Styx's next record 'has to be different' from their past work

Styx (Image credit: Getty)

Styx’s next album “has to be different” from their previous material if they want to succeed, bassist Ricky Phillips says.

The band haven’t issued an album of original material since 2003’s Cyclorama – with mainman Tommy Shaw insisting they’d be “taking their time” with the follow-up last year.

Now Phillips says they’re considering re-entering the studio – but their sound will need to have a new “twist.”

He tells Sleaze Roxx: “Yeah, it’s on the table. We’d love to do something new. It has to be different. It has to be something that Styx hasn’t done. We want to ensure something isn’t ‘just another Styx record.’ It has to have a twist.

“We’re not going to release an album that is going to be crap – it’s going to be good.

“We’re aware that it will be fodder for the press, but so be it. Also, something like that will go over well with one person and a failure with the next.”

Phillips admits that times have changed since Styx’s heyday in the 70s and 80s – with bands relying more so on touring and merchandise sales rather than selling records to survive.

He says: “It’s not a money maker. We have a road crew that relies on money to keep their families fed too. We have to sustain it and we don’t do this from music sales anymore.

“In terms of numbers, we don’t sell millions of records anymore. The sales that Styx, Foreigner, Journey or REO Speedwagon had back in the 70s and 80s – based on today’s sales, it’s going to be considered a huge failure.

“It’s a different time but you’re right, but we do need to put out some new music out soon.”

Phillips also says a concept album from the project he started with the late musician Ronnie Montrose is due out next year.

The Gamma guitarist died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2012. Though he died before he could record his guitar parts, Phillips asked musicians they both admired to fill in.

He adds: “There’s a great mix of singers and guitarists on there. I have Glenn Hughes on a track with Phil Collen from Def Leppard playing the solo, Sammy Hagar featuring Toto’s Steve Lukather, and Eric Martin, I paired up with Dave Meniketti and so on.

“We have Joe Bonamassa on there too, and Brad Whitford – who is the unsung hero to both Ronnie and I in Aerosmith.”

Styx will commence their US tour later this month.

Styx tour dates 2016

Jul 15: Costa Mesa Pacific Amphitheatre, CA
Jul 16: Laughlin Edgewater Hotel, NV
Jul 17: Temecula Pechanga Resort & Casino, CA
Jul 18: Sacramento California State Fair, CA
Jul 20: Layton Edward Kenley Centennial Amphitheater
Jul 21: Lewiston Clearwater River Casino & Lodge, ID
Jul 22: Lincoln City Chinook Winds Casino Resort, OR
Jul 23: Lincoln City Chinook Winds Casino Resort, OR
Jul 24: Tulalip Resort Casino, WA
Aug 04: Ventura County Fairgrounds, CA
Aug 12: Malone Franklin County Fairgrounds, NY
Aug 13: New York Citi Field, NY
Aug 15: Lancaster American Music Theatre, PA
Aug 16: Lewiston Artpark, NY
Aug 25: Dodge City United Wireless Arena & Conference Center, KS
Aug 27: Omaha Baxter Arena, NE
Aug 29: Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre, CO
Aug 31: Lafayette Theater, IN
Sep 01: Rogers Walmart AMP, AR
Sep 02: Robinsonville Horseshoe Tunica Hotel, MS
Sep 15: Knoxville Tennessee Valley Fair, TN
Sep 16: Maryland Ocean City, MD
Sep 17: Sunbury Spyglass Ridge Winery, PA
Sep 20: Charlottesville Sprint Pavilion, VA
Sep 22: Newark NJPAC, NJ
Sep 23: Poughkeepsie Mid Hudson Civic Center, NY
Sep 24: Stroudsburg Sherman Theater, PA
Sep 25: Wallingford Oakdale Theatre, CT
Oct 13: Bowling Green SkyPac, KY
Oct 15: Cherokee Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, NC
Oct 17: Newport News Ferguson Center For The Arts, VA
Oct 18: Washington Warner Theatre, DC

Styx And Their Long Fall From Grace

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.