Styx guitarist James Young recently gave an interview to Ultimate Classic Rock and revealed he didn’t want to play the band’s hit song ‘Mr. Roboto.’

On February 22, 1983, Styx released their major hit album ‘Kilroy Was Here.’ A concept album and rock opera, this record spawned the hit single ‘Mr. Roboto.’ After the release, the single became a huge success and became the band’s trademark song.

Dennis DeYoung wrote the synthesizer-based song ‘Mr. Roboto’ and it became a chart success after its release. However, tensions grew within the band due to creative differences after the album ‘Kilroy Was Here,’ which led them to part ways.

In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, James Young stated that he was against the song ‘Mr. Roboto,’ because its target audience was seven-year-olds. He then admitted he refused to play the song after Dennis DeYoung’s departure in 1999.

James Young then remembered when Styx questioned whether there was a song they don’t play, but fans wanted to listen. According to Young, their merch guy listened to people’s complaints, and that song was ‘Mr. Roboto.’ So, this made them start playing the piece again.

Speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock, James Young said the following:

“Well, ‘Mr. Roboto,’ I was so against that song because this thing is targeted at seven-year-olds. But the craziest thing is that it’s the only 45 RPM single Styx put out that sold a million records.

I refused to play it, particularly after Dennis was no longer involved in the band. He didn’t want to go on the road and then sued us over using the name and what have you. We went out without him. But maybe two or three years ago, we all sat down.”

He then continued:

“‘Okay, we’ve been playing the same songs for a long time. Is there any song that maybe we’re overlooking that the fans want to hear?‘ We sat down with our merch guy. He gets all of the complaints from people. ‘How come they didn’t play this? How come they didn’t play that,’ as they’re leaving the venue and he’s trying to sell them a shirt.

He’ll hear all of the complaints. Plus, our lighting director has to stand far back in the hall so she can see the full perspective and how to flash this light on that, etc. The two of them said, ‘The most requested song by people leaving that you don’t play is ‘Mr. Roboto.’ So we started playing it again.”

You can listen to Styx’s ‘Mr. Roboto’ below.