Angelle Barbazon
Angelle Barbazon
On the Record is written by Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon. She covers Goshen, health issues, entertainment and features.

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Styx bass player Ricky Phillips answers questions from fans

Styx bassist Ricky Phillips talks about “Mr. Roboto,” the band's backstage espresso machine and the craziest thing that has ever happened to him on stage.

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.

In anticipation of Styx playing Thursday, April 3, at the Lerner Theatre in downtown Elkhart, The Elkhart Truth asked classic rock fans to submit questions for bass player Ricky Phillips. Here’s what they wanted to know:

Phillips: "I don’t know why this came to mind, and I don’t know if it’s the craziest, but it was a three-band bill in downtown Chicago right on the water, and Foreigner just came off stage. A storm blew in and start blowing all the PAs around, and these things are heavy. They’re tied down with cables, and they were blowing like they were ping pong balls in a wind storm. It got real scary. The sky was black. They started yelling for us to get off the stage and run for cover. We had only made it barely half way into the set, so that was a bit of a harrowing experience. No one was hurt, I’m happy to say."

Phillips: "In Greek mythology, Achilles was held by his heels as he was dipped into the river Styx to give him his magical powers and make him the god he was."

Phillips: "We haven’t done those this tour, but I will throw that out there the 'Midnight Ride' has been requested. Wow, that’s an interesting request."

Phillips: "It is a classic song, especially if you were 8, 9 or 10 years old when you first heard it, and that’s the interesting thing about that song is that it seems to be one of those songs a lot of people heard when they were kids, and I have those songs too, but I probably wouldn’t go up to the band and ask them to play them.

We used to do a medley and 'Roboto' was in there. You just can’t play all the songs every night, so we did this medley for a while, and maybe we should redo that because we can at least play a bit of each of the songs people are expecting to hear and satisfy that urge, but it isn’t a song that really flows well in the set.

It’s kind of a novelty song. It’s not 'Come Sail Away' or “Fooling Yourself” or “Renegade.” I think it’s a cool piece of music despite all the jokes that have been made it. The first time I heard it, I wasn’t in Styx and I went, 'What the hell is this?' But in time, after you hear it, there is something catchy and cool about it. I’m not trying to pass it off like it’s not important. It is an important song, and I definitely want that to be known."

Phillips: "They usually bring us a catered meal around 5 p.m. or sometimes 6 p.m. We’re all coffee junkies, so we have an espresso machine backstage. When it’s about 10 minutes to showtime, you’ll see everybody in their own little routine working their way toward the espresso machine and do a little shot for that little charge before we go on stage. Sometimes, if it’s really close to showtime, I will not eat before I go on, and I’ll wait until after. If you eat everything they brought us, you would be rolling onto the stage."

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.

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