal home studio in his basement. There are no limitations, basically.”
Founding Styx member Chuck Panozzo, as has become tradition given his health issues living with HIV, is involved with the band but performing light duties (drummer Todd Sucherman and second bassist Ricky Phillips round out the group). Still, Panozzo realizes what a treasure this cabal of brothers has represented over the decades.

“I really perform with some of the best singers from all of rock and roll,” reflects Panozzo. “It was a comfort zone going to Nashville to do my parts, less pressure than it was in the old days, going to a studio. But because we tour so much, the guys’ voices are in great shape. They haven’t aged really, which is a problem with many bands when you get older. JY has a great David Bowie-style voice and Tommy just soars. I found the whole experience exciting.”

Thematically, adds Panozzo, “Of course, we’re going to be affected by the pandemic. I’d say it’s about the pandemic, but it’s not about during the pandemic — it’s about coming out of the pandemic. Which I think now is so timely, because we are pretty much emerging from it. There’s definitely some inspiration from Yes in the record but also Queen and the entire 50 years of Styx, which is a very long time. You know, these guys — these guys, my band members, excuse my slang — they just are so into it. They play with their hearts. It’s like standing naked. OK, now we have to produce something better than we did last time. That’s not always easy to do, but if you have an overriding concept going there and you prepare for it, it just makes it easier to produce.”
There’s no question the addition of Gowan to the band in May 1999 pushed Styx to new levels. Remarks Panozzo on the multi-talented Canuck, “He’s a trained pianist, he’s a genius, really, and he’s one of the nicest people I ever met. I’d say Lawrence is one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, and no ego at all, a fun-loving guy and a very, very funny band member. Like I say there’s no ego there, which is amazing with someone that talented. The thing is we all have to check our egos at the stage door anyway, because if you bring your ego to the stage, every note, you’re screwed. No, Lawrence brings that Canadian element to us.”

Adds Young, “Well, I really wish he was a better keyboard player; he really has no facility at all. I say that sarcastically. No, Lawrence Gowan is an amazing human being, an amazing musician, he’s written some great songs and he’s a very strong performer and a very strong singer. We are known for having three lead vocalists, and he is certainly different from Dennis DeYoung (Note: The album’s title track marks the first time in the band’s career that they’ve used all three singers on the same song). Onstage, he is Dennis DeYoung’s equal and more — he’s an astounding, very engaging showman. Honestly, he’s become one of my best friends in the world.”

The Styx minions should be out bursting those virus-necessitated bubbles as you read this, witnessing the boys performing live. As is their tradition, look for lots of outdoor venues on the docket, these open-air shows seeming so right for this summery band with their songs of hope. Expect the hits, but also a sampling of this plush and progressive record, an album that again, as Panozzo has articulated, was written during the pandemic but is all about the hope — and hopefully happiness — that comes next.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:01 pm

https://www.njarts.net/renewal-is-theme ... -pandemic/
Renewal is theme of ‘Crash of the Crown,’ album recorded by Styx during pandemic
“We all kind of joked that we couldn’t wait to get back to work so we could stop working so much,” laughed Styx keyboardist Lawrence Gowan as he talked about the band’s workload during the pandemic, their new album Crash of the Crown, and their ever changing fan base.

“It was really fun, actually, because we kept ourselves extremely busy working on this record and I’m really glad that we did because it has already connected so well with people. We did a bunch of streaming things, too, so we could stay connected with the faithful out there throughout.”

When a band has been as wildly successful as Styx (who will perform at the Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City, Oct. 1), it is certainly no accident. Hard work and evolving strategies have kept them a top-selling recording act and concert draw for decades. So one may wonder why they don’t just rest on their laurels and do as many of their peers do, and tour using their past hits with no new offerings.

According to Gowan, the band has never even considered slowing down, as is evident by this latest release, pandemic or not.

“It’s been a couple of pretty wild years if you think about it, hasn’t it?” Gowan said. “We started this album at (frontman Tommy Shaw’s) studio in Nashville prior to the pandemic. We got all of the songs written there and kind of scoped and mapped it out and got a good chunk of our vocals, particularly our background vocals, done there in Nashville. It was when the pandemic began that we decided to finish the rest of the album by recording our parts in our studios in the various cities where we were, because after the first three months of the pandemic, we realized that these songs were so relatable to what people were going through that we should really make an attempt to finish them off.”


The cover of Styx’s album, “Crash of the Crown.”
Through modern studio technology, he said, “you can be in remote studios around the world and be hearing the others in real time and actually hear the person playing through the monitors in studio and not sending emails back and forth. So I could hear (drummer) Todd (Sucherman) from Austin, Texas, in his drum room, which is one of the most sophisticated on Earth, and Tommy Shaw and (guitarist) Will Evankovich in studio in Nashville. I was in my own studio in Toronto, which holds all of my vintage keyboards, and I was able to utilize all of those on the album in real time, and it actually played well into our hands as how to finish the record. (Bassist) Ricky Phillips, (bassist) Chuck Panozzo and (guitarist) James Young wound up flying to Nashville and finished most of their parts in Tommy’s studio and we had the album done.

“Then we played it for (the band’s label) Universal and they were really excited about it and came up with a great plan on releasing the record by saying, ‘Let’s hold onto it until it’s simultaneous with you guys starting to tour again.’ And they held it until June 18 and we did our first show, announcing the record, on June 16. Two days later it came out, and 10 days after that it hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Album Chart and it is back ordered now, already.

“Universal said they were going to need another album ASAP because this one is doing really well.”

With the success of their prior studio album, 2017’s The Mission, which took the band back into its progressive rock past, they decided to continue down a similar path with this new release. But Gowan stops short of saying that it is a “concept album.”

“I think the longest song just hits four minutes,” he said. “These are short little pieces and one bleeds into the other and you’re into the next song before you even know it. We used the template of a progressive classic rock record that is only going to be 40 minutes long because the side of a vinyl album can only be roughly 20 minutes per side before you start losing fidelity. So we knew it was going to be 40 minutes long, and instead of amalgamating these into one song … you know how you can take three or four pieces and say, ‘Okay, this is one song’? … we kept them individual, kind of like … we kept hearkening to side two of (The Beatles’) Abbey Road, where short little pieces suddenly flow into the next song and the next one and, before you know it, you haven’t even realized you’ve turned a corner.

“We’ve had success with the last two records approaching them that way. What is funny is that when something seems to happen to your detriment, there is always a good side to it, if you look for it. And for us, the fact that radio doesn’t play new classic rock music because, by its nature, it has to be at least 25 years old, I guess, before it is classic … the form of the album suddenly came back to us and we said, ‘There doesn’t have to be a hit single.’ We said, ‘What there has to be is a cohesive statement of music that lasts about 40 minutes, that is comprised of songs that interconnect in some way or in some way convey a similar sentiment where they are connected by their spirit and that is the concept. The concept is that you are going to listen to this for 40 minutes straight. You’re going to flip the thing over halfway through. And you’re going to hold the artwork and have this tactile experience that goes along with the listening experience.’ ”

Even the title has an interesting flair. Gowan said that it is more inspirational than it may seem.

“Crash of the Crown is a title; you can read a lot into that,” he said. “There is all kinds of subtext to it, etc., but the crash of the crown is the apex or the highest point on the mountain, so to speak. And if you look at it in a social structure or even physically, where whatever had achieved the ultimate achievement is suddenly pulled away … I envision it like a mountain, where if you suddenly chopped off the top of it, suddenly there is a volcano and what spills forth from the volcano is both terrifying and it also kind of signals renewal.

“So when the crown … in this case, and you can read into that in any metaphorical way … when that suddenly has been wiped away, all kinds of other possibilities spill forth. That is what is really put across in that song and so many of the songs on Crash of the Crown. The songs are about renewal, and this is why we felt it so important to finish the record, because it is about renewal after a cataclysmic event.

“A cataclysmic event like ‘Crash of the Crown’ or ‘Sound the Alarm’ or ‘Save Us From Ourselves’ or ‘Fight of Our Lives’ … all of these (song) titles tie into that notion that whatever was perceived as insurmountable is suddenly wiped away, and that really relates to what the pandemic did. Who would’ve thought that the world could grind to a halt the way it did a year ago, and yet it did. Suddenly we’ve made all kinds of new discoveries that we could pull out of this. In some ways, we could pull out of this better or worse, depending on how you approach it.”

Has Styx’s fan base expanded over the years, and are they accepting of the new music? Gowan says that from his vantage point, things have come full circle.

“I’ve been in the band for 22 years; I’ll break it into two decades. In the first 10 years that I was in the band, most of the audience that we played to around 1999-2008 were about 40 years of age. That was roughly the base demographic, mid-30s to about 50 … About 12 years ago I began to notice a shift in the audience. This is just me from the stage, taking my own little social cross section. I began to notice clumps of younger people together at the shows. Small groups that seemed to know the songs. And of course, we’re playing all the classic Styx stuff. There has never been a show where we don’t play ‘Renegade,’ ‘Come Sail Away,’ ‘Blue Collar Man,’ ‘Grand Illusion’ … those are songs that have to be in every Styx show, which is fine, and they still are.

“But every year for the last 12, those groups of younger people have been growing, to the point where when I came offstage just 12 hours ago, the front row of the show were all under 40 years of age. They weren’t even born when the biggest Styx records were made! They weren’t born until after 1980, ’81 or ’82.

“I recently talked to Alice Cooper about this. He sees so many kids in his audience now, as do we, that we realized this is spanning generations. Classic rock … and with Styx being part of that genre, classic rock is the great musical statement of the last half of the twentieth century. There are younger people now discovering it and also bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Genesis and Yes … and they want to go and see them! I went and saw my friend (bassist) Tony Levin, who has played on all of my solo records. He was playing with King Crimson and I was sitting next to a guy who was about 18 years old and he knew the whole Crimson catalog.”

Gowan said Styx tries to add new songs into its set “in a very seamless way. For example, we open the show with ‘Fight of Our Lives,’ which is the opening of Crash of the Crown, and that immediately bleeds right into ‘Blue Collar Man.’ So they’re into a classic song before they even know that they’ve heard something new. Then, for example, by the time we get towards the end of the show, Tommy has already played ‘Sound the Alarm,’ which immediately morphs into ‘Crystal Ball.’ So he covers 45 years of his career in a span of about 10 minutes without ever introducing it as a new song. And because these two albums, The Mission and Crash of the Crown, sound like they’re from the ’70s because of the way we approached them, a lot of people don’t realize that they’ve heard something new.”
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Re: Crash Of The Crown (album)

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:23 pm

https://rockandrollglobe.com/rock/styx- ... -pandemic/

Styx: Crashing Through The Pandemic
Longtime bassist Ricky Phillips talks about the new album Crash of the Crown and its place in the band’s legacy
With their seventeenth studio album, Crash of the Crown, legendary rock band Styx embraced “something that is much more difficult than most records we’ve done,” says longtime bassist Ricky Phillips, calling from his Austin, Texas home.

“It’s really more of a progression towards the progressive side of the band. Instead of simple song structures, there’s little segues that might even be within one song,” he adds. “Odd time signatures are used. Huge Styx harmonies. All the big type of hooks that Styx is known for.”

Phillips notes that this album, which was just released in June, was inadvertently prescient. “People have been asking questions because it seems like a lot of the song titles and lyrics are about being locked down, or politically motivated – and they actually are not,” he says. “Most of these lyrics were written far before the election and COVID.”

To support Crash of the Crown, the band is hitting the road this summer and fall – their first string of shows since the pandemic began.

“It’s going to be fun,” Phillips says. “To get people familiar with [the new album], we’ll do a few cuts that hopefully will make people more interested in wanting to hear the rest of the record.”

But, he adds, “We won’t force-feed anybody the new material. We’ll play a little bit, but people really want to hear the songs that they’ve grown up hearing and paid their good money to come and see live, so we respect that.”

Styx certainly have plenty of hits they could play. Starting in the 1970s, they released a string of singles that hit the Top 10 in the Billboard charts, including “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” (1978), “Renegade” (1979) and “Too Much Time on My Hands” (1981), all of which feature lead vocals by Tommy Shaw, who still fronts the band.

Phillips says he and his bandmates never tire of playing these hits. “One of the luxuries of playing Styx material is that it’s generally very well-crafted and very fun to play every night,” he says. “And it’s a challenge to play Styx material and sing those harmonies at the same time. When you’re playing odd meters and have to sing against that, you’d better be ready for it! That keeps us entertained night by night. I’ve been playing all my life, and it’s still a challenge, some of the things.”

Growing up in Redding, California, Phillips admired his father, who sang and played guitar. Noting his musical interest, his parents bought him a piano when he was seven years old, and it wasn’t long before he also mastered the piano and bass guitar. As a teenager, Jimi Hendrix and The Who inspired him to put together a band. “We were called The Warlocks,” he says. “We were a badass little band! We would play teen dances, and our parents would have to drive us because none of us were old enough to drive.”

Phillips went to college at San Francisco State University, but dropped out in his senior year so he could pursue a music career full-time. Forming a band with friends, he toured the country for three years before finally ending up in Los Angeles, “sleeping on couches with twenty borrowed dollars in my pocket,” he says.

He wasn’t in such a precarious position for long, though: “During the first three weeks I was there, I was seen by the soundman for a British rock group called The Babys.” That band included frontman John Waite, and also future Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain. “John didn’t want to play bass, he just wanted to sing at that point. So I auditioned for them, and I ended up going on the road with them.”

Phillips was in The Babys from 1979 until 1981. “It was a really, really great first professional band for me to learn from such great guys. John Waite’s voice still gives me goosebumps. And Jonathan Cain was the consummate writer – still is.” (Phillips, Waite and Cain would also go on to form the band Bad English in 1987, earning a hit single in 1989 with the power ballad “When I See You Smile.”)

When The Babys toured with Styx, Phillips befriended his future bandmate Tommy Shaw. But by the early 1990s, Phillips figured his days on the road were done, as he’d moved on to composing for film and television. He also did some session work, including appearing on 1993’s Coverdale-Page, the only album to come out of a collaboration between Jimmy Page and David Coverdale.

“Then I get a call from Tommy Shaw saying, ‘Hey, would you consider touring again? Chuck [Panozzo, original Styx bassist] has had some health issues, and we need somebody who can be here full-time and sing some high harmonies,’” Phillips says.

He knew he’d fit in well with the band as soon as he joined them on the vocal harmonies that are such a crucial component of Styx’s sound. Doing that for the first time “was amazing – all those beautiful voices,” he says. “Next thing you know, I’m on the road – and now I’m just finishing up my eighteenth year with the band.”

Now, with Crash of the Crown, Phillips has one more reason to feel proud of being in Styx. As he sums it up: “This was a big undertaking, this record, and I’m really happy for the way it’s being received because a lot of time and energy, heart and soul, and sweat and tears have gone into making it.”
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