"We're having so much fun playing together," claims Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, "that we're not ready to stop to record again yet." Since the release of their most recent CMC album, "Brave New World," the current incarnation of Styx has played over 90 shows to enthusiastic audiences around the U.S. and Japan. Their plan is to play another 100+ shows across America and Europe throughout the year 2000 before they consider recording a new studio CD.
Friends, critics, and fans who have seen the recent shows have all been struck by the amazingly energetic performances of all the current band members. Joining Shaw and guitarist/vocalist James "JY" Young are former Styx member Glen Burtnik (who had replaced Shaw when he left the group in 1983 for a few years) on bass, Lawrence Gowan on keyboards and vocals, and drummer Todd Sucherman, who has been a member of the band since the untimely death of original drummer John Panozzo a few years ago. The festival shows are done arena-style with the typical Styx lavish, theatrical productions that have thrilled audiences through the past 3 decades. Some of the band's recent shows have been "An Evening With..." performances which are done in a more informal setting with band members chatting with the audience and performing in a style similar to the VH1 Storytellers format. In either case, the demand for additional appearances has convinced the band to keep touring without benefit of releasing a new studio album.
Lawrence Gowan comes to Styx via a successful performing and recording career in Canada. Having been classically trained, Gowan's vocal and playing abilities quickly made him a huge success in Canada with 3 platinum and 4 gold hit records, numerous Juno Award nominations, and eventually the Prestigious Achievement Award from the Canadian Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Styx became aware of him in 1997 when he opened a few Canadian dates for them and remarkably received two encores from a crowd filled with longtime Styx fans. His success in front of their audience and his incredible stage energy and vocal ability made him the obvious choice to replace original member Dennis DeYoung in 1999. "Gowan's a real asset to Styx," explains JY. "He's brought new energy and excitement to the stage and I don't think I've had this much fun playing live in many years."
Burtnik, this time replacing original bassist Chuck Panozzo who has chosen to concentrate on other creative projects, is no stranger to Styx fans, having replaced Tommy back in the 80's when he sang lead on two hit singles off of the band's "Edge of the Century" album. Hailing from New Jersey, Burtnik was a popular opening act for the area's biggest artists like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. His first big break came when he was cast as Paul McCartney in the touring company of the hit Broadway musical "Beatlemania", but Glen has always been a top-rated songwriter and prefers to perform his own songs or write songs for others. Artists such as Patty Smyth and Randy Travis have had #1 hits with his songs, and Glen himself has released 4 solo albums of his own work over the past 15 years.
As many fans found out last year, when the planets align, Chuck will fly in to join his bandmates on stage for a song or two. It is always a great jam and the fans get to see STYX become a six-piece band!