Journey Recount Singer’s Wild drive in ‘Don’t stop Believin” Doc

Neal Schon, Arnel Pineda and co. Chat about new film tracing Filipino frontman’s unusual path


It’s never been simple to change the singer that a hugely popular rock band. ~ Steve Perry left journey in 1998, the platinum-selling bay Area act relocated on with a collection of vocalists come varying levels of success, yet it wasn’t till guitarist Neal Schon landed at one obscure video clip on YouTube so late one night that he knew he’d discovered his man — in Manila.

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See Journey and 14 other Bands the Hired brand-new Lead Singers

The voice singing trip hits in the lo-fi video clip belonged come Arnel Pineda, a Filipino singer who grew up in poverty and sang in local cover bands through no expectation of rock stardom. All Schon knew was the the male sounded just like Perry, and also he soon had Pineda top top a airplane to san Francisco come audition because that the gig in late 2007. Months later, Pineda make his debut together the band’s brand-new singer in prior of 20,000 pan at the Viña del Mar international Song Festival in Chile. “He’s a clutch hitter, this kid,” guitarist Jonathan Cain speak Rolling Stone. “He comes through.”

The story that Pineda’s dramatic an initial year in the band is said in the documentary Don’t avoid Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, i beg your pardon is set to wait September 30th top top the PBS series Independent Lens. Command by Ramona Diaz, the film winner raves in ~ festival screenings critical year and will be exit August 20th top top DVD and Blu-ray.

Pineda’s very first year to be a grueling trial for the singer, whose dream gig came with the physical an obstacle of international touring and the expectations of trip fans together he ran v an FM radio fight parade that “Faithfully,” “Any means You want It” and also “Who’s Crying Now.” He confronted moments that loneliness, stage-fright and genuine racism, however still continues to be with the tape after 6 years, and also will be ago on the road as soon as Journey tours following year with the Steve miller Band and Tower of Power.

He has yet to satisfy Perry, yet knows what he’d speak if that encounter ever before happened, and also without a hints of sarcasm: “Can I have your autograph?”

In Los Angeles, Pineda, Schon, Cain and also bassist Ross Valory spoke with Rolling Stone around the documentary and Journey’s brand-new era together a truly global rock act.

The lead singer position is historically a an extremely hard spot come fill. Neal Schon: over there were men being pitched to united state — people in L.A. And new York that have been doing the standard rock thing for a long time— and I yes, really was not relocated by it. I was searching for some serious talent, someone that we can move forward with— and also have significant pipes and go in new directions with us and also cover ours old stuff really well. Once I discovered Arnel, ns went, “That’s the guy.” I’d never heard any type of singer sheathe that large of a spectrum. He’ll execute Nat King Cole because that you best now, and also you’ll walk no way. Sing for him, Arnel. . .

Arnel Pineda: <Singing> Unforgettable, that’s what you space . . .

It seems favor a crazy idea to uncover your singer that means from throughout the world. Schon: ns didn’t think it was that crazy. Everyone was concerned that he was in Manila and also does the speak English? I’d go, “I just watched 40 videos and he’s to sing all song that room in English. If that doesn’t speak great English, he can constantly learn.”

Jonathan Cain: Ironically, the web proved to be a friend. When Arrival first came out , Napster stole the album. We invested a ton the money paris to new York making this record just to have it increase there because that fans to obtain it because that free, so ns hated the Internet. Climate it comes around to serve united state well in the future. It’s fairly a tool and also for us it was a blessing.

What was it choose for you to unexpectedly be immersed in Journey’s world? Pineda: It to be my world being rotate upside down— however in a good way, a an excellent way. I’m still in disbelief. I’m in prior of thousands of people singing all these songs that i listened to as soon as I to be 18 year old. Now I’m through the large boys and it’s such a blessing. It’s one in a million.

Schon: He brings it. He sings his heart out every night, and also it’s not simple menu. Our songs space so an overwhelming to sing. It’s walk on 6 years now and we’ve toured a lot.

What to be it choose as a new performer to be faced with every the pressure that comes v playing to large audiences? Pineda: I had to offer up a lot of foods that I’m accustomed to eating: dairy products products, beer, wine, spicy food. And no talking. I choose talking. It’s come to be a luxury to last also through a 10-minute talk v you. I need to go back to my room and also my silence— until the following gig happens.

Was there one more downside to having actually this all happen at once? Pineda: I obtain really homesick inside. Ns would miss my life through my wife.

Schon: In the really beginning, us threw him in the fire, no doubt around it. I remember we’re gaining ready to walk on in Viña del Mar and also it’s sold out and also it’s live to 25 million world all over south America. Arnel is like, 2 seconds before we go on: “Can i go home? ns don’t desire to walk out.” It was fear and also loathing to the max, however then that went out and also he went for it and also the audience walk nuts.

How nervous were you? Pineda: i was terrified to death. It take it years, but I survived it. I’m still here.

Other bands have tried to change a well-known singer v an unknown and failed. Cain: it is rare the the audience goes with you like that.

Schon: The great news is that as soon as he come in, it was a breath of fresh air for all of us and every scenario the went with it. Every one of a sudden, instead of us being a tape from the U.S.A., we came to be a an international band. We’re accepted worldwide everywhere we went through him in markets we to be never embraced before. There’s always going to it is in the naysayers who cant live v anything yet exactly what it was from the beginning. You can’t please everyone.

In the film, it mirrors that some of the at an early stage reactions were very negative, even racist. Just how did you resolve that? Pineda: I simply didn’t stroked nerves to get intimidated with those words. I’m no trying to contend with Mr. Perry. I’m make the efforts to aid out here. Ns am so blessed to it is in in this position, to it is in the one to lug the legacy.

Cain: back in ’98, as soon as we began with Steve Augeri , i was worried around him getting shot. We took a the majority of flack. We supplied to acquire hate mail. Somebody gained my number and would contact me: “You son of a bitch!” lock were reading us the lytic act because how dare us be journey without Steve Perry?

Schon: It was vicious, man.

Pineda: This is the an initial time I’ve claimed this— my mam was therefore freaked out v all these racist comments that she called me to lug a bulletproof vest: “You can get shooting there!”

Because of your background together, you have to still have organization with Steve Perry. Ross Valory: Steve has been really, really cooperative. The helped produce the greatest hits video. It’s unfortunate we don’t have a physical connection with him.

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Schon: functioning on the though. I have ultimate respect and love because that the male this plenty of years later. I’m acquiring older, man, and also you don’t want to hang onto all the stupid things that you execute in her life. You start looking earlier and I’m cherishing every the great times that we had— and also the very first time i sat in a room v him and also wrote “Patiently” in 10 minutes. The door’s constantly been open. Arnel’s also open. If he ever wanted come come onstage through us and also do a song, we’d be like, “Come on!”

What was your reaction to the documentary? Pineda: I’m for this reason happy that it’s out there. I think it’s walk to provide a significant amount of catalyst for all of these hopeless musicians out there— especially those we will never ever learn around how great they are. Second, it’s prefer I’m not claimed to it is in there— ns look at it and also it’s an ill fit. Yet it’s just how I look and also how i was born, for this reason I’m going to live through it. It’s my journey. I’m so grateful for what’s happened, and also it’s quiet going strong.