In a new Rolling Stone interview, Journey guitarist Neal Schon reveals that the band, which welcomed bassist Randy Jackson and drummer Narada Michael Walden into its lineup last year, has been working on a new studio album remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re deep in it…It’s really shaping up,” Schon reports. “Narada and I have been working nonstop. [Keyboardist] Jonathan [Cain] is also working from his houses in Florida and Nashville. [Frontman] Arnel [Pineda] is working from Manila. Randy Jackson is working mostly from L.A.”
He adds, “[I]t’s one of those Zoom sessions and it sounds phenomenal. It sounds like we’re all playing in the room at the same time. I actually can’t wait until we do get together and start putting the show together. The new single should be coming out mid-February.”
Schon says Journey plans to issue the full album sometime this year “before we get back to touring,” and also reveals that the band has booked its first show of 2021, a headlining slot at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago on July 31…”unless they move it.”
Regarding how the band sounds with its revamped lineup, Neal notes, “It still sounds very much like Journey thanks to the songwriting, my guitar playing, and the vocals. But the rhythm section is definitely a powerhouse. Narada has been known for years, and Randy…is a completely monstrous bass player.”
Jackson and Walden joined Journey after longtime bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith were fired in March for allegedly attempting what Schon and Cain claim was a “corporate coup d’etat” to take control of the group’s name.
Jackson previously played with Journey from 1985 to 1987, while Walden produced Schon’s latest solo album, Universe, and wrote many of the songs that appear on the record.
By Matt Friedlander
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