Dennis DeYoung Says Styx Hurt Legacy, Divided Fanbase by Firing Him
By Andrew Magnotta
June 14, 2018
Former Styx singer Dennis DeYoung says he's happy to know his old band is performing "Mr. Roboto," even after 35 years of apologizing for the unconventional 1983 hit.
DeYoung tells The Eddie Trunk Podcast that he bears no ill-will towards his former band and he still wants a reunion, so they can repair their divided fanbase.
"I love those guys," DeYoung told Trunk. "Okay? I don't care what they have said and thought about me. [Tommy Shaw] and [James Young] and [Chuck Panozzo]...we went to battle together; we went to war."
The singer acknowledged how "Mr. Roboto" and the band's Kilroy Was Here album famously divided the group creatively, leading to its 1983 breakup.
Styx reunited in the mid-'90s, but DeYoung says the real damage was done when Styx fired him in 1999. DeYoung says his dismissal, along with comments from his former bandmates, split the fanbase and caused many fans to take sides: either Styx or DeYoung and "Mr. Roboto."
"It's just wrong; it's counterproductive," DeYoung said. "And I think it hurts our legacy, which to me is the most important thing. I didn't do this thing to become a flash in the pan. I did this to create something that will live longer than myself, and I think we've done that. But a lot of damage has been done to our fanbase. And I regret it and I apologize to them."
DeYoung continued saying followers of the latest iteration of Styx "have really committed to the idea that they should dislike this song and [dislike] me at the same time. And I keep saying to myself, 'Why?'...So now, I look at it and I think all those people have literally been thrown under the bus by this reversal of fortune. They told them one thing and now they're playing this song!"
DeYoung says, despite it all, he's still proud of "Mr. Roboto" — proud that it was different and that people like it. He says he hopes Styx performing the song again live means the band is inching closer to a reunion.
"I don't have any hard feelings towards those guys. I don't. If they called tomorrow for a reunion, — I've pushed it, I've said it for 18 years: I want to be in the band. I should be in the band. It's exactly what the fan base wants."
DeYoung will be playing the music of Styx all summer on tour. Get his tour dates here.
Styx is on tour all summer with Tesla and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Get those dates here.
Photo: Getty Images