I know that makes it sounds like Steve Perry was lost somewhere in Manila, but no. Apparently, Journey have been on the hunt for a new singer because the public demands it. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the press release I got today (which, like me, is way late to the game but I can’t resist an easy post these days so here we go):
JOURNEY WELCOMES ARNEL PINEDA WITH “OPEN ARMS” TO THEIR FAMILY AS THE BAND’S NEW LEAD SINGER
Proving that Journey is incapable of issuing a press release without a bad pun.
After much speculation…the wait is finally over.
Who was speculating? I mean, I wrote a whole post on the last guy who left and even I stopped thinking about it after I hit the Publish Post button.
JOURNEY–Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Ross Valory (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums)–is proud to introduce fans all over the world to their new lead singer, Arnel Pineda (“pin-eh-da”). He replaces Jeff Scott Soto, who parted ways with the band earlier this year after stepping in for Steve Augeri, who had to leave the band in 2006 for medical reasons.
Arnel hails from Quezon City in the Philippines and has been singing Journey songs–in addition to original material–with his band, The Zoo, for the past couple of years in clubs all over his homeland. Joining the legendary band is a dream come true for him.
Now, you’re probably saying “They couldn’t find anyone in the U.S. who could be their lead singer?” The answer is yes. I think they just couldn’t find anyone in the U.S. willing to be their lead singer. So they went the Judas Priest route and plucked a guy from cover band obscurity.
Speaking of, this is The Zoo:
The fact that I can hear only two people clapping during the performance notwithstanding, I’d give the guy a 7, with 10 being Steve Perry and 1 being a drunk frat boy singing karaoke at Trader Todd’s after a Cubs game who intersperses drunken “Fuck yeaaaah”s every half a verse. I was going to go with an 8 but he needs to work on the “Woaaaaah”-derived aspects of his vocals. The band I’d give a 3 so I am pretty sure Arnel is not looking back.
“It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world.
“But singing with Journey will be fun, too.”
“It’ll be a lot of hard work on my part and I’m actually looking forward to the scrutiny I’ll get from the hardcore JOURNEY fans. I know they’ll expect me to sound exactly like ‘the voice’ (Steve Perry), but that will never happen. I know there’s only one Steve Perry in this world.”
Yes, and even he is saying “C’mon dude, ‘the voice’? That’s a bit much.”
When it was time for JOURNEY to look for a new lead singer, the internet came to their rescue. Guitarist Neal Schon wanted someone new to the music business…
…so that person would be unfamiliar with how royally screwed he was going to get…
…so he turned to YouTube. After finding Arnel singing “Faithfully,” he knew he had found the perfect frontman.
So Neal Schon used the exact same method I did five minutes ago to find a performance by Journey’s new lead singer.
“I was frustrated about not having a singer,” explains guitarist Neal Schon, “so I went on YouTube for a couple of days and just sat on it for hours.
Although apparently Neal is far less efficient than I am.
“I was starting to think I was never going to find anybody. But then I found The Zoo and I watched a bunch of different video clips that they had posted. [snip] Arnel doesn’t sound synthetic and he’s not emulating anyone.”
“I tried to get a hold of him through YouTube and I finally heard from him that night…”
God, what a rough 12 hours that must have been.
“…but it took some convincing to get him to believe that it really was me and not an imposter.”
This seems overly paranoid on Pineda’s part, but I suppose if you are covering Journey songs every night, you’re expecting one of your friends to call you and say “Hi, this is Neal Schon and I want you to be the new lead singer of Journey” on a daily basis.
Arnel Pineda picks up the story: “My friend Noel picked up the message on YouTube and told me it was from Neal. I thought it was a hoax so I ignored it. Noel said, ‘what if it really was Neal and he wanted to offer you the chance of a lifetime?’ So I e-mailed Neal back and the rest is history.”
Well, not yet. But I’m giving it about six months before this is “history.”
JOURNEY is currently working on a new album with legendary producer Kevin Shirley, which they hope to release by spring/summer 2008. Details will be announced early next year.
If by “legendary” you mean “has produced some legendary bands’ lesser albums, then yes, legendary. Kevin Shirley appears to be the guy you go to at the end of your career which…seems about right in this case.