In a brand new interview with Darren Paltrowitz, host of the “Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz”, STYX co-founder Dennis DeYoung was asked if there is anything still left for him to accomplish professionally. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “This sounds crazy, but I’d like to be acknowledged by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. STYX deserves to be in there.”
DeYoung also addressed the fact that hip-hop acts — and other non-rock artists — have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame while legendary rock and heavy metal bands like JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN have yet to get the nod.
“Look, I think it’s simple. They could stop all this bullshit by just renaming it the Contemporary Music Hall Of Fame,” he said. “But they know rock and roll, although less today than ever, has a cache: ‘Oh, they’re cool. They’re rock stars.’ Not anymore. It’s pop stars and rap stars, which is why they’re throwing those people in there, because there’s an audience.
“Am I gonna say I don’t like Whitney Houston? No. I don’t care what they put it. Put us in. We qualify on any possible measure.
“Now, does this sound desperate from an old guy? I hope it doesn’t,” Dennis added. “It’s just there are too many of our peers — and I mean peers — many who didn’t do as well as we did. And it’s time to put us in, that’s all. And will they? I have no idea.”
DeYoung‘s former bandmate, STYX guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, told Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF, STYX in a 2020 interview that he is “kind of numb” to the idea of being inducted into the Rock Hall. “And I’ve been to some of them before,” he said. “It was nice to see a bunch of people that I know.
“You know what it’s good for? When you go out later and they say, ‘members of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.’ That’s what’s great about it,” he continued. “But the idea of going there and going through that process, I’m not really looking forward to that. I’d love to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and I’d go do it, but that part, it just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s one of those things where you sit in judgment there, and our fans have voted with their feet and with their wallets time after time. So it’s the fans that I respect more than a bunch of guys [going], ‘Thumbs up, thumbs down,’ year after year.
“I just don’t understand their standards,” he added. “They’ll have some songs that aren’t a rock and roll song — one guy had one song, and they put them in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. And I’m not bitter about it. But it’s just frustrating to be held up to those kinds of standards when all we really care about is our fans.”
Still, if he does one day get the call that STYX is being inducted into the Rock Hall, “I’ll be honored, I’ll go [and] I’ll do it,” he said. “But I kind of stopped paying attention to whether we qualify for being in there.”
Last year, STYX guitarist James “J.Y.” Young told the Arizona Republic that DeYoung “deserves” to be in the Rock Hall along with the rest of the band if they eventually get inducted. But he ruled out a possible reunion with the singer, saying: “Highly unlikely. The man sued us in federal court over the use of the name. We settled out of court. So we control the name and he can use it in limited ways, which are very strictly outlined.
“Dennis hates being away from home,” Young explained. “I don’t need to be next to unhappiness. We have a joyful thing now and I have no economic incentive to do it. It would be throwing the Joker back into the deck to bring him in. And I’m not interested in that.
“A lot of times great works of art come from tortured souls or tortured situations,” he added. “And being in STYX was a tortured situation. It really was. A lot of us were very unhappy. In all the success we had, there was no joy. And now there’s nothing but joy. From what I’ve read, a lot of these great works of literature were made by tortured souls. And Dennis is kind of a tortured genius.”
In addition to Shaw and Young, STYX‘s current lineup features Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass) and Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo.
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal groups like MÖTLEY CRÜE and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N’ ROSES in that band’s first year of eligibility.