James Young Responds To ‘Satanic’ Accusations Against Styx


In a recent interview, James “J.Y.” Young addressed the allegations from the 1980s that called Styx’s “Snowblind” “satanic,” speaking with Ethan Demetrius of 107.3 The Eagle radio station. Moreover, He declared, “We were forced inside because, according to Greek mythology, Styx is the river that flows through Hades; therefore, were we worshippers of the devil? I believe that that kind of pasted us there in some extreme right-wing mindsets.

The guitarist continued, discussing the controversy that surrounded the band during those years, “How someone could have accused us of that seems a little crazy to me, but we have so many uplifting songs.” However, a person was going on a rampage, which briefly made headlines and news before disappearing forever.

Band Members’ Response To The Claims

In the 1980s, anti-rock activists claimed that “Snowblind” had hidden, antiquated messages endorsing Satanism. For that reason, the Parents Music Resource Center focused on Styx’s music. However, Young publicly rejected the notion. He stated, “It is a fraud. The concept of reversing satanic messages is utterly absurd. We have never utilized demonic messages, at least not in regards to Styx.

The guitarist was backed by other band members, as Dennis DeYoung stated in In The Studio. “It’s difficult enough for us to make these records sound direct. There is nothing better for people to do. It’s called STYX. I mean, could you imagine going after the guys who made “Baby”? Please, I mean it.

The Result Of The Controversy

Also, in February 1983, a law requiring the labeling of albums with backward masking was passed in Arkansas, marking the legislative peak of the issue. Several artists’ albums were mentioned in this law, including Queen, Pink Floyd, Styx, and The Beatles.

In 1983, Young expressed his disapproval of the choice and answered the charges with a song titled “Heavy Metal Poisoning.” Also, this song purposefully used backward masking by rewording the Great Seal of the United States into Latin.


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