Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw says that the greatest licks come out of thin air and one just needs to be quick enough to capture them. The was exactly the case with the opening riff to “Gone Gone Gone,” the lead single from the band’s first new album in over 12 years, called, The Mission. The concept album, due out on June 16th, takes place in 2033, and chronicles a fictional take on the first manned mission to Mars.
Shaw recalled how his partner in crime, James “J.Y.” Young, can come up with a legendary guitar part at the drop of a dime: “James Young is one of these guys, when he sits down, I’m always thinking — ‘Where’s my phone?’ when he has the guitar out (laughs). ‘Cause the things that flu off of his hands, for one thing, for the life of me, I cannot figure out his thought process playing the lead guitar. So, I’m always listening to, ‘okay, what’s he doing there?’ And then, if he continues down this thread, it’s like, (laughs) ‘where’s my phone?’ ‘Cause you’ve gotta capture it.”
Photo Courtesy of BC-PR / Rick Diamond