Journey mainman Neal Schon made his smartest move ever when he hired fan Arnel Pineda to front the band, says former member Gregg Rolie.
Filipino Pineda got the job in 2007 after Schon saw YouTube videos of him performing the band’s songs in the style of classic-era singer Steve Perry. And Rolie, who co-founded the band with Schon but left in 1980 just before Perry took them to new heights, says their latest move couldn’t have worked out better.
He tells Artisan News: “I like Arnel – I met the guy and he’s a great guy. They got the chance to change his life and his family’s life. If you’ve been to the Philippines you’d know what I’m saying: it’s amazingly poor.
“It’s the smartest thing Neal ever did, finding him on YouTube and making a story out of it. I’m glad for him and I’m glad for the band – it’s a whole resurgence for Journey.”
Rolie is currently promoting his new acoustic EP, Five Days, which he recorded in his living room with his son as producer. Meanwhile, Journey are touring latest album Eclipse, which has brought new acclaim for its different approach to the band’s classic sound and the power of Pineda’s vocals. This year marks the 30th anniversary of landmark Journey album Escape, which propelled them into the major leagues with hit tracks Don’t Stop Believin’, Open Arms and Who’s Crying Now.
But Schon says fans shouldn’t expect to hear them performing the LP live in full – not yet anyway.
He tells Pulse of Radio: “Sure, we could do that at some point, but it’s not going to happen this year or next. We’re here to support our new record, and play bits and pieces from Escape and all the other records.”