Dennis DeYoung’s long love affair with Quebec

Dennis DeYoung lost count of the number of times he came to Quebec City. Between the former leader of the Styx formation and the capital, it is a long love story that continues. “I do not know what’s going on with the Quebec City world or what’s in the St. Lawrence water for me to be loved so much. People have been generous with me for so long. It’s impossible not to be grateful. “
J anointed at his home in Chicago early in the week, while he was perfecting a new album, probably his last career, DeYoung did not hide his joy to reconnect with the city that adopted in its first not with Styx in the 70s. In December 2014, the singer had been in residence for more than two weeks on the Capitol, unheard of in his professional life. To please her beloved audience, her show at the Agora on Friday night will be a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the release of The Grand Illusion album .

“Quebec is close to Chicago, but I still have the incredible feeling of being both so close to Europe and so far away from the United States,” he continues. I love the beauty of the city, the charm of the locals, the restaurants. The people of Quebec know how to have a good time, despite the harsh climate in winter. They are able to attend a show outside in the middle of winter and have fun. They have a lot of resilience. ”

Yet, despite this longstanding idyll, DeYoung has never managed to master our language. “I know a lot of French words, but I can not put them in a complete sentence [laughs]. I took classes in college, but grammar was more studied than conversation. If I had known at the time that I would be so popular in Quebec, I would have forced myself more … ”

But at 72, it’s still not too late, Mr. DeYoung? “You know, memory is not what it was,” he retorted. I can not remember what I was doing last week. I’ll just tell the crowd: “Good evening Quebec?” How are you? [declined in French with a loud voice]. See, I can be convincing when I want … ”

Back with Styx? Tomorrow morning…

Styx fans who dream of the reunion of the legendary formation will first have to let the old companions of DeYoung, James Young and Tommy Shaw know. For more than twenty years they have not spoken to him. At the time, the divorce was formalized because of a divergence on the group’s musical approach. When DeYoung became ill at the approach of a tour, he asked for a delay before taking the road, which they refused. It was the drop of too much.

DeYoung finds it unfortunate that his former classmates miss no opportunity in an interview to “say negative things” about his music. “Have you ever heard me speak ill of them? Never. It’s not my type. Styx fans do not want to hear that kind of thing, they just want to hear the music with the guys who composed it. I will accept tomorrow morning to redo Styx. And we’ll make sure our first stop is in Quebec City … ”

The veteran singer savored the chance to have a career at a time when things were easier. To his dismay, the music industry has changed, not for the better. “It’s become shitty. This is the worst time to make music, especially for a rock band. It’s now impossible to make money with albums. We can have everything for free online. Someone who pays for something that is free is an idiot. ”

For a strong press

And the conversation, speaking gratuitously, to deviate on the crisis that live the newspapers, in Quebec, Canada and the United States. In this regard, DeYoung poses as an unconditional defender of a free and strong press, guarantor of democracy. “I have been a long-time subscriber to the Chicago Tribune. We can say what we want journalists and the press, but they are essential to monitor our leaders. They must spy on them to prevent them from doing illegal things. The press is essential to keep our civilization intact. ”

But again, as with streaming music, technology has imposed its law with the advent of GAFA, become the cannibals of the print media. “In 1983, I composed a song that went as follows: The problem’s plain to see / Too much technology / Machines to save our lives / Machines dehumanize.

“These are the most important words of Mr. Roboto. Man must remain vigilant about the technology he has created. Someone who is not worried is the same who crosses the street, staring at his cell phone, not thinking that he might be hit by a car … ”

Dennis DeYoung: The Grand Illusion 40th Anniversary Album Tour is presented Friday, at 9 pm, at the Agora of the Old Port.

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