During an October 14 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", STYX guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw spoke 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.
Shaw said: "The mixes are done. Unfortunately, we're gonna have to wait [to release the LP] until we can go out and perform and help to promote the album. 'Cause otherwise, we're just handing it to Spotify. We put a lot of time, energy and resources into doing this and would like an opportunity to be able to sell some albums and that sort of thing, and not come back with a 15-cent check at the end of the year."
Asked if he thinks STYX fans can expect to hear some new music and see the band play live shows next year, Tommy said: "We're constantly looking and planning ahead to when we do finally get to perform again. We have our protocols together. We already have one of our crew who's taking a course to become a certified COVID guy, who's like a COVID cop, who will run all of those kind of protocols at the gig. So it's all gonna change the way the day runs there. It'll be simplified to the people who have contact with the band and our crew. We're looking at dates a couple of months from now — two or three months [from now]. And it just depends on how the country progresses. If there is indeed people wanting to be on the solution side of it, and let's keep each other safe and not politicize all this stuff, and we can get together and be safe with each other in a venue, then we'll start playing shows again. But people are people, and I'm not saying anybody's right or wrong. It will just have to get to that place where we can all be safe and take care of each other."
Drummer Todd Sucherman 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."
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 Lawrence Gowan.