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Styx Guitarist Says Classic Bands Can’t Get on Radio

Mary Ouellette,

Styx remains one of rock’s most enduring road horses, although guitarist J.Y. Young admits that new music isn’t high on the agenda. Young and guitarist Tommy Shaw remain the only full-time members of the band’s classic ’70s and ’80s lineup still on the road. Young admits that new radio airplay and CD sales are not exactly a perfect fit for bands like Styx these days, telling Ultimate Classic Rock, “There’s no real plan and as we look out there, even the likes of (Paul) McCartney and the Rolling Stones put out a new record and you never hear it on the radio. Journey, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, and Heart have all put out new studio albums in the last few years and you never heard one track ever on the radio.”

As a side note here, B102.7 is one of a small group of radio stations that DO play new music by classic bands in past & present sets. But in general terms, what JY is saying is true. A majority of the stations across the country completely ignore new music from classic artists, sadly. There has been some really good music released from these legendary bands over the past decade. Unfortunately, most radio stations won’t support it and after the initial tour behind the new album, these bands stop playing the ‘new songs’ because audiences want to hear the hits they grew up with. A vicious cycle for many of our favorite bands.

Young says that as the market of live DVD’s has finally come into its own, bands like Styx have found a viable outlet to reach its fans: “We’re finding that our career has actually grown with these great DVD’s that we’ve applied ourselves to, taking advantage of what we can do with the visual medium. But I think now, the picture is much clearer that you can do one great song at a time, go back to the ’50s and do singles and make a great low-budget but clever and fun video and put it on our website and if it’s meant to catch fire, it will. If it’s not, we haven’t spent a billion dollars to try and push one track out there.

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