Journey singer honors predecessor

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Journey singer honors predecessor

Postby tater1977 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:40 am

Journey singer honors predecessor

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertain ... story.html

By Allison Stewart, Special to the Tribune


September 4, 2014, 3:03 PM

No one loves Journey's old lead singer Steve Perry more than Journey's new lead singer does. Journey sold more than 70 million albums under Perry's tenure; he left the group in 1998. The band cycled through multiple frontmen before guitarist Neal Schon happened upon YouTube videos of Arnel Pineda, then a struggling singer living in his native Philippines, performing Journey covers..

Journey has released two albums since Pineda, whose vocal resemblance to Perry is uncanny, joined in 2007. Perry has demonstrated no inclination to rejoin his old band, but Pineda recently tweeted that "he should come back," that he loved Perry so much he would happily step aside. (Perry declined.)

It's smart business to say so — Pineda has long endeared himself to generations of suspicious Journey fans by assuring them he's an acolyte, not a usurper — but he also seems to genuinely mean it.

In a recent phone interview to promote the group's Wednesday gig with the Steve Miller Band, Pineda and the band's longtime bassist, Ross Valory, who bantered like brothers and not, say, like boss and management trainee, talked about life after Steve.

Highlights from the conversation follow. This is an edited transcript:

On whether Pineda still feels like the new guy:

Pineda: "Maybe in the first five minutes before we go on stage. But I've been with the band for seven years now. I've pretty much settled in. The first five minutes of the show, it's like, wow. It pretty much freaks me out."

Valory: "Here was the initiation: Arnel's first performance was at a very, very large music festival in Chile … for about 60,000 people per night, plus the performances go over satellite to about 30 million Latin-speaking (fans). That was Arnel's first trial by fire. I remember him standing at the curtains with us, saying, 'I don't know what I'm gonna do.'"

On Pineda's struggle to find a balance between honoring Steve Perry and being his own man:

Pineda: "I'm only here (to honor) the legacy of Journey, which includes the voice of Steve Perry. If you ask me about balance, that's the balance, and people have embraced that. They love that. I guess I'm doing OK. You cannot try to do something different out of this legacy, because it's going to alienate a lot of hard-core fans. I really worked on being as close (to Perry) as possible to deliver that."

Valory: "Not to speak for Arnel, but not only does he fit in Steve Perry's shoes, he makes them his own. From a historical standpoint, he sings all of those songs in one night. That says a lot for (hitting) that benchmark that Steve Perry established, but he's well beyond it."

On whether there are still Journey fans who show up at concerts expecting to see Perry:

Pineda: "The first time we played in Berlin, there was this guy who went into the show expecting Steve Perry. He was so frustrated, he threw this paper cup filled with beer on me."

Valory: "It's not like anybody's being fooled if they show up; they just haven't done their homework. It is still Journey. It's the majority of players in Journey playing Journey music. I think it's part of the past, anybody going to a Journey show and expecting to see Steve Perry. A very small percentage in the distant past."

On whether Pineda really meant it when he said he wanted Perry to come back:

Pineda: "I really mean that from the bottom of my heart. If he wants to start over again, I miss him. I miss his voice. I miss him with the boys, seeing him up onstage."

Valory: "I think it's quite honorable and honest and accommodating for Arnel to feel that way and to express it that way. That takes a lot of heart. I think it's unlikely. I don't think there's any indication that Steve would want to (return).

When we re-formed in 1998 without him, it was only because he declined to join us. Arnel's only been with us for seven years. There's been opportunities all along. It just doesn't appear likely. If we were ever to receive the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame award, which I think we're long overdue for, I would think Steve would sing a song (at the induction ceremony). I think that would be the appropriate time."

Pineda: "Yeah. Call him up, miss."

On whether or not Journey is a happier band now:

Valory: "I can't say necessarily it's a happier band. Maybe so. Time and conditions change; it's a different band in a different world. Nonetheless, we're very happy right now."

On whether Valory gave Pineda advice when he first joined the band:

Valory: "Yes. 'Don't touch me.'"

Pineda: "Only if you really mean it."

Valory: "Seriously, the advice was: Keep breathing. And take it one song at a time."

Pineda: "And stay out of my turf."

onthetown@tribune.com
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
tater1977
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