by Kristyn Clarke - Unskinny Pop Music News

photo by Jason Powell

(PCM) Proving that rock n’ roll is alive and well, especially when it comes to live performances, Styx have once again journeyed out this summer along with both Def Leppard and Tesla to bring fans one of the most exciting rock tours of the summer. It is sure to be a truly memorable evening for all who can attend any of the remaining tour dates.

True road warriors Styx continue to amaze me by giving 110% to each and every performance and certainly show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. I recently had a chance to catch up with Styx bassist Ricky Phillips, who you may also know was also a member of both The Baby’s and Bad English and has worked with countless rock n’ roll icons over the years. We, of course, chatted about Styx’s current tour with Def Leppard and Tesla, but also learned that work is currently being down on a new Styx album as well.

We also discussed the many changes in the music industry that are affecting musicians today, as well as, his work on the upcoming Ronnie Montrose tribute album, which is without a doubt going to be epic!

On the current tour with Def Leppard and Tesla

RICKY PHILLIPS: Things couldn’t be better. It’s a really great compliment of music and I think that it makes for a real good night of music for fans to get a lot of bang from their buck. These days concert tickets are quite expensive so you have to try to get your money’s worth. We’ve been selling out or nearly selling out all of the venues across the country so far and beyond that I think the most important part is that we all get along really well and it is just fun to be there. There are a lot of fun things going on and we didn’t even realize that it had been nearly seven years since we last toured with Def Leppard and they are good friends of ours, so it is just great to be out with them. You never know what’s going to happen and each day is a little bit different adventure. Backstage is sometimes just as much fun as up front.

On fans coming out to shows and the proof that rock n’ roll is very much alive and well

RP: My observation, at least, because we are out on the road at least 200 days a year, as it’s become the touring industry not the recording industry anymore. Unless you are Beyonce, Justin Beiber or Kanye … whoever is at the top charts, it’s kind of a different game, especially for classic rock because that kind of has its own heading now. For us, handling the touring, and this is kind of my point, don’t you think that they are better than they were? Because I’ve toured with all these bands back in the day when they were in their prime and they were good, but kind of had the momentum behind that hit single they were out there promoting, but broken downs the bands that are out there still doing it are way better than they were before.

I think people are in shock when they come out to see bands that are touring now and say ‘Wow, were they always this good?’ .. well, maybe they were close, but there’s something about being a seasoned veteran and being more accomplished and more competent. It isn’t just instrumentally, but vocally as well, I mean Joe Elliot is just out there kicking ass every night and the band’s background harmonies are stellar. We really, as the Styx band, pride ourselves on the vocals, so it’s great to see other band’s kicking ass the same way.

I don’t know about all bands, but I know we, Styx, we do all the songs in the original keys. We don’t tune down, we don’t use any pitch correction and Tommy Shaw jokingly says ‘All the mistakes you hear tonight were performed live’ so, that’s kind of what we believe in. When we come off the stage dripping, soaking wet we are talking about ways to make tomorrow’s show better than tonight’s show. That has been our M.O. all along with if we are going to be doing this, let’s do this at the highest level we can.

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