Steve Perry reunion would be Journey farewell says Neal Schon
Staying put: Pineda, centre, with Journey
Journey mainman Neal Schon says the only way Steve Perry could return would be as part of their farewell tour.
And he insists current singer Arnel Pineda would remain part of the band if that happened.
Perry fronted the AOR giants from 1977 to 1987 then again from 1995 to 1998. He was replaced by Steve Augeri followed by Jeff Scott Soto. Pineda was hired in 2007 after Schon heard him performing Journey tracks on YouTube.
But Perry inspired new speculation after coming out of semi-retirement last year and later revealing he was working on a new album.
Schon, speaking at the premiere of band documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, tells the Huffington Post: “I don’t think there’s any way not to have Arnel at this point. Who can say never? You can never say it’s never going to happen.
“But if that situation ever came up, I think it would be the both of them. And I think it would be at the point where it’s a farewell tour, and we’re done. That’s the only appropriate way to go about it.”
Pineda says he’s open to the possibility: “I hope I can sing with him, you know, side by side – if he would welcome that. That would be awesome. The hardcore fans would love it.”
The Filipino singer has been labelled a tribute artist by some critics, but Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain says that’s not the case. He explains: “He’s not a tribute band singer. They’re scary because they’re a bit like clones. A lot of these tribute guys can sing the old stuff – but you try to put a new song in their mouth and they can’t do it.”
Schon has completed work on an album with former Journey drummer Steve Smith and has nearly completed a second record with current bandmate Deen Castronovo and bassist Marco Mendoza.
Meanwhile, Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland says he’d return to Velvet Revolver if the chance arose.
He led the band during a charity performance in February, the first time they’d met since he was fired in 2008. Former bandmates Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum all said it had been a good experience.
Weiland, who returned to STP after the split, tells Rolling Stone: “Yeah, I definitely would, some time. If Maynard James Keenan can do it with A Perfect Circle and Tool, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t do it with both bands.”