STYX's JAMES 'J.Y.' YOUNG On Learning Business Side Of Music: 'Fortunately, We Didn't Completely Screw It Up'

December 25, 2023

In a new interview with QFM96's "Torg & Elliott" radio show, STYX guitarist James "J.Y." Young was asked how long it took him and his bandmates in their early days to "figure out the business side of being a band." He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, early on, we had a guy that had locally managed the band prior to us getting a recording contract, but ultimately the record company sort of came to us and said, 'You guys need a manager that's got a little more savvy about what's going on in the national picture.' And then we had Derek Sutton for many years, and then, that got changed and we wound up with Irving Azoff's people. And I think we're in a good spot."

He added: "We're all college educated in STYX, so everybody was kind of looking at all the different variables that come into play that when you're practicing guitar at age 13, you have no knowledge of, and fortunately, coming from the big city of Chicago, we were familiar with some people that could help guide us a little bit, but honestly, it was spending time in L.A. that really helped us maybe more, and spending time in New York helped us more. You make friends and then you go from there."

Young also recalled sharing the stage with a number of other bigger bands and the lessons they learned along the way.

"We opened for a number of different people," he said. "I mean, KISS, yeah, they came on after we did, but they made a bigger impact. Gene Simmons is quite the music business guy, and they had been a great manager, and we changed managers a few times till we got Derek Sutton, who tour managed a bunch of English bands and then became a personal manager when he settled down in Los Angeles. But we all have to learn some lessons the easy way and more likely to learn them the hard way. And fortunately, there was enough collective intelligence so we didn't completely screw it up."

STYX's latest album, "Crash Of The Crown", was released in June 2021 on the band's label Alpha Dog 2T/UMe.

Along with Young, STYX's lineup includes Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars),Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards),Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass).

"Crash Of The Crown" includes an appearance by original STYX bassist Chuck Panozzo, twin brother of the late STYX drummer John Panozzo who passed in 1996.

STYX and FOREIGNER will team up for the "Renegades & Juke Box Heroes" tour in 2024, hitting the road together again for the first time in 10 years. The tour kicks off on June 11 in Grand Rapids and makes dozens of stops across North America before wrapping up in Sioux Falls on August 28.

STYX released more new music on September 17, 2021, "The Same Stardust" EP, originally sold as part of Record Store Day (June 12, 2021). Available on blue 180-gram 12-inch vinyl only, featuring two brand-new songs on side one ("The Same Stardust" and "Age Of Entropia"),as well as five live performances on side two of some of STYX's classic hits previously heard during their "Styx Fix" livestreams that kept fans company during the pandemic on their official YouTube channel, including "Mr. Roboto", "Man In The Wilderness", "Miss America", "Radio Silence" and "Renegade". It's available worldwide on all digital platforms.

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