STYX guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw spoke to Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF about the progress of the writing and recording sessions for the follow-up to "The Mission". Released in June 2017, that disc marked STYX's first new LP in 14 years. It was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, co-produced and co-written with Will Evankovich, a longtime collaborator of Shaw's in the SHAW/BLADES band and who also plays with THE GUESS WHO.
Asked if fans can expect to hear new STYX music next year, Shaw said: "Well, we have to record it. It's all written; it's all ready to go. And now we're just waiting on transportation from Texas. And Lawrence Gowan [vocals, keyboards] has to get back into the country, 'cause he lives in Toronto. So we're working on all that stuff. The studio we use, Blackbird, an amazing studio, they've opened up. MEGADETH is recording there now. So they all have their protocols in place. And now we just have to get Todd [Sucherman, drums] and Lawrence and Ricky [Phillips, bass] here, and James Young [guitar], and we can lay it all down and get it mixed and be ready to go."
Sucherman recently told Audio Ink Radio that the new STYX material "definitely leans to a progressive side with always a big, heavy emphasis on melody and lyrics. There are several songs and several lyrics in there that — I haven't even talked to Tommy about this — that are almost about what's going on in the world right now," he said. "It's like a prophecy, some of the bits in the lyrics… There's one song called 'Sound The Alarm' that I damn near stopped playing and burst into tears while rehearsing because it sounds like it was written about what's going on today, like he wrote it today. So next time I talk to Tommy, I've gotta ask him, 'What made you write that four months ago?'"
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, four straight STYX albums sold at least two million copies — "The Grand Illusion" (1977), "Pieces Of Eight" (1978), "Cornerstone" (1979) and "Paradise Theatre" (1981). The band eventually replaced original singer/keyboardist/songwriter Dennis DeYoung in 1999 with Gowan.