STYX guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw spoke to the "Ted Nugent Spirit Campfire" show 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.
"We've got all the drums, we've got all the basses [recorded]," Shaw said. "I think I've done all my guitars. I've done most of my vocals. We were writing and writing and writing. I got to the end of it. I had this other song. I was just burnt out. I was, like, 'I can't finish this song.' So I kind half-assed finished it. So I've gotta go in and do it right.
"Lawrence [Gowan, vocals/keyboards] has already done a lot of his stuff," he continued. "There are a couple of new songs that came around since we were all together. So we have to flush all that out. Really, it's just Lawrence. And James Young [guitar/backing vocals] is coming. He's gonna be here for however long it takes to get his solos and his vocals done. And that just leaves Lawrence. So we'll be ready to mix before you know it."
Drummer Todd 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.