It’s another busy year for classic rock artist Styx. Currently in the midst of headlining dates, including an outdoor show at The LC on Thursday night, the band hooks up with Def Leppard and Tesla this summer for a run of dates in arenas and at state fairs. They’ll also be doing some cruise dates in June.

While many interviewers may not consider Styx worth interviewing if they can’t talk to one of the original members (James ‘JY’ Young, Tommy Shaw), I was very excited to have a chance to speak with bassistRicky Phillips who has performed with Styx since 2003. Phillips has a long and storied music career including being a member of The Babys, Bad English, Coverdale/Page and Elements of Friction (a 2001 studio project which featured former MSG vocalist Robin McAuley and former Ozzy drummer Tommy Aldridge).

I had a chance to do a phone interview with Phillips recently. Here’s what he had to say.

Do you have a chance to do stuff on tour or is just ride the bus to the next city, roll into the venue for soundcheck and the show and then to the hotel after the show?

I like to play golf, get away from hotels and backstage and concrete – always have and have done it in almost every band I’ve been in. Not a lot of people in this organization get that, but our sound man will definitely sneak away with me and we’ll get a round of golf in. Lawrence Gowan will know something about a city or have read something so he wants to go see whatever that place is. Todd Sucherman goes straight to the music store to do a clinic. Tommy’s big on jumping on a bike and riding through parks and along rivers and getting out into the fresh air. It’s just whatever it is you need to do to keep your sanity on the road. It’s important to not just lock yourself into your hotel room and surf the net and get bored to death.

This is the first band I’ve ever been in that all hangs together. Everybody is hysterically funny. There’s a lot of humor involved in this band and I think that’s an important factor in getting along. We see each other more than we see our own families.