How did the idea to feature Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight together come about?
Weve had it in our minds to play the full Grand Illusion album for about five years now, but weve never had an opportunity where we actually sat down and said, okay, instead of recording a new record, instead of getting ready for another 100 shows, lets rehearse Grand Illusion from top to bottom. But this is the year we decided that we must it. As soon as we started on that, we said, wait a minute, that will carry the first hour of the show but we better add a second album. So I said that my favorite album is Pieces of Eight and a bunch of hands shot up and everybody said, lets do that one.
Whats the format for the evening?
Well go chronologically, so well start the show with Grand Illusion and were debating if we should take a break, then come back and play Pieces of Eight because thats a lot of staging and production involved. Or we could just run the show straight through with back-to-back albums.
If this tour goes well, is there any possibility that the band might attempt this format with other Styx albums?
Highly likely. With albums like Cornerstone and Paradise Theater, there are a lot of possibilities for this in the future.
Tell be about the new EP that youve just released, Regeneration. I believe its something youre selling on the tour?
Yes, Regeneration Vol. 1. I guess thats part of what this tour is bringing to people as well. You know, having been in the band only 12 years, Im somewhat new. However, in the past 12 years Ive been in the band, weve played more shows than Styx played in its strongest, record-selling years between 75 and 82. So whats happened is that there have been a couple of new generations come through who want to hear the classic (Styx) songs done by this line-up. So we thought that its time to do this now. Foreigner has done this, Journey has done this and, for some people, there is a disconnect when they hear the greatest hits but dont hear this band. Now for others, thats sacred ground. So, we decided to make a record that bridged the two timeframes.
Styx plays Ruth Eckerd Hall this Friday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $39 to $79. For more information on the band and the Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Tour, check out the official Styx website.