Someone Squealed! Two Women Accused Of Running A Pre-School “Fight Club”

Fight-Club

(PCM) And the first rule of “Fight Club” is … well, it appears someone spilled the beans and two NJ daycare works are being accused of running a pre-school “fight club” at a daycare facility with girls and boys aged four through six.

Erica Kenny, 22, and Chanese White, 28 have been accused of instigating fights between the children at Lightbridge Academy in Cranford, NJ and then filming the altercations between the children and posting the fight footage on social media. Once it was brought to the attention of those in charge of Lightbridge Academy both women were immediately terminated.

The videos feature footage of dozens of children fighting, shoving each other to the ground and taking swings on one another. There is still a pending investigation to find out just how long both Kenny and White were making these types of videos.  Both women have been charged with child abuse and Kenny has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Both women could serve jail time if convicted.

While none of the children appear to have suffered any serious injuries, Lightbridge Academy has released a statement in regards to the incident saying “As parents and caregivers, we are shocked and saddened by this isolated incident and we have assisted the prosecutor’s office from the start of its investigation into this matter. While no children were physically harmed during this incident, we have a zero tolerance policy for anyone who acts in conflict with the core value of Lightbridge Academy – the safety and well-being of children.”

Someone Squealed! Two Women Accused Of Running A Pre-School “Fight Club” was contributed by a Myth

Fall TV Season Is Upon Us! Full List of Fall 2015 Premiere Dates!

Fall-TV1

(PCM) It is our favorite time of year! All of our favorite fall TV shows are returning and the networks are churning out a slew of new series so everyone’s DVR’s are sure to fill up fast in the coming months. We have scoured the networks and came up with a complete list of every fall premiere date that has been revealed! Our most anticipated picks for each month are highlighted in bold, so definitely be sure to check them out!

September

Blindspot1

Tuesday, Sept. 1
“Drunk History” – 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Wednesday, Sept. 2
“Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles” – 10 p.m., Bravo

Friday, Sept. 4
“Hand of God” – Amazon

Monday, Sept. 7
“Ladies of London” – 10 p.m., Bravo

Tuesday, Sept. 8
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – 11:30 p.m., CBS

Wednesday, Sept. 9
“The League” – 10 p.m., FXX
“Suddenly Royal” – 10 p.m., TLC
“You’re The Worst” – 10:30 p.m., FXX

Tuesday, Sept. 9
“Longmire” – Netflix

Friday, Sept. 11
“20/20” – 10 p.m., ABC
“Z Nation” – 10 p.m., Syfy
“Continuum” – 11 p.m., Syfy

Saturday, Sept. 12
“Ferrell Takes The Field” – 10 p.m., HBO

Sunday, Sept. 13
“Project Greenlight” – 10 p.m., HBO
“Doll & Em” – 10 p.m., HBO

Monday, Sept. 14
“Dancing With the Stars” – 8 p.m., ABC

Tuesday, Sept. 15
“The Bastard Executioner” – 10 p.m., FX
“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” – 10 p.m., NBC
“The Mindy Project” – Hulu

Wednesday, Sept. 16
“South Park” – 10 p.m., Comedy Central
“Moonbeam City” – 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Saturday, Sept. 19
“Doctor Who” – 9 p.m., BBC America

Monday, Sept. 21
“The Big Bang Theory” – 8 p.m., CBS
“Gotham” – 8 p.m., FOX
“The Voice” – 8 p.m., NBC
“Life in Pieces” – 8:30 p.m., CBS
“Minority Report” -9 p.m., FOX
“Scorpion” – 9 p.m., CBS
“Blindspot” – 10 p.m., NBC
“Castle” – 10 p.m., ABC
“NCIS: Los Angeles” – 10 p.m., CBS

Tuesday, Sept. 22
“The Muppets” – 8 p.m., ABC
“NCIS” – 8 p.m., CBS
“Scream Queens” – 8 p.m., FOX
“Fresh Off the Boat” – 8:30 p.m., ABC
“NCIS: New Orleans” – 9 p.m., CBS
“The Bazillion Dollar Club” – 10 p.m., Syfy
“Limitless” – 10 p.m., CBS

Wednesday, Sept. 23
“The Middle” – 8 p.m., ABC
“The Mysteries of Laura” – 8 p.m., NBC
“Rosewood” – 8 p.m., FOX
“Survivor” – 8 p.m., CBS
“The Goldbergs” – 8:30 p.m., ABC
“Empire” – 9 p.m., FOX
“Law & Order: SVU” – 9 p.m., NBC
“Modern Family” – 9 p.m., ABC
“Black-ish” – 9:30 p.m., ABC
“Nashville” – 10 p.m., ABC

Thursday, Sept. 24
“Grey’s Anatomy” – 8 p.m., ABC
“Heroes Reborn” – 8 p.m., NBC
“Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe” – 9 p.m., Lifetime
“Scandal” – 9 p.m., ABC
“How To Get Away With Murder” – 10 p.m., ABC
“The Player” – 10 p.m., NBC

Friday, Sept. 25
“The Amazing Race” – 8 p.m., CBS
“Last Man Standing” – 8 p.m., ABC
“Hawaii Five-0” – 9 p.m., CBS
“Shark Tank” – 9 p.m., ABC
“Blue Bloods” – 10 p.m., CBS

Saturday, Sept. 26
“48 Hours” – 10 p.m., CBS

Sunday, Sept. 27
“60 Minutes” – 7 p.m., CBS
“Bob’s Burgers” – 7:30 p.m., FOX
“The Simpsons” – 8 p.m., FOX
“Once Upon a Time” – 8 p.m., ABC
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” – 8:30 p.m., FOX
“Blood & Oil” – 9 p.m., ABC
“Family Guy” – 9 p.m., FOX
“The Last Man on Earth” – 9:30 p.m., FOX
“Quantico” – 10 p.m., ABC

Monday, Sept. 28
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” – 11 p.m., Comedy Central

Tuesday, Sept. 29
“Grandfathered” – 8 p.m., FOX
“The Grinder” – 8:30 p.m., FOX
“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” – 9 p.m., ABC
“Beyond the Tank” – 9 p.m., ABC

Wednesday, Sept. 30
“Criminal Minds” – 9 p.m., CBS
“Chicago P.D.” – 10 p.m. NBC
“Code Black” – 10 p.m., CBS

October

Supergirl1

Thursday, Oct. 1
“Bones” – 8 p.m., FOX
“The Blacklist” – 9 p.m., NBC
“Sleepy Hollow” – 9 p.m., FOX
“Benders” – 10 p.m., IFC

Friday, Oct. 2
“Dr. Ken” – 8:30 p.m., ABC
“The Jacksons: Next Generation” – 10 p.m., Lifetime

Saturday, Oct. 3
“The Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 Story” – 8 p.m., Lifetime
“Saturday Night Live” – 11:30 p.m., NBC

Sunday, Oct. 4
“Madame Secretary” – 8 p.m., CBS
“The Good Wife” – 9 p.m., CBS
“Homeland” – 9 p.m., Showtime
“The Leftovers” – 9 p.m., HBO
“The Affair” – 10 p.m., Showtime
“CSI: Cyber” – 10 p.m., CBS

Tuesday, Oct. 6
“The Flash” – 8 p.m., The CW
“iZombie” – 9 p.m., The CW

Wednesday, Oct. 7
“Arrow” – 8 p.m., The CW
“Supernatural” – 9 p.m., The CW
“American Horror Story: Hotel” – 10 p.m., FX

Thursday, Oct. 8
“The Vampire Diaries” – 8 p.m., The CW
“The Originals” – 9 p.m., The CW
“Haven” – 10 p.m., Syfy
“Billy on the Street” – 10:30 p.m., TruTV

Friday, Oct. 9
“Reign” – 8 p.m., The CW
“Undateable” – 8 p.m., NBC
“America’s Next Top Model” – 9 p.m., The CW
“Red Oaks” – Amazon

Saturday, Oct. 10
“The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story” – 8 p.m., Lifetime
“The Last Kingdom” – 10 p.m., BBC America

Sunday, Oct. 11
“America’s Funniest Home Videos” – 7 p.m., ABC
“The Walking Dead” – 9 p.m., AMC
“Talking Dead” – 10:30 p.m., AMC

Monday, Oct. 12
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” – 8 p.m., The CW
“Jane the Virgin” – 9 p.m., The CW
“Fargo” – 10 p.m., FX

Tuesday, Oct. 13
“Manhattan” – 9 p.m., WGN America
“Chicago Fire” – 10 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, Oct. 14
“Kingdom” – 9 p.m., DirecTV

Thursday, Oct. 15
“Nathan For You” – 10 p.m., Comedy Central

Friday, Oct. 16
“Truth Be Told” – 8:30 p.m., NBC
“The Knick” – 10 p.m., Cinemax
“Satisfaction” – 10 p.m., USA

Monday, Oct. 26
“Supergirl” – 8:30 p.m., CBS

Tuesday, Oct. 27
“Wicked City” – 10 p.m., ABC

Friday, Oct. 30
“Grimm” – 9 p.m., NBC

Saturday, Oct. 31
“Ash vs. Evil Dead” – 9 p.m., Starz

November

Thursday, Nov. 5
“Mom” – 9 p.m., CBS
“Angel From Hell” – 9:30 p.m., CBS
“Elementary” – 10 p.m., CBS

Friday, Nov. 6
“MasterChef Junior” – 8 p.m., FOX
“World’s Funniest” – 9 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Nov. 8
“Flesh and Bone” – 9 p.m., Starz

Tuesday, Nov. 17
“Chicago Med” – 10 p.m., NBC

The Folklore & Legends of Mirrors

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

We all know that phrase and not just because of the Snow White trend that has crept into pop culture in the recent past with the likes of two Snow White movies (Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman) and Once Upon a Time, a fairy tale themed TV series with Snow White leading the list of main characters, but because we grew up surrounded by these legends and lore.

And we’re surrounded by plenty of mirrors these days, too.

Now, some of us may enjoy taking that glimpse in the mirror, but if you think too long on any of the tales, superstitions and beliefs that surround mirrors, mirrors could end up seeming pretty terrifying. I mean, mirrors are kind of spooky whether they’re in a funhouse or in your bathroom. They have that perpetual sense of anticipation and, perhaps, even fear due to the stories we’ve grown up on and the ways we’ve seen them come to life in entertainment.

After all, there is plenty of material to work with and expand upon. One of the oldest and most common beliefs about mirrors, that our reflections contain part of our souls, underlies nearly ever mirror tale there is. A soul is nothing to mess around this and many ancient cultures believed the soul in danger of getting trapped in a mirror due to this connection to one’s reflection.

While this premise is not exactly the base of the Magic Mirror in Snow White (although if you watch Once Upon a Time and know the danger and evil that we’ve seen in Sidney Glass you may see a connection), it is indeed the root of many other superstitions around mirrors.  Check out these familiar scares below.

 7 Years Bad Luck:

We all know this one. Break a mirror and you’ve got 7 years of bad luck! So, who do we have to thank for this nagging thought in the back of our minds every time there’s a crack in our mirror? The Romans! Believe it or not, this superstition dates all the way back to when glass mirrors were first created. Believing the connection between reflection and soul to be true, the Romans likewise believed that to break a mirror (ie. One’s reflection) was to break a piece of the soul of the individual as well.

But why 7 years? Again, it’s all about the soul. The Romans attributed the seven years worth of bad luck to the belief that life renewed itself every seven years. Thus, breaking a mirror is breaking a soul which is breaking your health. (Follow that?) It was only after seven years that the soul is regenerated and the bad luck washed away.

Vampires:

Especially with the current trends in pop culture, there is no doubt that we’ve all seen our share of vampire movies, TV shows and more, which means that at some point in time we’ve likely encountered that revealing moment when the vampire (or someone suspected of being a vampire) is standing before a mirror and yet there is no reflection.

Again, this has everything to do with the soul. After all, vampires are the undead and if you know anything about vampires, you know they do not have souls. So, if we follow the belief that our reflection contains a part of our souls… a soulless being would have no reflection.

Bloody Mary:

This myth is perhaps one of the scariest and best known of our time. It’s an urban legend and thus, by nature, surrounded by a variety of different tellings, but the general idea is that if you if you stand in front of a mirror and say “Bloody Mary” repeatedly, she’ll appear in the mirror to cause you harm. Whether you’re most familiar with this tale from your torment-loving siblings or any of the depictions on screen (be it in Candyman, Paranormal Activity 3 or The CW’s Supernatural), you know you don’t want her coming around.

Bloody Mary is a soul trapped in a mirror, looking to cause harm to those who invoke her.  She’s been harmed herself and looking to bring that pain to others.

Other Mirror Superstitions at a Glance:

– Falling asleep in front of a mirror is dangerous, because the soul leaves the body while sleeping and upon return may get confused by the reflection and enter the mirror rather than your body.

– Many cultures break the mirrors of the deceased or cover them up so that the dead would not see their reflection and decide to remain back and haunt their home.

– Other cultures will cover mirrors at a wake so that the soul of the deceased does not become trapped. All reflective surfaces – including water and household appliances – would need to be covered up.

– Mirrors were often used in traditional witchcraft as tools for scrying or performing spells.

– A newborn child should not look into a mirror until their first year due to the belief that the soul is still developing at that time.

– It is bad luck to have two mirrors facing one another.

– The mirror has ties to water due to both of their reflective natures. This brings to mind myths and folklore like the story of Narcissus.

– Mirrors cannot lie. (Hence the Magic Mirror of Snow White fame…)

The post The Folklore & Legends of Mirrors appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

Misting Showers Installed At Auschwitz Memorial Are Met With Controversy

Auschwitz-misting

(PCM) The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland is being met with some controversy after the decision was made to install misting stations outside the memorials front entrance as a way to battle an extreme heat wave that has been affecting the area.

Auschwitz was once known as the largest Nazi concentration camp in Poland and now visitors are comparing the newly installed misting stations to the gas chamber “showers” that were used to kill the Jews during World War II.

In response to the controversy the museum addressed concerns via Facebook saying that due to the fact that guests waiting to visit the museum must stand in direct sunlight while waiting for entry cards and there is no shade there have been several incidents of fainting episodes and the museum felt that they needed to take action for the safely of museum visitors.

The museum also goes on to explain that they can not comment on any suggested historical references and say that this misting sprinklers in no way resemble showers or the fake showers installed by the Germans in some of the gas chambers, which were not actually used to deliver gas into the chambers. Instead Zyklon B was released into the gas chambers in a very different way. It was released through holes in the ceiling or airtight drops in the walls.

What do you think? Should the museum be concerned about guest sensitivity or are the misting stations a good idea?

The post Misting Showers Installed At Auschwitz Memorial Are Met With Controversy also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Happy Birthday To Chicken Boy! Perfect Way To Kick-Off National Eat Chicken Month!

Chickenboy1

(PCM) Chicken Boy is a gigantic 22-foot tall statue that currently resides along historic Route 66 in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles, California. After many tumultuous years of being taken up and down and resting for two years in a storage facility Chicken Boy finally found his permanent home upon the roof of 5558 North Figueroa an art design firm owned by Amy Inouye.

Chicken Boy’s ceremonial birthday is celebrated on September 1, as that is when he made his initial debut a top a Los Angeles chicken restaurant from 1969 to 1984 when the owner of the restaurant passed away. People from all over the country continue to make the trek to visit the iconic Chicken Boy statue that has since been named a historic California landmark. Chicken Boy even has his very own website/on-line store! He is often referred to as the Statue Of Liberty of Los Angeles.

We say there is no better way to celebrate Chicken Boy’s birthday this month than kicking off September, which also happens to be National Eat Chicken month, with a tasty plate of some delicious fried chicken and a tall glass of sweet tea.

On average a typical U.S. household serves some sort of chicken dish about seven times or more per month which adds up to be able 82 pounds of chicken per person for a whole year.  A few years ago in celebration of National Chicken Month, KFC conducted a survey to find out about America’s chicken consuming habits.

eat-chicken-logo-web

Some fun facts from that survey can be found below:

When asked the age-old question “what came first the chicken or the egg?,”nearly seven out of 10 turned to the biblical belief that the chicken came before the egg. On the other hand, the U.S.D.A. data statisticians have proven that the egg did, in fact, come before the chicken. Any way you look at it, a chicken can’t be born without an egg, and an egg can’t be laid without a chicken … so both answers are correct.(2)

Hands-Off Approach
When it comes to fried chicken, most dig in and forget proper etiquette! More than four out of five surveyed toss aside utensils and eat chicken with their hands.
— Believe it or not, slightly more women (85%) than men (81%) are apt to
forget the fork!
— This is good news for those visiting Gainesville, Ga. — the chicken
capital of the world — where it is illegal to eat chicken with a fork.

Piece by Piece
Hands down, almost seven out of 10 people surveyed prefer white meat to
dark. When it comes to the most favored piece of chicken, the breast prevails
by close to 50 percent over leg, thigh, boneless and wing.

— Breast 48%
— Leg 18%
— Thigh 13%
— Boneless 13%
— Wing 10%

On the Side but Still in the “Game”
When deciding which side dish to bring to the table, 48 percent surveyed
chose mashed potatoes & gravy as their favorite, followed by fries, cole slaw,
corn on the cob or baked beans.

— Mashed Potatoes & Gravy 48%
— Fries 19%
— Cole slaw 17%
— Corn on the cob 13%
— Baked beans 3%

Who Better than KFC to Give You Chicken Facts? 
— Today, people are eating three times as much chicken as they did in the
early 1960s; in fact, chicken consumption surpasses that of beef each
year(3)

— A chicken has been clocked at running 25 miles per hour(4)

— While humans have about 9,000 taste buds in their mouths, chicken have
only 24 located in several areas of their mouth and tongue(5)

— According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the largest chicken,
named Weirdo, weighed in at a whopping 22 pounds and came from
Calaveras County, Calif.(6)

— In Quitman, Ga., it’s illegal for a chicken to cross the road

— A group of chickens is called a “peep of chicken”

— Colonel Sanders (the founder of KFC, best known for his white suit and
black string tie) was the second most recognized public figure in the
world back in 1979(7)

— An estimated 736 million KFC chickens are consumed annually
worldwide(8)

— Laid head to claw, KFC chickens consumed worldwide each year would
reach 209,000 miles — encircling the Earth at the equator 8-1/2
times(9)

Happy Birthday To Chicken Boy! Perfect Way To Kick-Off National Eat Chicken Month! was contributed by a Myth

Exclusive Interview With Styx Bassist Ricky Phillips

STYX-Band-Photo--Approved-for-2015

(PCM) Proving that rock n’ roll is alive and well, especially when it comes to live performances, Styx have once again journeyed out this summer along with both Def Leppard and Tesla to bring fans one of the most exciting rock tours of the summer. It is sure to be a truly memorable evening for all who can attend any of the remaining tour dates.

True road warriors Styx continue to amaze me by giving 110% to each and every performance and certainly show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. I recently had a chance to catch up with Styx bassist Ricky Phillips, who you may also know was also a member of both The Baby’s and Bad English and has worked with countless rock n’ roll icons over the years. We, of course, chatted about Styx’s current tour with Def Leppard and Tesla, but also learned that work is currently being down on a new Styx album as well.

We also discussed the many changes in the music industry that are affecting musicians today, as well as, his work on the upcoming Ronnie Montrose tribute album, which is without a doubt going to be epic!

On the current tour with Def Leppard and Tesla

RICKY PHILLIPS: Things couldn’t be better. It’s a really great compliment of music and I think that it makes for a real good night of music for fans to get a lot of bang from their buck. These days concert tickets are quite expensive so you have to try to get your money’s worth. We’ve been selling out or nearly selling out all of the venues across the country so far and beyond that I think the most important part is that we all get along really well and it is just fun to be there. There are a lot of fun things going on and we didn’t even realize that it had been nearly seven years since we last toured with Def Leppard and they are good friends of ours, so it is just great to be out with them.

You never know what’s going to happen and each day is a little bit different adventure. Backstage is sometimes just as much fun as up front.

On fans coming out to shows and the proof that rock n’ roll is very much alive and well

RP: My observation, at least, because we are out on the road at least 200 days a year, as it’s become the touring industry not the recording industry anymore. Unless you are Beyonce, Justin Beiber or Kanye … whoever is at the top charts, it’s kind of a different game, especially for classic rock because that kind of has its own heading now. For us, handling the touring, and this is kind of my point, don’t you think that they are better than they were?  Because I’ve toured with all these bands back in the day when they were in their prime and they were good, but kind of had the momentum behind that hit single they were out there promoting, but broken downs the bands that are out there still doing it are way better than they were before.

I think people are in shock when they come out to see bands that are touring now and say ‘Wow, were they always this good?’ .. well, maybe they were close, but there’s something about being a seasoned veteran and being more accomplished and more competent. It isn’t just instrumentally, but vocally as well, I mean Joe Elliot is just out there kicking ass every night and the band’s background harmonies are stellar. We really, as the Styx band, pride ourselves on the vocals, so it’s great to see other band’s kicking ass the same way.

I don’t know about all bands, but I know we, Styx, we do all the songs in the original keys. We don’t tune down, we don’t use any pitch correction and Tommy Shaw jokingly says ‘All the mistakes you hear tonight were performed live’ so, that’s kind of what we believe in.  When we come off the stage dripping, soaking wet we are talking about ways to make tomorrow’s show better than tonight’s show. That has been our M.O. all along with if we are going to be doing this, let’s do this at the highest level we can.

On the pressure for band’s to stay on the road longer and the fact that now a tour supports and album rather than the album supporting the tour

RP: You are exactly right. It is very different and also, beyond that, if you sold 30 to 50 thousand units today you are rocking man, but you would be dropped by your label if you only sold that amount back in the day. It doesn’t make it the priority anymore. Since we are on the road 200 days a year, people say ‘when are you doing your next record?’ and we are thinking well, our business is to take care and preserve what we have as a touring entity. That’s our bread and butter and how we support our crew’s families and keep them working and not lose them to other bands who are touring. We love our crew and they are every bit as important as the band. It’s a nice little tapestry that is woven between a really good crew and a good band to get out there and perform like we do.

Taking the time off to go record a record is more problematic than writing the songs and recording them and that’s what we are doing … there will be some new Styx music coming out finally. All of us have been writing so much stuff who knows what we will end up doing, but we are definitely working towards that. We are just trying to find some time and a way to do it.

On writing on the road and technology becoming a character in the creative process

RP: Technology is an amazing thing. If I am warming up and I play a riff, I can just grab my phone and record it right then and there. Everyone warms up a little bit different in our band. I have points in the afternoon where I play for about a half hour, probably around 5:30 or 6:00 pm and then maybe I’ll get dressed and get something to eat and then I will play for another 20 minutes to a half hour before we start doing vocal warm-ups to go out and do our show. You will sometimes hear other guys playing something and say ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool’  and you will see them stop and grab their iPad or phone and start recording whatever it was because I don’t even know how many song ideas that I need to catch up on that are stored inside my phone.

We, as writers, still try to stay fresh and still somehow capture those ideas because really these ideas are like dreams and if you don’t wake up and write it down you might not be able to clarify it later. You think ‘oh, I’ll never forget this riff, it’s too cool’ … well, you will … trust me! I’ve had riffs where I’ve thought the same things but when I tried to recreate it again it just wasn’t the same. You really do have to record your ideas the same way you would write down a dream.

On the generational appeal of Styx’s music 

RP: One of the things that I think I’ve noticed, being the new guy who is just reaching 12 years in the band this September and I am starting my 13th year, in the songwriting the songs that soar to the top and become iconic songs from Styx all seem to have a positive message. I don’t know if that was really a conscious thought or it just worked out that way but, you’ve got songs that were written, and usually they are vocally driven … there’s a lot of nice harmonies … but there’s also some other things going on. The style of guitar playing between JY and Tommy is completely different, but it doesn’t sound like it. They compliment each other so well on what they do together with the little harmony lines that they play and that is very much part of the sound  and the three lead vocals that started back in the day, even before Tommy is a really cool thing.

So, we do more show than Def Leppard because we have three singers and we don’t lose our voices or have to protect our voices so much. We will play six days a week and still be able to do the seventh! There is something about the sound that started way back with Styx that leaves you feeling positive. My brother used to work as one of the directors for the New York City Opera, which has since folded, and he came to see us play at the Beacon and he couldn’t believe the audience. He could not believe the array of New Yorkers we brought out of the woodwork to see us play.

For some reason the music does put everyone in a good mood, lift their spirits and they sing along young and old. The songs all seem to have this positive or uplifting meaning to them and I think people really respond and react to that and if anyone’s ever been to a Styx show the audience is kind of like the Fifth Beatle … they are very reciprocal and very much part of the show.

On the difficulty of crafting a set-list each night

RP: I think we would all have a little bit different opinion. I’m kind of a Zeppelin guy so it’s a good thing I’m not in charge of the set-list (laughs). Usually Tommy and JY put the set-list together and the way they do it is that they put it around so that everyone is represented vocally. JY is represented, Tommy is represented, Lawrence is represented and not only does it showcase each guy, but it also preserves one guy from having to follow-up with three banging songs in a row at the top of his register. There is a methodology with how we need to present our shows so we can play six or seven nights in a row.

With this tour Tesla goes out and kicks ass from the first song, so we are not going to out there and play a bunch of ballads to start off after that, so there is a methodology behind doing the live show in big outdoor venues rather than smaller more intimate theater shows. Each audience is a little bit different flavor, so we have learned to cater the set-list to different types of venues and audiences to make it work.

On the differences between the various types of venues Styx plays

RP: That’s the beauty of this band for me! I would hate to think that I am only playing arenas. Since we do stay out year around, when concert season is over, we stay out and play the smaller venues and I would hate to not be able to play those types of venues. It’s fun for us!  That’s probably why U2 goes and plays in subways and band’s do these fun secret shows in smaller venues because there is something about that real immediacy and being able to watch people’s eyes and reactions.

On the changes in the music industry and their overall effect 

RP: Without a doubt the whole downloading thing changed everything. There were years when I wasn’t with bands and in-between times where I was a songwriter and wrote for film and television and I’m currently producing the last recordings of Ronnie Montrose and I’m so afraid of this getting leaked. I know if someone got there hands on this stuff, it’s going to all over the internet and it would prevent us from getting a proper deal and trying to get this released properly with the respect it deserves. So, it’s the guarding of tracks and trying to figure out a way to make a living as a songwriter. There are mechanicals still out there, but the sales of a record are completely different. It’s the touring industry not the recording industry anymore and that changed everything.

I’m fortunate enough and have been blessed within my career to have these guys that have these big catalogs that ask me to work with them. Writing with Styx is not the place I thought I would be when I was with The Babys when I was 24 or 25 years old and the fact that any of this has happened at all is just insane being from a small town in California to even being able to perform with some of my idols and to be able to record with people like Jimmy Page. I never really stop and think about it too long, I don’t want to analyze it, I’m very blessed and I want to still think I’m not good enough, because that’s the thing … when you get a little too full of yourself that’s when the curtain can close.

I respect music too much … I would have to get a day gig if it ever got to that point. It’s been too good to me, I mean, there have been times where I’ve gone ‘Man, what do I have to do?’… I used to sit in my studio and write and work on songs from 12 or 14 hour days from months and years on end and you think ‘Ok, I guess I should start thinking about some other way to make a living’ … that’s something that everybody, I don’t care how high you’ve been, you feel the ebb and the flow. There have been gaps in everyone’s career. You don’t stay on-top all the time.

Something I’ve told myself is as soon as it’s not fun anymore, and even when I was hungry I turned down a lot of gigs and I think about it and I laugh because those could have been the last gigs I was offered and I don’t want to say ‘Nah, I’m too cool for that’ but I thought ‘this isn’t where I thought I should go’ and I saw friends of mine taking these gigs and buying houses and stuff and I just don’t think I would respect myself and that wasn’t where I wanted to go.

I was having a talk with Lawrence Gowan our keyboard player about this, who is hands down one of the best musicians I have ever played with in so many ways, who is a musicologist and historian in many ways and we spoke about turning down things when you are young and you think ‘Eh, better things are going to come along’ and then nothing comes along and you are like “uh, oh!’ but it’s because you do care about your music that deeply to make what looks like terrible or horrible decisions that probably does end up extending your career. We do choose our path by our decisions and that may be the reason I have had the caliber of work offered to me. I’ve done some silly or crazy things, but I haven’t attached myself to some of the things that I may have that I would probably still be trying to live down.

On what the rest of 2015 into 2016 holds in store for both himself and Styx

RP: I’ve got this Montrose record that I really want to find a home for and I am taking in meetings with different record companies that will still put out this sort of project. There is such a host of incredible players and before Ronnie passed he never played the solos, so I’ve got Phil Collen of Def Leppard playing a solo on a track, I’ve got Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, Sammy Hagar sings a track, Tommy Shaw sings a track, Glenn Hughes sings a track … there’s just really great people on this record and I wish Ronnie was here to hear it because he would be so happy. That’s kind of my personal year with taking care of this and finishing up. I working closely with Ronnie’s widow, Leighsa Montrose, on coming up with a concept for the design and artwork right now, so that is me personally.

Management won’t let us make our own plans in Styx till the end of the year because that’s already been planned by management for us and I was just talking to Tommy on the bus this morning and I said ‘When are we playing Chicago?’ and he goes ‘Um, I don’t know’ so, said ‘Why am I asking you, you don’t know anymore than I do!’ (laughs)  We just don’t!  You can’t keep track of everything, so we have a lot of people out here taking care of us and making sure we can perform.

On the growing excitement for the Montrose project and Sammy Hagar’s track

RP: It’s going to be amazing. Sammy sings his ass off on this track and it’s a great lyric. I think it’s my favorite thing he’s done since the Van Halen days. It’s just that good. There are so many great musicians that are part of this … I’ve got Edgar Winter.  I called him one morning and said I’m thinking about finishing up your track It’s so Edgar Winter group with you and Ronnie together again, I’m think of calling Rick Derringer to play the solo and he said it was a great idea and he would love to get Rick on this record. So I called Derringer and explained to him what the project is and what we are doing and once he understood he said ‘Count me in’, so I fired him off the track and set him up in the studio in Florida where he lives and he threw down this solo and I swear if you are an Edgar Winter fan like I am, it sounds like the Edgar Winter Group, and Eric Singer (KISS) and I, who are both Edgar Winter fans, as we were laying it down both feel that it sounds like it was lifted right out of the 70’s. It’s just a beautiful track. Both tracks are amazing and Glenn Hughes … he could sing the yellow pages and his track is just amazing as well with Phil Collen jamming on guitar. Ronnie’s guitar is so solid throughout, all of his rhythm tracks and bass tracks and rift tracks that he did … he is so alive on this record. When we were on the backside of getting it mixed I played it for Ronnie’s wife and she turned around after listening to the whole thing with tears streaming down her face because he is so alive when you listen to this stuff.

You can catch Styx on the road this summer and find out all the details by visiting www.styxworld.com and following the band on social media!

This post came fromExclusive Interview With Styx Bassist Ricky Phillips - unSkinny Pop

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