Join us in our celebration of Equinox, which was released 40 years ago today on December 1, 1975.

by Mike Mettler

Sweet, sweet sounds fill the air: Please join us in our celebration of Equinox, which was released 40 years ago today on December 1, 1975. Equinox was Styx's first album on A&M Records, after releasing its first four LPs on Wooden Nickel/RCA. Right out of the gate, Equinox's lead track, “Light Up,” fused the band’s best instincts for how to blend harmonies, keyboard hooks, and power chords together to memorable effect, resulting in a song that continues to grace many of Styx's live set lists today. Two other hard-driving singalong Equinox songs, “Lorelei” and “Suite Madame Blue,” are also in regular live rotation.

"Equinox really was the start of some great records for A&M," says Styx co-founding guitarist/vocalist James "JY" Young. "We had an evolved sense of who we were, and what we could accomplish. And our goals were then set that much higher. In the context of Styx, I think it all came together on that record."

Adds guitarist/lead vocalist Tommy Shaw, who joined Styx only a few weeks after Equinox was released, "The first time I ever heard anything from Equinox was at my audition for the band, in Chicago," he recalls. "And the first thing I heard was JY singing 'Midnight Ride,' which just blew me away."

Equinox ultimately reached #58 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 1976, and has since been certified at Gold status, or 500,000 copies sold. The album's only single, “Lorelei,” reached #36 in the U.S. and #6 in Canada in 1976.

If you'd like to learn more about the origins of Equinox and what Styx thinks of it today, you can read all about it in our weekly Styxology column, which is available to all Styx Lounge Fan Club members.

by Dave Lifton - Ultimate Classic Rock

The two contestants in this second round battle of our Rock Star Wars contest, “Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple and “Come Sail Away” by Styx, each faced tough competition in order to advance.

To try and fill our days between now and the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, we’ve tracked down 32 space-themed classic rock songs and paired them off against each other in a series of intergalactic battles. The field will be halved every week based on your votes, until only the spaciest song in rock history is left.

“Space Truckin’,” which originally appeared on Deep Purple’s 1972 breakthrough Machine Head, took on Black Sabbath‘s “Into the Void” and captured nearly 56 percent of the vote. The five-minute stomp finds the band equating their life as touring rock ‘n’ roll musicians with space travel, “We got music in our solar system / We’re space truckin’ round the stars.”

Meanwhile, Styx’s “Come Sail Away,” a Top 10 hit from 1977, had a much tougher foe in the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Third Stone From the Sun.” But they sealed their passage forward with a very narrow margin of victory, taking almost 51 percent. “Come Sail Away” is the story of a man who thinks he’s about to head out to sea, only to discover that the “gathering of angels” were luring him onto their spaceship.

So who’s going to advance to the quarterfinals? That’s where you come in. You can vote in each of our contests once an hour until this round of Rock Star Wars ends on Nov. 30 at 11:59PM Eastern. You can listen to both songs to help you make your decision. The winner of our Rock Star Wars battle will be revealed on Dec. 22, 2015.


Here’s how you can help.

by Mike Mettler

Today, Rock to the Rescue, the nonprofit organization founded by Styx and REO Speedwagon, will be making a $25,000 donation to the Sweet Stuff Foundation to help those families directly affected by the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, November 13.

In honor of the musicians and crew who lost their lives in the attack at The Bataclan music venue in Paris where Eagles of Death Metal were performing, from now until December 31, Sweet Stuff is dedicating all money received directly to the surviving families of those who passed away, including that of the band’s merchandise manager, Nick Alexander. The Sweet Stuff Foundation was founded by Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, who is also a key recording member of Eagles of Death Metal. (Homme was not with the band in Paris when the attacks occurred.)

“We feel terribly saddened and outraged by these attacks,” says Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw. “We hope that our contribution will help ease some of the pain and some of the expenses of what this means to the families as they go through the process of grieving and bringing their loved ones home. Josh and the band lost a crew member and employees of their record label, Universal, during the terrorist attacks. This hits home for us because we’re also on the same label, and we deeply love our employees and our crew. Our hearts, minds, and prayers are with all the victims, and we urge all fans of Styx, Eagles of Death Metal, and classic rock who feel touched by this to join us in contributing. Thank you from everyone in the Styx family for your compassion.”

Here’s what you can do to help.

To donate, go here:

To learn more about the Sweet Stuff Foundation, go here:

To learn more about Rock to the Rescue, go here:

To read the official statement from Eagles of Death Metal about the attacks in Paris, go here:

by Mike Mettler

“A true Renegade. That’s great! Go Braiden!” That’s Tommy Shaw’s reaction upon hearing Braiden Sunshine was voted through to the next round on The Voice on Tuesday night (November 17), a day after the 15-year-old high school freshman from Lyme, Connecticut sang Styx’s signature song “Renegade” with undeniable poise and conviction. Fans of the show clearly agreed, as Braiden’s “Renegade” shot straight up to #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart — and Styx’s original version of the song climbed into the Top 21.

And the aforementioned Tommy Shaw, the Styx guitarist/vocalist who also happens to be the songwriter of said “Renegade,” is very much looking forward to seeing what Braiden will do next on the show: “I believe in him.”

In a Styxworld exclusive, your resident Styxologist was able to speak with Braiden right before he was called into wardrobe to get ready for Tuesday evening’s The Voice Results show. Needless to say, we all think Braiden is one young Renegade who’s got it made.

Mike Mettler: So, Braiden — everybody was pretty happy about your performance of “Renegade” on Monday night. How did you feel about it?

Braiden Sunshine: I thought it went well. There were a lot of things that go into doing a rock song on that stage, so that was fun.

Mettler: How did the “Renegade” song choice come about?

Braiden: This one was my choice. I had been thinking about a couple of rock songs I wanted to do throughout the show process, but if I got the chance, I knew I wanted to do this song. I had it in mind for a while, and when the chance came up, I thought this might be a really cool time to do it.

Mettler: Do you remember when you first heard “Renegade” as a kid?

Braiden: My dad gave me an old boombox and a box of cassettes, because I would look around and find the cassettes that he had, and I always wound up getting into his heavy metal stuff. He actually had to put them away, because that’s not the kind of thing you want a 5-year-old listening to. (both laugh)

“Renegade” was on one of the cassettes he gave me, and I started listening to it over and over.

Mettler: What was it about the song that grabbed you? What got you into it?

Braiden: I don’t know — the song is just pretty badass. (chuckles) Right? It’s just a pretty cool song.

Mettler: I can’t argue with that. Those vocal harmonies grabbed me the very first time I heard it as a kid. I couldn’t believe how people could sing like that.

Braiden: Oh yeah. It starts nice and quiet at the beginning, and then, all of a sudden, it springs into this awesome rock song.

Mettler: Totally! You’ve seen what Tommy Shaw said about your performance. How did it feel when you read that?

Braiden: Oh yeah yeah yeah — pretty cool! That was really cool, because he wrote the song! You know, you’re always afraid that people are going to judge you. I never would have thought that he would reach out to me, let alone hear it, because I didn’t think he would have even paid attention to it. It’s just a little clip. But the fact that he took the time to send something and say something about it is really cool. And the fact that he liked it is even cooler! He wrote the song!!

Mettler: He sure did. What happened was, the band was getting ready to go onstage in Thunder Bay, Ontario when you sang it live on Monday night, but they all knew about it within minutes of getting offstage after playing “Renegade” themselves, at the end of their encore. Then they all watched it again on the tour bus when they were on their way to Winnipeg in the wee hours.

Braiden: That’s so cool!

Mettler: Tommy was impressed that you took on his vocal arrangement of the song, because it’s pretty tough to sing, even for him.

Braiden: Well, I mean, there was a voice crack or two…

Mettler: Even so, you had to go for it to really nail it! Tell me about the process. How did you first bring up the song with your coach, Gwen Stefani?

Braiden: She had first come up with a Michael Buble song for me to do, because she felt that would work best for the demographic of the show. And I said, “I don’t know. I don’t think it will come off as well as me doing a rock song on a stage like this. Just give me a shot with it, and we’ll see how it goes.”

When I started singing it in rehearsal, she started getting excited about it and said, “Let’s see what you can do.”

Mettler: So once you started singing it, Gwen was OK with it?

Braiden: She knew the song, but she was skeptical about me singing it, because it’s a full-on rock song, and I’m just me.

Mettler: Well, I’d say that was pretty brave of you to stand up to her and say, “This is what I want to sing, because this is what I feel right now.” That had to be tough to do.

Braiden: I mean, it’s scary at first, but it’s just like talking to a teacher. And it’s an education, too — to be able to convey what you want to learn, and I really wanted to learn this aspect of how to sing a rock song.

Mettler: What did you learn while you worked on the song with The Voice band?

Braiden: We had to cut it down, and they gave me a weird cut, so I decided to cut it myself so that it would fit in the timing [i.e., the length of time artists have to perform songs on the show — which, at this point in the competition, averages under 2½ minutes]. It was kind of funny. That little thing at the end [the big “hey-yeah!!!” finish] — they didn’t expect me to do that. They kind of screwed up a bit in practice, but then they said, “Wait a minute — that sounds cool. Let’s do it!” So that’s where that came into it.

Mettler: And that totally worked out for you, because everyone was impressed with where you took it. You know, if you keep going further along in the competition, you may be able to ask Styx to come to the show and perform a song onstage with you.

Braiden: Yeah? Hey, that would be a lot of fun!

You can watch Braiden’s official “Renegade” performance from The Voice here on YouTube.

And if you like what you see, you can purchase Braiden’s “Renegade” on iTunes by following this link: Renegade (The Voice Performance) - Single by Braiden Sunshine.

by Mike Mettler

Oh mama! Fans of NBC’s The Voice got a special treat Monday night (November 16) as Top 12 finalist and Gwen Stefani team member Braiden Sunshine tackled Styx’s indelible “Renegade” as his song choice for the evening, kicking off the show with a raucous reading of the band’s signature song at the top of the live 8 p.m. EST broadcast. (The song is currently #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart.)

“Well, that was certainly a nice surprise,” guitarist, vocalist, and “Renegade” songwriter Tommy Shaw told Styxworld exclusively, moments after Styx had finished its set at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium in Thunder Bay, Ontario by playing the very song Braiden had sung a few hours earlier. “I just got offstage, and I saw an email with a clip from The Voice with Braiden Sunshine singing ‘Renegade’ tonight,” Tommy continues. “I had granted license for them to use the song about 6 weeks ago, but it kind of slipped my mind because I’ve licensed stuff before, and they don’t always use it. So I had no idea if they were going to use it or when they were going to use it.”

Braiden, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Lyme, Connecticut, garnered much praise from The Voice judges after his rousing “Renegade” performance. “I’m a fan, and I love watching you perform,” said Adam Levine. “This kid can do anything,” added Blake Shelton. “You’re out here singing this rock record, infusing all of these cool runs in the middle of the song, hitting the notes and not missing them. I’m super-impressed. I think Blake is right — you can do anything you want,” noted Pharrell. Coach Gwen got the final words: “He came to me, and he really wanted to do a rock song. He was really confident about it, and I was scared. But vocally, you just nailed it. That last note was incredible. I’m so proud of you that you were brave enough to come out here, find your way, and find out who you are. I think you did an amazing job tonight.”

“Renegade” author Tommy also loves what he saw and heard of the 2015 reading of a song that first appeared on Styx’s triple-platinum 1978 album, Pieces of Eight: “Braiden Sunshine — bravo, my brother! You took our song, and you made it your own,” he says. “You took advice from Gwen Stefani, and the results speak for themselves. You got a great response from everybody on the show. I couldn’t be more proud. That’s a big song to take on, especially to do our band arrangement and my vocal arrangement of it. I still have to work at that every night!” chuckles Tommy. “And man, the band did a great arrangement of it too! I appreciated how enthusiastic everyone was about it. So, bravo! Thank you, The Voice. Thank you, Gwen Stefani. And thank you for the nice words, Adam Levine. Thanks for letting Styx be a part of it. The best to you all!”

You can watch Braiden’s official “Renegade” performance from The Voice here on YouTube.

And if you like what you see, you can purchase Braiden’s “Renegade” on iTunes by following this link:Renegade (The Voice Performance) - Single by Braiden Sunshine.

by Angie Valente - The Chronicle Journal

image by Jason Powell

STYX and stones may break my bones . . . but a little rock and roll never hurt a soul. Just ask Lawrence Gowan, eccentric solo artist who's been a member of Styx for 18 years.

"I'm fortunate to play music every single day. I derive pleasure out of playing and living in the moment. A lot of gratitude goes into my daily ritual of playing in front of an audience."

Gowan, Styx's keyboardist and lead vocalist, calls in from Rama, Ont., where they're playing a double header at Casino Rama Resort. The band is rehearsing, and Gowan manages to fit yoga in between media requests. He's nothing like the strange animal with a criminal mind, like one might assume. He's engaging, charming, and light-hearted with an obvious lust for life. His stories of the industry span decades and paint a colourful work of art. He is unassuming.

He asks what year I was born. He speaks about himself not with bravado, but with obvious nostalgia and gratefulness. I am left in awe with a giant smile on my face. If only more interviews felt like long distance chats with Uncle Larry. We talk about his connection to Thunder Bay, music festivals, genres, eras of music, yoga and hair.

Read more at!

by Gerard Smith

photo by MSchoen Photography

When one thinks of the ultimate Arena Rock experience, chances are Styx come to the forefront of their mind. Formed over four decades ago in Chicago, Illinois, between the years of 1977 and 1984, every album they released sold at least one million copies, making them one of the most popular bands in the world. Keeping their legacy going, minus a brief break in the early ’90s, Styx continue to tour regularly to sold out crowds across the globe all these years later.

In recent years they have teamed up with fantastic packages such as Don Felder and Foreigner in the Summer of 2014 before Def Leppard and Tesla in the Summer of 2015, Styx sometimes partake in special headlining shows. What does this mean for dedicated fans? It means longer performances, more diverse song selections, and an evening to have Styx all to themselves. With that said, one of the band’s regular stops over the years when headlining shows has been NYCB Theatre at Westbury, New York. With a long history at the unique in-the-round venue with a rotating stage, Styx has played the space countless times through the years. In fact, on Sunday, November 8th, it would more mark the band’s three consecutive year playing the theater, and once again, to a sold out crowd.

While original vocalist, Dennis DeYoung, parted ways with the band back in 1999, founding members James Young (guitar) and Chuck Panozzo (bass) remain, as well as Tommy Shaw, who joined the band prior to start of their meteoric rise on The Grand Illusion. They are also joined by Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keys), and Ricky Phillips (bass/guitar) for an exciting lineup. Walking down from behind the curtain in the rear of the theater, they took the stage just after the 8 PM hour as everyone rose to their feet, anticipating, rightly, an evening of high energy, dynamic music.

Nineteen and seventy-seven’s The Grand Illusion was the first in a slew of consecutive platinum albums released by Styx, and the title track began what would be a transcendental evening of inspirational music. A classic Prog Rock intro on keys set the tone for the night as the crowd was engaged with, “Welcome to the grand illusion/come on in and see what’s happening/Pay the price, get your tickets for the show/The stage is set, the band starts playing/Suddenly your heart starts pounding.” A chugging riff on guitar joined the keys for a driving song, which was brought to another level with a blistering Psychedelic Rock sounding solo in the middle section. After the fireworks, the song came back to its beautifully constructed melody, before closing with more grandiosity on keys and vocals. Keeping the energy flowing, upbeat Pop Rock gem “Too Much Time on My Hands” followed the opener with a bouncy intro by Gowan on keys. From 1981’s Paradise Theater, the song had all the trappings of ’80s FM radio; a New Wave lead on keys, an undeniable chorus, and a guitar solo straight from ’70s Rock.

Read more at!

by Jane Klementti

photo by Sheri Hastings

I didn’t know how I was going to start my conversation with Chuck Panozzo. He’s a rock star – full on rock icon. Chuck is one of the founding members of legendary rock band Styx. The band formed in 1972 and achieved massive success with consecutive multi-platinum albums, including triple-platinum break-out album Grand Illusion released in 1977. The band is known for their guitar driven rock and power ballads have been touring to sold-out shows for over four decades, and they continue today.

In addition to his rock super stardom, Chuck has been an inspiration and leader in preserving quality of life and equal rights in the LGTB community. He is a long-time survivor of both HIV and cancer and through his own courage he has been able to educate, help and support a vast amount of people. Later this month, between two Styx concerts at Casino Rama, he will be honoured with a Humanitarian Award from the Orillia Youth Centre and the Georgian College Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

Turns out, it was really easy to talk with him. Chuck is a kind person and was quite open to tell his story, sharing a glimpse into both his struggles and his successes. One of the best things about what we do is our opportunity to meet super inspiring people and share them with you.

Thank you so much for speaking with me today, I grew up with your music, you’ve had a tremendous career.

CP: As an entertainer, when you lose touch with your fans you lose touch with the people who come to see you and who are the reason you are performing. I think it’s important to make yourself as available as you can and say thank you for choosing my music. Unlike music from say, my parents’ generation, I think it’s really unique that the rock music from my generation has gone on from generation to generation.

That is so true, let’s discuss how you’ve been a survivor through all aspects of your life. Your rock’n’roll history is massive, you’ve survived the ups and downs of being in that industry. You’ve survived difficult personal losses and you’ve survived so much with your health.

CP: Let’s talk on the HIV first. Let me just dispel the rumour. No one makes you gay, you are born gay. That’s how it works. When I realized I was different, well I come from a Roman Catholic family and of course you don’t dare say anything about that. I grew up in the blue collar part of Chicago, the south side and it was about sustaining yourself from pay cheque to pay cheque. No one talked about being gay, that’s just how things were. My father died at a young age and I never had that opportunity to talk to him. When I finally was able to tell my Mother, I was her caregiver at the time, for her it was that someone had to have done this to me. My other dilemma was being in the band. My concern was that if I were to say too much it would affect no only my career but the other band members. That was a heavy dilemma.

I keep thinking how difficult it must have been to have such a huge public life and to live such a dual life. It must have been so hard for you.

CP: It’s the worst. It drives you to the point of insanity.

It was a long time before you came out, years after you had been diagnosed with HIV.

CP: I was diagnosed before medications; I’m termed a long-time survivor. One of my most memorable moments is from years ago back in Chicago. I had met this young man who was living with his disease. We didn’t know it was HIV, all we knew was that our friends were dying like crazy. This one man in particular, I could not comprehend that he could die so quickly, and so young. So I went to a health clinic and gave them a cheque for $5000 and said ‘this is for that disease that is happening now.’ They asked me to put my name on the donation and I said no, this is anonymous. I walked away from it thinking, ‘you don’t do it for notoriety but who knows, someday you may benefit from this research.’ Which to me is everything. I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that eventually I would get HIV. We all knew each other, we were all kind of in the same pool.

So, in 1991 when I was diagnosed with HIV I didn’t go jump off a bridge, it was way to soon for that, although my brain kind of did. I thought, I can’t wait for the bell curve. I knew some drug would be developed that will give us hope. AZT was doing nothing – it was a harsh drug. It gave some people time and it gave people no time. At the time (of being diagnosed) I was feeling healthy enough, and I was also dealing with a lot of personal issues. I thought, I have a tour to do so I’ll just go do it.

I’ve also had cancer twice, I’m in remission now. The first round of AIDS drugs made me sick for about two years. At that point in my head, I said ‘you can either go in a corner and feel sorry for yourself or your can stay strong’. Around my kitchen I put drawings and names of people who had beaten the disease and told myself, ‘if they could do it, you can do it too’.

Once I started to feel better I outed myself in front of a thousand people for a human rights campaign. To be honest with you, I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. To be in front of a thousand people, with my family and friends there, and say that I had lived my life as a gay man.

How do you feel about your upcoming humanitarian award? It’s pretty far removed from your life in rock’n’roll to come to a small city in Ontario and receive such recognition.

CP: It’s amazing. I often think, what have I done to deserve this type of treatment? I just do what I think is right. For the first 10 years in Styx I was pretty happy. As we started to become very successful I became very unhappy because I could not be myself. When I came to that realization, or actually after getting HIV, I knew I couldn’t live like that anymore. I thought ‘if you survive this and you do not change there is something wrong with you.’ That was the deal breaker for me. Its funny that you have to experience a serious illness to appreciate the fact that you are getting in your own way.

The awards and honours that I get are overwhelming, but there is a sense of great gratitude. I look around and see those kids and adults at the Orillia Youth Centre; they are heroes too. I stand shoulder to shoulder with them; I don’t stand above them.

Read more at!

By Gerry Gittelson -

Photo by Jason Powell

LOS ANGELES -- Styx is a tough act to follow, but Def Leppard was up to the challenge recently, when the two classic-rock icons teamed for well-received concert at the Forum, as both acts pushed one another before a capacity crowd of nearly 20,000 at one of the USA's most storied and prestigious arenas.

By the end of Styx's near-hour set culminating with "Come Sail Away," the audience was going absolutely crazy, and that's something you don't usually see for a support act, particularly in Los Angeles, where crowds are more apt to fold their arms.

The bands have been touring together for the summer -- in addition to third-billed Tesla, no slouch in its own right -- and this event was the acid test.

Read more at!

Join us for an evening of music at the Music Center at Strathmore to benefit Montgomery County-based non-profit, CSAAC (Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children), a nationwide leader in Autism services. We're also giving away a signed guitar as part of the auction which will take place later in the evening.

**Use code CSAACRocks to get a special 20% discount on your order**

Get your tickets HERE.

About Strathmore:

Strathmore is a nonprofit multi-disciplinary arts center and presenting organization based one-half mile outside the Capital Beltway in North Bethesda, Maryland. Best known for performances and events at the Music Center at Strathmore, the organization has been presenting accessible, affordable visual and performing arts in the smaller Mansion at Strathmore and all over its 16-acre site since 1981. Strathmore also presents throughout the community and at a new 250-seat venue, AMP, at Pike & Rose.

Def Leppard Extend Tour Due

to Overwhelming Demand



Following the announcement of their new self titled studio album, Def Leppard have just extended their massively successful North American tour due to overwhelming demand. The tour supported by Styx and Tesla will commence in Greensboro, North Carolina on January 27, 2016.

Def Leppard debuts new track “Dangerous”, the second off their long-awaited new studio album that will be released on October 30, 2015, via today. “Dangerous” follows their current #1 classic rock single “Let’s Go” which is climbing the rock and active rock radio charts. The new album was recorded earlier this year at front man Joe Elliott’s studio in Dublin, Ireland. The album will feature 14 tracks in total. This self-titled album release will mark their first new collection of material in seven years and Def Leppard's 11th official studio release.

Def Leppard’s influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums—including two of the best-selling albums of all time, Pyromania and Hysteria, capturing the group’s legendary tracks, bringing together classic Leppard hits such as “Rock of Ages,” Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Foolin.” The upcoming tour follows on the heels of the band’s unforgettable 2014 co-headlining tour with KISS.

2016 Tour Dates

January 27, 2016---Greensboro, NC---Greensboro Coliseum

January 29, 2016---Ft.Lauderdale, FL---BB&T Center

January 30, 2016---Orlando, FL ---Amway Center

February 02, 2016---San Antonio, TX---AT&T Center

February 03, 2016---Lafayette, LA---Lafayette Cajundome

February 05, 2016---Corpus Christi, TX---American Bank Center Arena

February 06, 2016---Hidalgo, TX---State Farm Arena

February 09, 2016---Little Rock, AR---Verizon Arena

February 10, 2016---Bossier City, LA---CenturyLink Center

February 13, 2016---Uncasville, CT---Mohegan Sun Arena

February 14, 2016---Atlantic City, NJ---Boardwalk Hall

February 16, 2016---Brooklyn, NY---Barclays Center

February 17, 2016---Allentown, PA---PPL Center

POCATELLO — Styx and Tesla are set to rock the new Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheater, 2375 Olympus Drive, on Sunday, September 27. This concert marks the third at the new state of the art venue.

Tickets are priced from $26-$41 and can be purchased at or at the box office starting at noon the day of the show. The gates will open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Styx has released fifteen studio albums and have had many top ten singles including “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “The Best of Times,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Show Me the Way” and “Mr. Roboto.”

They’ve gone through several line-up changes since the band’s inception in the early 1970s, but current members include James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw on lead vocals and guitars, Chuck Panozzo on bass guitar and vocals, Todd Sucherman on drums and percussion, Lawrence Gowan on lead vocals and keyboards and Ricky Phillips on bass, guitar and vocals.

Gowan joined Styx in 1999 after founding member Dennis DeYoung left the group citing musical differences and health issues.

The Journal recently interviewed Gowan via telephone and asked him about the upcoming concert in Pocatello, his camaraderie of his bandmates and the future of the band.

Read more at!

On Sunday September 20th, hard rock fans at the Los Angeles Forum were transported back to a time when dueling guitar solos, great vocal harmonies, and big drums ruled the airwaves and arenas. With a billing that included Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla, this show would be a must see for any rocker!

Tesla opened the show with an electrifying set that featured Jeff Pierce’s piercing voice, backed by Frank Hannon and Dave Rude on electric, acoustic, and 12-string guitars, Brian Wheat on bass, and Tony Luccketta on drums. Tesla performed their power ballad “Love Song”, “Modern Day Cowboy”, “Little Suzi” and their version of the Five Man Electrical Band song “Signs”. Tesla delivered on a great rock show with plenty of songs that are still worthy of being on any rock playlist.

During the intermission, I was surprised how many millennials I noticed coming to see these great classic rock bands. I struck up a conversation with a man in his mid 20s who told me he had won tickets to the show. This was the first time he’d ever seen any of these bands. I assured him he would not be disappointed.

Read more at!

Fair in Maryland last weekend. Styx lineup is Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass, backing vocals, additional guitars), Lawrence Gowan (lead/backing vocals, keyboards), James Young (guitar, lead/backing vocals) and Tommy Shaw (Lead/backing vocals, guitars). As a band that’s been around, they could have easily given a staid performance of old hits, but somehow Styx delivers more energy with each new show.

Styx mixed it up by playing a number of songs that haven’t gotten much radio time, or much live time for that matter. . They played ‘Light up’ from the same album that gave us “Lady” on Styx II backin1975. ‘Man in the Wilderness’ is a song from Grand Illusion that is fairly new to their live set. And” Lights” probably hasn’t been played live since the album Cornerstone came out in1979. It was very cool when Tommy Shaw was telling the story of how when he first came to the band in ’75. He brought with him the song Crystal Ball. James Young was telling him it wasn’t quite a Styx song. After a few rewrites it came together as the Styx song it became. The storytelling in between some of the songs gave it a feel like the band and the crowd was friends that grew up together. Friends that enjoy rocking out retelling their stories

Read more at!


by Doug Fox

photo by the Daily Herald

Styx's highly successful summer tour with Def Leppard may be winding down, but one thing that is not waning is bassist Ricky Phillips' unbridled enthusiasm for the stage.

"Last night's show, in Seattle -- we rocked the freakin' house!" said Phillips in a recent phone interview from Portland. "Not that we didn't always go out and attempt to, we're not trying to do anything different. We're just getting better, man. It's just getting ... the brew is just getting so bad, man. It's a bad-a-- brew right now, what's going on with this band."

The triple bill of Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla -- which hits USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City on Monday -- is entering the final week of a 46-date tour. Def Leppard is headlining all dates, putting Styx in the not-quite-so-familiar, full-time middle spot.

But Phillips believes that position on the bill has proven beneficial to the band.

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Styx is the quintessential classic-rock band. They have been touring for decades, bringing their many hits to adoring fans around the world and back again. From “Come Sail Away” to “Renegade” to “Blue Collar Man” and “Lady”, the band’s deep catalog is readymade for summer amphitheater tours and intimate venues during the colder months. Singer Lawrence Gowan joined the rockers in the late 1990s and has been with the group ever since. A successful musician in his own right, especially in Canada where has has a legendary solo career, Gowan is a big part of Styx’s success in the 21st century.

View the entire interview here:

Will Lawrence Gowan, now a fixture in Styx, perform his "Wolfcop" track on Monday night?

excerpt by Randy Harward - Salt Lake City Weekly

...Every bit the stereotypically pleasant Canuck (except he's a born Scot), Gowan laughs heartily at the coincidence. And he's gracious when you praise his performance of Styx material. He says they made him welcome from the start. "The first day, before I even played a Styx song, Tommy [guitarist Shaw] said, 'Actually, could you play the last song you played at those shows we did together?'" That was "A Criminal Mind," and Gowan obliged. When he finished, Shaw said, "We should make that a Styx song."

The song became a staple of Styx shows for years. And, after 15 years singing and playing keyboards in the band, Gowan's no longer the new guy. But another of his solo songs is getting a little boost thanks to the 2014 horror-comedy Wolfcop.

A generous 2:20 portion of "Moonlight Desires," from Gowan's 1987 album Great Dirty World (Linus Entertainment), plays just as our hero, cursed cop Lou Garou, is getting the girl. The long, sensuous montage satirizes similar scenes from other 1980s films, and the song is a perfect fit: A high keyboard part intertwines with sultry lead guitar as Gowan—who, in the video, sports a (now long-gone) feathered mullet and stands atop a huge Aztec temple—sings (backed by Jon Anderson of Yes), "These moonlight desires/ haunt me/ they want me, they want me."

It's almost as if the song were written for just that scene. Nope, says Gowan. He says the werewolf similarities aren't lost on him, and the song is about a duality, but not the man-wolf variety. "We all kind of live two lives; there's our internal life and there's the life that we present to the world." Late at night, he continues, "we live on more honest terms with ourselves—and some people blame that on the moon."

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by Scott Smith - Times Record: Online Edition

photo by Jason Powell

The members of Styx will probably tour until they can no longer stand up and hold their eyes open.

And the Grammy Award-nominated band and its many fans are perfectly fine with that, according to Styx bassist Ricky Phillips. The group performs more than 200 concerts each year, bringing a special, undying love for the concert stage, he said.

“We love performing for our fans, and we play all of the time — even in the winter,” said Phillips with a laugh during a recent telephone interview. “Touring is always exciting for us. It’s always fun, because that’s where we excel. I think we are made for touring so much.”

Styx — Phillips, guitarist-singer Tommy Shaw, keyboardist-singer Lawrence Gowan, guitarist-singer James “JY” Young and drummer Todd Sucherman — will serve as a headline act for the Arkansas State Fair from 8-9:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Barton Coliseum, 2600 Howard St. in Little Rock.

Known for the songs “Renegade,” “Come Sail Away,” “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights),” “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Lady,” among others, Styx will feature “the perfect balance” of Styx hit singles, favored album cuts and a surprise or two, Phillips said.

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Longtime Styx producer Gary Loizzo joins the band onstage and gives a performance for the ages.

by Mike Mettler

photo by Jason Powell

It’s less than 10 minutes before Styx hits the stage at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois on September 5, and Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott has just met up with the band in the hallway outside their dressing room to offer some pre-show encouragement. With a wry grin, Joe hollers at keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, “Hey Lawrence, don’t forget the words!” Gowan cocks an eyebrow, looks at Joe, and replies, “You’re so inspiring!”

It’s this level of playful camaraderie that’s been in constant effect all throughout the initial legs of one of the summer’s hottest tours, which features Tesla in the opening slot, Styx in the middle spot, and Def Leppard headlining. Observes Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, “The tour for me has been great so far. There seems to be some sort of resurgence — I’m not sure what’s happening, but there does seem to be more people coming to the shows.” Do you think it’s because the younger generations are discovering and responding to this kind of music? “That may be it,” agrees Allen. “My 18-year-old daughter, she went through every sort of music, but now, whenever I get into her car, she’s listening to classic rock. It’s like, ‘Wow! Maybe they have discovered real music!’ The three bands that are out there on this tour — this is the epitomy. This is as good as it gets.”

Adds Tesla vocalist Jeff Keith, “It’s awesome, man! It’s such a great show, such a great team-up. We’ve toured with Def Leppard in the round [in 1987], and I grew up listening to Styx on 8-track tapes in Georgetown, California. The labels were all bubbled off of them, so I didn’t even know what Tommy Shaw and those guys looked like until much later! And now we get to tour with them too — we’re so loving it!”

Meanwhile, backstage at Tinley Park, a metal door opens and the Styx six — which includes original bassist Chuck Panozzo, who’s sporting dark shades and a sharp suit (he wouldn’t have missed a hometown show for anything) — make their way down a concrete ramp toward the designated gathering spot behind the stage itself. On his way down the ramp, vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw sings the title phrase of the evening’s surprise setlist addition (more on that in a bit). As the band converges, the pre-show music can be heard echoing over the PA, with Paul Butterfield singing ever-so-appropriately in between his signature blues harmonica blasts, “I was born in Chicago in nineteen-and-forty-one.”

Bassist/vocalist Ricky Phillips gets set nearby while drummer Todd Sucherman rat-a-tats his drumsticks on a nearby roadcase. Lawrence leans forward, stretches, and limbers up as only he can. Guitar tech Jimmy “JJ” Johnson confers with Shaw, while his fellow guitar tech Greg Mandelke pow-wows with cofounding guitarist/vocalist and lifelong Chicago resident James “JY” Young. Shaw and Young then face each other with guitars in hand, and instantly commence pogoing up and down to stay loose. A minute later, the new Styx original track “Overture” pumps out over the PA, the crowd roars, and Styx heads onstage, ready to drive headlong into “The Grand Illusion” once Sucherman seamlessly sets the segue.

Tonight’s show is extra special not only because it’s a hometown gig taking place about 40 miles south of Chicago, but it also honors the legacy of the band’s longtime producer and live front of house sound engineer, Chicago native Gary Loizzo. Loizzo, who turned 70 on August 16, was feted at a majestic party backstage 2 hours prior to showtime with a Styxified rendition of “Happy Birthday,” some wonderfully personalized gifts, and a cake that resembled a mixing board — plus the confirmation that he would indeed be joining the band onstage around 25 minutes into their set to sing lead vocals on a cover of “Bend Me, Shape Me,” a national Top 5 hit in 1968 for the Chicago-based band Gary was lead singer and guitarist for, The American Breed.

After “Lady” comes to its rousing end, Tommy steps up to his mike to set the stage for the audience: “We happen to be in the birthplace of the man we’re honored to bring up next,” he testifies. “He’s celebrating a milestone birthday — a man who’s been with us every mile of the way. Not just as a studio recording engineer, a good friend, a co-producer, and an out-front mixer — he comes to us with his own credentials. He was a rock star before we were even a band … ladies and gentlemen, Gary Loizzo!”

Gary emerges from the side of the stage, where he had been standing between production manager Brian Wong and monitor engineer Evan McElhinney. He high-tens with Tommy and then high-fives JY before addressing the crowd via his handheld mike: “You’re going to have to help me on this… here we go!” A vintage photo of Gary in a blue Nehru suit, culled from the cover of The American Breed’s 1968 album,Pumpkin, Powder, Scarlet & Green, is projected on the screen behind the band as Gary moves across the stage, sharing lines and phrases with each singing member of Styx all along the way, just like the pro that he is. It’s also deeply heartening to see how the hometown crowd sings along quite loudly on the choruses: “Bend me, shape me / any way you want me / Long as you love me / It’s all right!”

As the song ends to rousing applause, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, who stood next to me during the entire performance, sums it up quite succinctly: “Fantastic!” (Def Lep’s lead guitarist Phil Collen was also watching in the wings, as were members of Tesla, including Jeff Keith and Frank Hannon.) Coming offstage, Gary is immediately met by a succession of hugs and kudos before he finds his wife Diane, who is all smiles. After “Come Sail Away” ends the main set and right before the encore begins, Gary makes his way to the front of house mixing board area to personally thank his successor, Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato, for doing such a wonderful job. (Later, Gary says of Michelle, “I schooled her for 3 days straight, and she is just spectacular! I showed her all the nuances of the vocals and how to bring out the energy of the drums, and she gets it! She gets the essence. I’m really proud of her.”)

An hour later, Gary reflects on his performance while taking a well deserved seat in the backstage Styx production office. “It was fun going out there!” he says with a grin. “It’s a very confident thing because I know how good Styx is. I didn’t have to think about anything except to sing my part. And they were there! They were great! It was so comfortable. I hadn’t sung in front of 20,000 people for a long, long time — it’s been at least 45 years, when I sang in front of 40,000 at a Toys for Tots benefit in Louisville, Kentucky [at Freedom Hall in 1969].”

Todd enters the room and makes a beeline to Gary, saying, “You were f—ing great!” So does Lawrence. “And did you hear how loud the crowd was singing?” the keyboardist says to me when we step out into the hallway. “Outstanding! I loved it. I’ve loved that song since I first heard it when I was a kid. When I met Gary, I was so shocked, because the cadence and rhythm of his speaking voice didn’t connect with his singing voice on the record. And then one day, I heard the song playing over the PA, and it all just clicked. For us to do this song right, we really rehearsed it properly, so it was ready.”

JY and Tommy walk down the hall together, both clearly satisfied with the night’s events. “That was fun to see,” says JY of the crowd reaction. Agrees Tommy, “It was a hit single, and they were all singing along with it. And,” he laughs, “We didn’t f— it up! Man, it was a really good show. An American Breed apart.” And that’s Gary Loizzo for you: A rare breed, the likes of whom we will not see again.

If you want to find out more about Gary’s professional life and his work with Styx over the years, check out the three-part interview series, “Rare Breed: Gary Loizzo,” that’s posted in Styxology, our weekly Styx history column available exclusively to members of The Styx Lounge. Click on the JOINheader to learn how to become a member. More on-the-spot reports from the road are coming soon to Styxworld, so stay tuned!

by Shanna Torp - Seattle Sound Live

We had the chance to talk to Styx’s singer/keyboardists Lawrence Gowan from the road while on the summer tour with Def Leppard and Tesla. My one on one with Lawrence was just as highly energetic as the live shows are, which I heard are sold out shows. We talked about the surge of younger crowds in attendance and the power of Google and YouTube keeping classic rock alive, new material and a quick glimpse of the show along with some tough questions from fans.

The current line-up is comprised of Tommy Shaw (vocals/guitar), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Ricky Phillips (bass, backing vocals), and on select dates Chuck Panozzo (bass).

Styx has released over 15 studio albums in their 38-year career span and have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Throughout their illustrious career, they’ve performed more live shows since 1999 than all of the previous years of its career combined, they are a nonstop hard working band that delivers an amazing live show. If they stop in your hometown, please go out and see them, they will not disappoint.

SSL – Hi Lawrence, Good Morning! How are you doing?

Lawrence – Good morning to you as well

SSL – Thank you for taking the time to talk with Seattle Sound Live.

Lawrence – I am a little bit envious of you being in Seattle, I love it there.

SSL – We love Seattle too and we are patiently waiting for you to get here, looks like we will be graced with 3 shows this time around. (full tour dates listed below)

Lawrence – Fantastic, that’s great, we are very busy but very happy to be very busy. (laughing)

SSL – Exactly, how is the summer tour going with Def Leppard and Tesla?

Lawrence – The last time I asked about the nuts and bolts side of the tour we are in the top 3 for amphitheater tours of the summer. I have barely seen an empty seat on the tour and it’s been an over the top reaction and the audience seems to be …it’s amazing every single year they seem to be getting more and more attached to a classic rock bill like this and the beauty of it is that every single year, this year is no exception I see more younger and younger people coming to these shows and easily half the audience is under 30 years old and were not even born when some of biggest records were made. So, they are seeing more than 4 hours of classic rock laid out before them, with the young band being Tesla going on first, then us and then Def Leppard. They seem to know the words to every single song and are deemed to be well versed, literally, I suppose as the people that have been with the band ever since the beginning. It is a phenomenal thing to witness.

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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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by Scott Kiefer - Belleville News-Democrat

photo by Jason Powell

Styx frontman and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan has been called “the new guy” in the band ever since he joined the group replacing former lead singer Dennis De Young. Seventeen years later, he still is.

“Look, I’m always going to be ‘the new guy,’ and I’m OK with that,” Gowan said in an interview from Dallas, where the band is co-headlining a tour with Def Leppard. “It is what it is, and it’s all working so far.”

Cowan, along with mates James “JY” Young, Tommy Shaw, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips will bring the tour to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in St. Louis on Sept. 4, along with Def Leppard and Tesla.

“We are all comfortable with where it is now, and so are the fans,” Gowan said. “We are all out there playing together, and rocking the fans with the music they want to hear. And, in my opinion, we just keep getting better and better. We feed off of each other on stage, and we are all busy creating music, and involved in our own projects outside of the band. Something is working out right.”

Gowan said that everybody takes his turn holding different responsibilities to the band, and everyone has something to offer.

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by Jon Hunt -

photo by Jason Powell

My relationship with Styx began pretty early in life. In 7th Grade, this sci-fi obsessed kid fresh out of a childhood spent in evangelical Christianity found “Mr. Roboto,” a dystopian telling of a future in which a fervent preacher had banned rock and roll, and found it good. Since then, I’ve defended the band with bloody knuckles ablaze — if you can come away from a listen of Grand Illusion or Pieces of Eight and not come to the conclusion that they’re one of the Great American Rock Bands, I say you’re not paying attention.

I had the enormous privilege recently of speaking with Todd Sucherman, Styx’s current drummer. He’s been with the band since ’96, and is part of arguably the best live version of Styx ever — sure, they’ve lost Dennis DeYoung, the guy you probably know as the “voice of Styx” (and possibly the guy that annoyed you out of liking them, depending*), but they’ve gained a crack-shot lineup that includes Sucherman, Canadian import Lawrence Gowan behind the keys (check out his 80s solo stuff as “Gowan” — s’good!), and of course James “J.Y.” Young and Tommy Shaw, both of whom impossibly seem not a day over 50. They’re tight, energetic and musically proficient in a way even their classic lineup wasn’t.

You might also remember Sucherman as the drummer in one of the other best American bands — Brian Wilson’s excellent backing band, who are arguably one of the most musically proficient bands ever formed (if you’ve seen them precisely duplicate the arrangements of Pet Sounds, you know exactly what I mean). Sucherman brought a little bit of rock muscle to Brian’s arrangements (which I always suspected the rock-obsessed Wilson loved), and if you’ve followed Wilson’s career, you’ve heard Sucherman on such awesome latter-day classic albums as Lucky Old Sun and the underrated Imagination, two of my favorites. And if you’re a Chicagoan, you might also remember Sucherman as the drummer in the Falling Wallendas, a perennially underrated Beatlesque band featuring Wilson keyboardist Scott Bennett as co-songwriter.

Sucherman lives in Austin, TX at the moment with his wife Taylor Mills (who was also in Brian’s band, and whose gorgeous solo albums Lullagoodbye and Under The Surface naturally feature Sucherman’s drumming) and his gorgeous daughter Teagan, born just last year. Styx, by the way, are playing at the State Fair Grandstand August 27th with Def Leppard and Tesla. It’s been sold out since January (!), but aftermarket tickets are still available.

First of all, completely non-music-related — congratulations belatedly on your daughter, she’s absolutely lovely!

Aw, thank you very much!

I have to start by asking the “dad question” because I have one at home exactly the same age — how hard is it to go out on tour for months at a time?

Well, thankfully we don’t leave for months at a time. We did do a run for 40 days, and I haven’t done a run quite that long without being home in several years. But normally I’ll get to go home for at least a day or even three or four every twenty days or so. So yeah, it’s never a situation where I leave in May and say “see you in September!” I get home, but not as much as I’d like. It’s certainly harder being out on the road with a little one like that because you do miss things, and thank goodness for things like cellphones and Facetime — life would be insurmountably harder without them, but it is a little sad when I come home and go “hey, look, there’s a couple more teeth.”

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