Styx returns with a concept album on June 16 with the release The Mission, a project based on a 2033 manned mission to Mars. The group kept a tight lid on its return to the studio. Work has been ongoing for the better part of two years. Speaking with Ultimate Classic Rock, Tommy Shaw says the band set out to be true to the mid-late 70's Styx approach;'Our favorite Styx sound is that era around The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight'. He also credits Alan Parsons and his work with Pink Floyd for inspiring him as a song writer. Shaw says the secrecy was out of caution in case the risks of doing a concept album proved too daunting, explaining, 'Whenever you're writing any kind of music or creating something new, it's very easy for it to be destroyed with just a funny look from somebody. Where you go. "Well, who's stupid idea was this" and it dies.' (Think Mr. Roboto). Shaw says that a tour performing the album is a possibility if the release is well received by fans.