News & Guts/AXS TVStyx‘s James “JY” Young, Tommy Shaw and Lawrence Gowan are featured on the latest episode of the Dan Rather-hosted AXS TV series The Big Interview, airing tonight at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. During their conversation, Young and Shaw discuss the group’s bitter split with founding singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung.
In a preview clip from the episode, JY maintains that the issues with DeYoung revolved around the fact that the singer decided he didn’t want to tour at a time when Styx’s commercial popularity had waned and the band was relying on playing shows to bring in revenue.
“[I]n 1999…we had offers galore to go out and perform live, and Dennis refused to leave the house…he said for a medical reason,” explains Young. He then suggested that Styx get someone to fill in for DeYoung on the trek, but that Dennis could still sing when he felt like it.
“He said, ‘I don’t want you to do that,'” recalls JY. “And I said, ‘Well, we’re going with you or without you.'”
Styx proceeded to mount a successful tour, and, JY notes, “a year later [Dennis] sued us…over the use of the [band’s] name. We settled out of court…and have gone on without him.”
JY adds, “I’ve forgiven Dennis for everything he’s done that I feel that was not right. And I wish him the best…I have no desire to work with him again.”
Shaw, meanwhile, compares the split with DeYoung to a divorce.
As for reuniting with Dennis, Tommy says, “I want to be around people who love me and that have my best interests at heart, and I don’t have to fight with. So there’s just not enough years left that I would want to risk not having that again.”
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