J.Y. Continues The Styx Solo Adventure!
He's Got A Hot LP That's Hard To Tame - And City Slicker Is Its Name!
RockLine! City Slicker is a fine album, JY, and probably the least Styx-like of all the solo albums to come out of the group.
JY: I think the majority of people say that, at least in terms of the impression they had of what Styx was all about. Clearly, it's the least Styx-like, I agree.
R! Was that your intention?
JY: I didn't set out to be drastically different. It was what I wanted to do.
R! Did you know your producer, Jan Hammer, before you got together for this album project?
JY: I just happened to be talking to someone about Jan in '83 - before he started doing Miami Vice music! - and they knew him and said he's into rock'n'roll right now and I asked if I could meet him.
R! Did you have any songs written at that time?
JY: Well, some of these ideas were definitely written by that time, although three of the tunes on the records are jams and one of the tunes was written ten years ago by a band my brother was in.
R! Which brother was that?
JY: Rick Young, he played bass on one track on this record and sang background vocals on about half of the tunes.
R! Weren't you working on soundtracks at the same time as City Slicker?
JY: I've been spending a lot of my time in my studio working on soundtrack-type of music and fiddling around with the new technology and trying to sort of stay away from radio in order not to influence what I've been doing.
R! Have you done a video yet for City Slicker?
JY: I'm waiting really. Videos can be cranked out in three weeks.
R! You've also been exploring acting. Is that in relationship to the soundtracks?
JY: Well, it's on my list of priorities. It's not on top, but it's somewhere in there. I think it's something that, prior to Styx' Kilroy project, I would never have considered. After my debut as Dr. Righteous, a character on that album and in the Kilroy film, a lot of people really responded positively to that and said, "You can do this!" I'm a little leary of jumping in with both feet. I'm waiting, at this stage, for a role a little bit like Sting had in Quadrophenia, maybe three or four minutes at the most.
R! JY, did you squeeze a vacation or any private time into your life between the Spring of '84 and now?
JY: Well, the whole thing has sort of been a relaxed approach to a career, in the sense that I think all this is equivalent to a vacation. I mean, my whole philosophy about a career in rock and roll is that it would more or les be avoiding work.
R! Ah, the truth comes out.
JY: Well, I think what's why everyone became either a writer or an actor or something in the creative field, but in many ways it's much harder. I'm not complaining, I love it. For me at this stage it's time to really buckle down and I finally planted enough seeds apart from the group so that there's an awful lot of stuff that's about to pop into motion in terms of a little soundtrack, and maybe this cameo that we're talking about, and even some storylines that I've come up with for film and stuff. And I've got a second album almost half-written now, so...
R! This album was really a family kind of project, wasn't it?
JY: I like it that way. I mean, I spent years in the situation where we had five opinions and the the manager's and so forth. I've spent many years compromising. Here I really had definite ideas and so it was a little bit easier to have fewer people there.
I think that one of the reasons Styx is doing these solo albums now is that everyone needed a sort of separate creative vacation. I felt that I could have a career on my own, intend to have a career on my own. Although I don't think we've seen the last of Styx, I think that we will be back together at some point.
R! It is not unusual for bands who have worked together for a long time to do solo project. It is more unusual, however, for solo projects to lead to double solo projects which is the case with Tommy and Dennis. Who does it depend on, whether you all get back together or not?
JY: Well, I think it depends on all of us wanting to work together again and having a project that we all feel good about. I think it's clear to me from talking to the fans that people want to see the band back together, but I think it's really dependent on the people who sang and performed the songs. Dennis and Tommy and myself all have to agree on what we are going to do and I think, as they say, it's a question of when, not if.
RockLine! magazine, May 1986
Thanks to Gina for contributing this article!
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