Dennis DeYoung Releases Fiery New Single Featuring Tom Morello
Dennis DeYoung has released a lyric video for his new single, “The Last Guitar Hero,” featuring Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. The fiery new track will appear on the Styx alum’s final studio album, 26 East, Vol. 2, which arrives on June 11.
The lyrics to “The Last Guitar Hero” focus on a brave six-string shredder who cranks his Marshall stack and rips defiant power chords as an act of resistance against a rapidly digitizing, pop-obsessed music industry. DeYoung takes jabs at the “corporate parasites living off the blood of the creators” and asks, “Is there a place for you and me beyond the lure of technology?” Morello blazes a solo featuring his signature whammy and wah pedals.
In a series of tweets, Morello recalled the way DeYoung recruited him for the track.
“When Dennis DeYoung (the singer of STYX) sheepishly approached me about playing a shredding solo on his song 'The Last Guitar Hero' with the attitude ‘Hi Tom, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with my music but…’ I said, “Stop right there!!,” the Rage Against the Machine rocker admitted. “EVERY single time I’m in my hometown I PACK the jukebox at the local bar with those great Styx songs all night long! Man Of Miracles? Renegade? Suite Madam Blue? Mr. Mother Flippin’ Roboto?! Fellow Illinois rocker, it would be an honor.”
You can watch the lyric video for “The Last Guitar Hero” below.
“The Last Guitar Hero” comes roughly a month after DeYoung’s last single, the sprawling, six-and-a-half-minute “Isle of Misanthrope.”
“The lyrics are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” the singer said of "Isle of Misanthrope" in a statement. "'Isle of Misanthrope' is my musical journey back to the days of Styx’s Equinox and 'Suite Madame Blue,' as I attempt to explain the exasperating and confounding nature of mankind through metaphor. It’s got a good beat but won’t be a hit at the disco."
26 East derives its title from DeYoung’s childhood address in suburban Chicago, where he lived across the street from fellow Styx cofounders Chuck and John Panozzo. The singer put out 26 East, Vol. 1 last May. He originally planned to release both volumes as one album, but he then realized he had enough material to split his swan song into two discs.
"It's gonna be cool. I'm glad I did it," DeYoung told UCR in January when discussing 26 East, Vol. 2. "They're good songs, and that's it! I've got a nice batch, and they're eclectic."