Journey (with Arnel Pineda) – ‘Faithfully’ (video, 2/21/08 – Chile)

Here is the video of ‘Faithfully’, from Journey’s set at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Viña del Mar, Chile on 2/21/08. As you may have heard, Arnel Pineda is the new Journey frontman.

(I thought this was the opening song but it’s actually in the middle of the set. You can see the full show, from YouTube here.)

First official band picture of the new Journey with Arnel Pineda

From Melodicrock.com:

Here it is, the first official photo of the new Journey lineup featuring new singer Arnel Pineda!

Journey band lineup 2008

L-R: Arnel Pineda, Deen Castronovo, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, & Ross Valory (taken from the official Journey Myspace page)

Journey official website
Journey MySpace page

Press Release: Arnel Pineda is the new Journey singer!

JOURNEY WELCOMES ARNEL PINEDA WITH “OPEN ARMS” TO THEIR FAMILY AS THE BAND’S NEW LEAD SINGER

December 5, 2007

After much speculation, the wait is finally over.

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.

“It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world. 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.”

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 he turned to YouTube. After finding Arnel singing “Faithfully,” he knew he had found the perfect frontman.

“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. 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. After watching the videos over and over again, I had to walk away from the computer and let what I heard sink in because it sounded too good to be true. I thought, ‘he can’t be that good.’ But he is that good, he’s the real deal and so tremendously talented. 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, but it took some convincing to get him to believe that it really was me and not an imposter.”

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.”

“Arnel brings a soulful and passionate voice to JOURNEY,” continues keyboardist Jonathan Cain. “His personality is very well-suited to our music. He’s a sincere, authentic person with a great smile and a big heart. I think fans are really going to love him. With Arnel’s soaring tenor, Journey returns to our heritage sound.”

Schon agrees, “We feel reborn. I think there’s a lot of chemistry between the five of us. At first we were going to go into the studio and just write 4 songs, but now it’s escalated to a lot of great new and diverse material. The stuff sounds tremendous. Everyone’s so stoked about it. We feel very fortunate to have found Arnel.”

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.

www.journeymusic.com

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Now it’s official…..seems Andrew at Melodicrock.com was right again, as usual. If it were up to me, I would have kept Jeff Scott Soto…..only time will tell if this works out with Pineda.

— Steve

A new singer for Journey?

From Andrew at Melodicrock:

NEW SINGER AND NEW MATERIAL FOR JOURNEY IN 2008:
2007 has been a long year for curious Journey fans and followers, patiently waiting to hear what the next move from the band would be following the decision to part with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. And the demand for information from readers has been constant, so without further delay – it is finally time for a Journey update.

The band has a new singer. An official announcement and press release will come in due course, but I can confirm today that the brand new vocalist for Journey is Arnel Pineda. Arnel is the frontman for Philippines rock band Zoo, who earlier in 2007 released their debut album Zoology. Arnel is no stranger to performing, having been in various Asian bands since the 80s and has previously released a solo album back in 1999. But it is Zoo that has captured people’s attention – the band are extremely popular on the club circuit in the Philippines, and to a worldwide audience via a number of clips posted to YouTube. The band is known not only for their originals but for their performances of an array melodic rock covers. The band’s most popular covers have been that of Journey’s classics and it is these YouTube performances that caught the eye and ear of guitarist Neal Schon.

Check out Arnel Pineda in action, covering: ‘Faithfully’, ‘Open Arms’, and ‘Separate Ways’.

Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain and Journey management were so impressed they flew Arnel to San Francisco for an official audition. Now the band are eyeing off future moves, with a big 2008 on the horizon. A major US tour with possibly 2 other bands in tow has been planned and what’s even more interesting is news that the band has already been recording in San Francisco under the watchful eye of producer Kevin Shirley (responsible for the Trial By Fire and Arrival records with the band). Kevin Shirley has recently commented on his Web Diary that he was working with some “old friends from the Bay Area”. Then this comment a week or two later:

“Gosh, is it still 1980? Finished a wonderful, successful, stupidly creative stint in the Bay Area and then drove back home last night, feeling chuffed as only those rare, monster sessions leave you. Sometimes you just know when there’s history in the making…”

I contacted Kevin for a comment, but it was another contact that touched base first. I have been given the ok to print those comments from Kevin here:

“Neal and Jon called me and asked me in November to check out a couple of new songs, for an upcoming and possible project with Journey. I went to San Francisco to assess the new Journey and check out the material. I am so swamped, have a new baby and I did not want to be involved if it wasn’t focused and great. I thought I’d be there for 2 days. First, I was stunned at Arnel, who is a monster vocalist. He is the real deal. Just phenomenal. Its true Neal found him on YouTube. Next I heard the songs. I am always in awe of Jonathan Cain as songwriter/producer and together with Neal Schon, who adds the rock element, they are one of the great songwriting partnerships. Its true they don’t always see eye to eye musically, but the combination is magic. We spent a while talking and seeing where they were at. I have been brutally honest with them, and was not interested in being any part of them being a nostalgia/tribute band, which could happen if their focus got lost. Some of the songs were lacking direction which I, as an outspoken and brutal outsider, immediately pointed out and set about repairing. So I cut a couple of tracks and with all the shit out of the way, you have to hear them ignore their egos and me, and just play as Journey. All together in the studio. What a privilege to see all 5 of them playing together. They are fantastic. I am always cogniscent of the space Perry and Smith occupy in the sound and legacy, and won’t let that be underplayed, and Deen and Arnel are brilliant musicians, and with a little focus the entire band has found their place again. This is stronger than Trial By Fire and sounds like Journey, but state-of-the-art. People always talk up upcoming material, but just wait. Its unbelievable. There’s a full album of new material coming, but much more, too. Don’t believe all you read – there is no one else but the band in the studio to hear the music (although we do have a Make-A-Wish kid coming in soon). And that’s the dirt from Las Vegas, where I am mixing seven new original songs. I head back to San Francisco after a quick visit to London, to see the Led Zep reunion, to finish off where we began. I can’t wait, and you are going to love it!”

There has been talk of the band working on other recordings in the studio, but I’ll leave that for another update. What I can tell you is that an album of all new studio material is being worked on and is due for release in the American summer of 2008.
Journey’s first two shows of 2008 will be in South America – February 21th at Festival of Viña del Mar, at Quinta Vergara Arena and February 23 at Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo in Santiago.

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Andrew is usually on the money when it comes to things like this and he is very close to the journey camp. This has been in the works for a long time so I expect to see an official press release soon. Stay tuned!

— Steve

Jeff Scott Soto is new Journey singer!

UPDATE –  12/6/07 – Arnel Pineda is the new Journey singer

UPDATE – 6/13/07Jeff Scott Soto is out of Journey 
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From Melodicrock.com:

JOURNEY: STEVE AUGERI RETURNS HOME – JEFF SCOTT SOTO FLIES IN:
Steve Augeri
has stepped down as lead vocalist for Journey on their current tourand has returned home. This follows recent reports of vocal problems. His last show for this tour was in Raleigh, NC on Tuesday night.
During recent shows he has struggled with his voice and as I understand, he was aware before the show that this would be his last performance of this tour.
Although plagued with problems from the outset of the show, Steve handled himself with dignity and grace and has to be applauded for his contribution to the band and the manner in which he has handled himself.
Jeff Scott Soto, Neal Schon’s bandmate in Soul SirkUS has flown in to meet up with the rest of the band and will make his debut Friday night in Bristow, VA.
A statement has been prepared by Journey management:JOURNEY FORCED TO MAKE LEAD SINGER CHANGE ON NATIONWIDE TOURJeff Scott Soto to assume JOURNEY lead singer duties starting on July 7th in Bristow, VA due to Steve Augeri throat infection.
Due to a chronic throat infection, Journey’s lead singer, Steve Augeri, has been forced to leave the band’s current nationwide tour with Def Leppard. Jeff Scott Soto, who has previously performed with Journey guitarist Neal Schon, will assume the band’s lead singer duties starting with the July 7th show in Bristow, VA. Steve Augeri’s condition will be closely monitored by his physician to determine when he may be able to rejoin the tour.
According to Journey, “Steve’s been suffering with an acute throat condition since before we kicked off the tour with Def Leppard. We were hoping he’d be in well condition to handle the rigors of the road but unfortunately it appears to be a chronic condition requiring total voice rest. We all wish Steve a speedy recovery.”
For the latest tour dates, please visit www.journeymusic.com.”

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Steve Augeri sitting out this tour is another chapter in this band’s long history.
Augeri was recruited into the Journey ranks in 1998 after Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain decided they wanted to move forward with the band without signature member Steve Perry. Augeri had to work with a fanbase that was polarized by the idea of a Perry-less Journey. There were those that remained loyal to Perry, but Steve worked hard at winning fans over and did so with his natural charm and likeability.
Steve Augeri’s is today regarded as much for being the ‘good guy’ as he is for being the ‘new singer’ and he now has a passionate and loyal following of his own. He truly is a nice guy and someone that has made time for fans and worked hard at overcoming being known as ‘the guy that replaced Steve Perry.’
Augeri’s contribution to the band to date has forever been captured on the acclaimed, and quite superb, Arrival album and last year’s more diverse Generations release.
Steve and the band as a whole has had a grueling tour schedule to adhere to over the last few years. Steve has been suffering vocal problems since the outset of this current tour and no one can blame him or the band for this decision. A solution was needed sooner rather than later, especially with so many dates still to come.
Steve has had a documented history of throat problems and one can only hope that on this occasion he overcomes these issues and returns to full strength.
In the near future fans will be able to appreciate Steve at his very best when Tall Stories unveil their album of lost tracks from the early 1990s.
Congratulations to Jeff Scott Soto for being chosen to fill the prestigious role as vocalist for one of this genre’s most loved acts. Jeff is one of the hardest working singers on the planet. His work ethic and dedication to his live performance is unmatched. I should know…I toured with Jeff for 2 weeks in 2004 and was simply amazed at what went into every show. I have seen Jeff live 11 times now and haven’t seen a better performer on stage.
His energy is undying and his stage persona totally engaging. I know Journey fans will be saddened by Steve Augeri not completing this tour, but Jeff will continue the legacy with pride.
Most regular readers of this site will know of Jeff and his reputation. On a personal note, I’m thrilled for Jeff – he is one of the good guys.
Those that have followed him for as long as he has been in the business know what a hard working, sincere and honest guy he is. He is one to call it like he sees it and has earnt the respect of his peers and his fans alike.
His interaction with fans on the message boards here is further proof of his efforts to be accessible to fans whenever possible.
Those fans will be proclaiming that it is about time he was recognized for the talent that he is and I have no doubt that fanbase is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Obviously some will know Jeff from his work with Neal Schon in Soul SirkUS, but there is no doubt Jeff will adapt to what is required to sing the Journey classics.
Fans will be seeing a different show come Friday night. Jeff is one of the very finest rock vocalists out there, but he also has a soulful side and is greatly influenced by soul and funk as well and is a huge fan of Prince, the Motown sound and also Sam Cooke – a favourite of Steve Perry’s.
Jeff has been a long time fan of Journey’s, so much so that he has covered Edge Of The Blade and Send Her My Love on previous records. See below for some audio and video samples so you can get to know Jeff.

For those less familiar with the name Jeff Scott Soto, who is he and what’s his background?
He made his debut in 1984, fronting guitar hero Yngwie J Malmsteen’s band for 2 studio albums and a live release.
His main band through the years has been Talisman, a hard rock band featuring some of Sweden’s finest musicians. Talisman has just finished recording their 8th studio album, due for release later this year.
Another band Eyes were signed by a major label in 1990 and their debut album created quite a buzz before disbanding prematurely.
Jeff also recorded 3 albums with German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell – 3 albums that remain favourites among both Soto and Pell fans alike.

Jeff has recorded 3 solo albums – the latest of which is Lost In The Translation, which features a guest appearance from Neal Schon on the track Believe In Me.
Lost In The Translation is a hard rock album through and through. His diverse abilities are showcased on his other 2 solo albums – Prism is very much an AOR release, while his solo debut Love Parade is a mix of funk, soul, R&B and rock.

Jeff has appeared on several tribute albums including ones for Queen, Van Halen, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, The Sweet and Led Zeppelin.
Jeff has also had a long running association with the guys from Queen. Roger Taylor and Brian May have had Jeff up on stage with them on two different occasions and has also been the headline act at the UK Queen Convention twice, with his last appearance captured for a DVD release.
He also supplied some lead vocals for the movie RockStar. The Sammy Hagar written Stand Up being that movie’s best known song. Of course this is a 25 year career summarized in just a couple of paragraphs. Jeff’s website features an extensive bio and full discography for those curious to learn more.

The decision for Steve to return home was obviously one of the most difficult ever made by the band and management. Bringing in a replacement frontman at this juncture is a big move and I give huge credit to all involved for the decision they have made.
Jeff Scott Soto is a bold, but obvious choice. Jeff is one of the greatest frontmen I have ever seen. He will win over Journey fans and he will do a phenomenal job for this great rock band.

I am hoping this move by the band will now calm the message board wars that have been raging for the last month or so. There are no winners in fans fighting each other and while there will always be some that resent this or any band’s decisions, I for one hope that the decision taken this week will be seen as a positive step in getting the band back on track for the future.

Links and Downloads:

www.jeffscottsoto.com and www.journeymusic.com.