STYX Bassist Ricky Phillips On Possibility Of Releasing A New Album - "We Are Not Going To Get On The Radio; It's A Tough Pill To Swallow"
May 13, 2013, 3 years ago
Classic Rock Revisited's Jeb Wright recently spoke with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips. An excerpt from the discussion is available below:
Jeb: I know you get this question because everyone wants to know…will the fans get new music from Styx?
Ricky: "JY and I were working on a song just last night. We continue to write all of the time. Here’s the thing, we have a stockpile of three quarter written stuff because we don’t want to completely finish the songs until we can get everyone’s input, because that is what really makes it special. To actually go in and spend the money to do it the way we insist it be done, doesn’t warrant the money to do it. Here is the frustration; most of the stations that would play a Styx song already have at least five Styx songs in their rotation and they don’t need another Styx song and they don’t want anymore. We are not going to get on the radio. It is a tough pill to swallow. We’ve decided that a new album will happen when the planets align. I have a feeling it may happen now because we’ve proven ourselves in this touring format.
Things are good in Styx World. The DVD of Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight did very well for us. A new album may not monetarily afford us, but it may give us the spiritual opportunity to exercise the songwriting and recording part of our art, which is so huge and fulfilling. As a producer, I miss those days of what I was doing. To just have it only be songwriting and producing does not do it. I would rather have it be included with the live performance. To be as good as this band is live is scary. We have to make it look easy. Things happen every night that the audience may not notice, but I notice. We will do something, all together, that we have never done and I wonder how we just did that. This is a band that really gets it and puts in the time and has the right attitude. James and Tommy are in a good place in the band. Tommy is the songwriter and James just knows when it is time to do what. We all chime in with what we have. We all have a different hat to offer. We need to know when to speak up and when to shut up. We do all of this and it somehow keeps pushing us forward. We all get along really well because we have great respect for each other as people as we well as musicians. We really do hang out together and crack up and laugh and watch crazy stuff on HBO together. A lot of bands don’t do that. When you see us up on stage, you are seeing us just continuing our day and I think that is why we have so much fun up there. Styx was not like that back in the day. They really didn’t hang out together. This band has progressed and JY has found a way to not make this the New Styx. This is a continuation and it took a lot of years to get here. A lot of the credit goes to JY."
Go to this location for the complete interview.
On November 9th, 2010, STYX brought two of their most revered albums, 1977’s The Grand Illusion and 1978’s Pieces Of Eight to the stage at the historic Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee. Eagle Rock Entertainment released this concert, The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live, as a 2CD set on May 7th.
The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight were both multi-platinum masterpieces that established Styx as a globally successfully rock act. This was the first time these albums were played live in their entirety. Showcasing the scope and sheer magnitude of the Styx sound, Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “J.Y.” Young (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Ricky Phillips (bass, backing vocals), and Chuck Panozzo (bass guitar) perfectly portrayed what made their music so groundbreaking.
Since their 1972 inception, Styx has sold millions of records worldwide, and defined the AOR genre for a generation of fans. Known for melding the elements of prog-rock with searing hard rock guitar and stellar songwriting, the band has produced such beloved hits as 'Renegade', and 'Come Sail Away'. The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live is a fitting representation of an incredible career.
Eagle Rock previously released this concert on DVD, Blu-ray, and DVD/CD in January 2012.
'The Grand Illusion'
'Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)'
'Come Sail Away'
'Man In The Wilderness'
'The Grand Finale'
'Great White Hope'
'Sing For The Day'
'Lords Of The Ring'
'Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)'
'Queen Of Spades'
'Pieces Of Eight'