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Glen Burtnik has had a string of successful solo albums and has been a member of US rock legends Styx on two occasions now. First in 1990 for the 'Edge of the Century' album when he replaced Tommy Shaw and now for the band's recently released 'Cyclorama' album. If you've not got that album I heartily recommend it to you all!

1. What are you currently up to?

Lots. A) I'm recording a new solo album for Atenzia Records in Europe (haven't yet decided what to do with it Stateside) - which means writing as well as recording B) I'm preparing for the Styx tour this summer with Journey and REO Speedwagon C) I'm writing some songs with an amazing rock singer, Beth Hart D) I'm hanging out with my family, enjoying spring.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

Hmm. High points have been working with Brian Wilson, John Waite, Jan Hammer, Bruce Hornsby, Neal Schon, Cindy Lauper, Meatloaf, Marshall Crenshaw, Graham Maby, Kenny Aronoff, Will Lee, playing 2 superbowls, meeting bigshot heros of mine like Ringo, McCartney, Trent Reznor, performing in Stuttgart Germany, where my Mom's family is from.

Low points? Twice getting dropped by the same major label for something I had no control over. P.S. I'm long over it.

3. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

I guess the first big step was being hired to perform in the role of McCartney in the Broadway show BEATLEMANIA. Biggest influences on my music would probably be Todd Rundgren, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

4. Styx - you've rejoined the band for a second stint. How do you think the style of the band has changed with two new members (yourself & Lawrence Gowan)? What are your personal highlights on the new album and why?

I like the work ethic and professionalism of Styx. Gowan is an excellent musician, as are the other members of the current line up. Personal favorites of the album include Tenacious D's routine (hidden track at the end I believe), These Are The Times, Lawrence's lyrics on More Love For The Money, Todd's drumming on One With Everything, the tune Yes I Can, and my fave new song, Kiss Your Ass Goodbye. I also think the artwork is pretty cool.

5. Do you find it hard to get newer songs into the Styx setlist as fans mainly want to hear the classics? How did the tour go with Kansas earlier this year?

Well, we've been playing four songs off the new album - which would be a lot for ANY act - possibly unheard of for a Classic Rock act like Styx. The new ones have been extremely well received. The Kansas tour was good. John Waite was on those dates as well.

6. You have a new solo album coming out soon. What direction/style of songs can the fans expect? Any chance of tour dates to support its release?

It might be heavier than some might expect - I might be somewhat known as a pop ballad writer. It'll still be pop, just more aggressive than my last album, PALOOKAVILLE.

7. Which period of your solo career have you enjoyed the most and why?

I like the aforementioned PALOOKAVILLE, though I must admit it was nice getting all the attention - TV shows, magazine articles, MTV and radio airplay - I received during my A&M years (Palookaville, tho my best work, is my least known).

8. Do you write better solo or in a band environment? Any artists you would like to work with in the future?

Better as a collaborator, though on the latest Styx album that wasn't neccesarily the case. I'd like to work with Jimi Hendrix, Laura Nyro and Carl Wilson, but they're dead. I'd also like to work with LOTSA people. Peter Gabriel, Allannis Morisette, Michelle Branch, Ben Folds. LOVE Ben's music.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

Smoke the occasional cigar and hang out with my family.

10. Message to your fans...

Always use your directional signals and enjoy life.


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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