Neal Schon: ‘The door is always open for Steve Perry to return to Journey’
Journey guitarist Neal Schon has revealed to Classic Rock that a reunion with the band’s former singer Steve Perry is still a possibility.
Perry was Journey’s lead vocalist between 1977 and 1987 and later rejoined the band for the 1996 album Trial By Fire. But since 1998, Journey have continued with different singers: first Steve Augeri, then Jeff Scott Soto, and finally Arnel Pineda, who has been the band’s frontman for four years.
Nevertheless, Schon says he is not ruling out the idea of Journey reuniting with Perry.
“I can’t talk about the future because I don’t have a crystal ball,” Schon says. “But I can say that if Steve Perry wanted to come back and do some kind of reunion tour, I think it would have to be in a time zone when we are feeling like we’re done. He’s certainly welcome to come and join us on stage any night that he would like. If he wants to come and do one song, half a song, a quarter of a song… anything would be fine with the band, I know that. The door is always open. We’ve always loved the guy and Arnel is such an amazing, gracious person, he’d have no problem with it at all. So Steve is always welcome to come and sit in.”
Given Perry’s reluctance to tour outside of America during the late 80s, Schon says he is doubtful that the singer would commit to another world tour with the band. And Schon also says that if a reunion with Perry was to happen, it won’t be happening for many years.
“I think if we were to do a full tour that Steve would wish to be part of – which I don’t think he will, but I could be wrong – I think the only way that would really happen is if we were definitely doing our farewell tour. And I don’t see that happening for a long time. Honestly, we have a lot of life left in this band. But if we were to do a farewell tour, then I would reach out to him – and some of the earlier members of the band. I’d try to get that family type tour together.”
In the meantime, Journey are touring the US until December, and are planning to tour the UK in 2013, with a return to the Download festival under consideration.
Schon says: “Next year is pretty much planned for Europe, the UK, South America, we’re trying to get over to Australia – we’ve never been there – and the Orient. We’ve got a great offer to play Download, or seven or eight other gigs in the UK. I love playing the Download festival, because it’s all just such a scene. But I think I’d prefer to play more than one UK show, because our last UK tour was so great. It’s pretty amazing to me that it’s at this point in our career that things have really taken off for us in the UK. Time keeps flying by but in some ways it feels like we just started, we’re gaining fans all over the world and it continues to be an amazing ride.”
– Paul Elliott
* Neil Schon’s latest solo album, The Calling, is released by Frontiers Records in the UK on Monday 22nd October