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Journey's Neal Schon talks new album, Eclipse, The Sopranos, guitars and gear
by Joe Bosso - musicradar.com
June 02, 2011

"I don't feel like a guitar hero," says Journey's Neal Schon. "It's flattering when people say nice things about what I do, but really, I'm just another guitar player. There's so many guys who are much better than me. That's not false modesty - it's the truth. In the end, it all comes down to trying to express yourself. If you can establish a signature sound or style, that's a major feat. I've been at this a long time, so hopefully I've accomplished those things."

Since founding Journey in 1973 (this after joining Santana at the tender age of 15!), Schon, whose tenure in the band has been a constant, despite what has sometimes appeared to be a revolving door of members, has done more than carve out a recognizable guitar sound. He's created a rich catalogue of songs that - pardon the cliche, but it's entirely fitting here - have become part of the soundtrack of millions of people's lives across the globe. From proms to weddings to even funerals, Journey songs have played a prominent role.

And as for pop culture, screw the critics, who have hurled brickbats at the group since Day One. That Sopranos finale, the last scene? Fuggedaboudit - unthinkable without Don't Stop Believin' playing on the jukebox. Game, set match - Journey won the title of Coolest Band Around without even setting foot on the court.

But here we are in 2011, and Journey (which also includes longtime members Jonathan Cain on keyboards, bassist Ross Valory and drummer Deen Castronovo, along with 2007 YouTube recruit, the Filipino-born singer Arnel Pineda who has tackled the unenviable task of replacing vocalist Steve Perry) have just released Eclipse, their most musically diverse and challenging album since 1983's Frontiers.

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