"They had gotten so many complaints from the fans that the guys weren't playing the hits," DeYoung says.
In a recent lengthy social media message, Dennis DeYoung made it known he was happy to hear Styx had returned to playing "Mr. Roboto" for the first time in 35 years. And the group's former singer, songwriter and keyboardist feels that any lingering controversy over the 1983 single is disingenuous.
"Listen, I play 'Mr. Roboto' at every show and people go mental," DeYoung, who parted ways with Styx acrimoniously during 1999, tells Billboard. "They love it because it's insinuated itself somehow into the culture, which is beyond my comprehension because when I wrote the thing it was never intended to be a single. But if I could write four more of those tomorrow, I'm doing it."
Styx's return to "Mr. Roboto" this year has made news because band members James "J.Y." Young and Tommy Shaw have long been critical of the song and of the accompanying Kilroy Was Here concept album. Young told Billboard in June that "it was an ugly time" in the band and "none of the rest of us" liked the Kilroy project. "We gave [DeYoung] enough rope to hang himself, and us, collectively ... and it's clear that moment in time was a huge mistake," Young said. "We killed the golden goose, at least for the time being, and it's taken a long time to resurrect it."