STYX - An Embarrassment Of Riches Page 3
By Martin Popoff
"I think the album's really straight down the middle, melody-wise," counters Shaw when I venture that to me, the album sounds like the most melodic the band has ever done. "When you add Glen Burtnick to the mix, suddenly you've got another voice and you've got another creative vocal arranger in the band. You know, we've always been a vocal-type band. But now you've got Glen in there, and Glen is a Beatles freak and a Brian Wilson freak. And you mix that with our love for Crosby, Stills and Nash and Yes and all our favourite influences from the past, and I think you do get a little deeper and wider vocal flavour. And we do that live too now, because instead of the three singers, now we have four. And I know nobody sings harmonies like that, but we do. Vocally, when you come and see us live, it's hard to believe that there's not a bunch of, you know, disks running at the same time, keyboardist guys underneath the stage. The only one we've got is on top of the stage (laughs)."
Keysman Lawrence Gowan is of course another shockingly energetic weapon in the Styx arsenal. Yet oddly, despite his technological wizardry, Gowan tried to get the band to look at their legendary past. "Larry was very insistent on us going back and re-creating some of the old sounds," explains Tommy. "Because everything now is digital and midi-ed and there isn't any of that on those early records. And there's just something about those warm analog keyboard sounds; first of all they're very identifiable as Styx, and we did want to connect the dots from our past to the band that we are now. And he was very insistent that the keyboard sounds had to be a part of that. So he didn't even bring his keyboard rig into the studio. We went out and searched around on eBay and found the actual keyboards like we used on the old records and we layered them one on top of the other just like we did on, you know, Grand Illusion. So he was very insistent on that and he went through a lot of trouble to find us the right piano for Killing The Thing That You Love. That's the same piano Bruce Hornby played on That's Just The Way It Is, the exact same piano."
STYX - An Embarrassment Of Riches Page 4