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'The one and all of Journey is the evolution'by Patty Jenkins - The Virginian-Pilot
August 22, 2011
It's been 30 years since San Francisco rock band Journey released "Don't Stop Believin'."
The lead single from 1981's "Escape" album has gained popularity in the past few years. It showed up on the final episode of HBO's "The Sopranos"and Fox's musical-comedy "Glee"and is the closing song of the Broadway musical "Rock of Ages."
"The seed was planted by my father when I was starving in L.A. back in the '70s. He used to say to me, 'don't stop believing,' " said veteran keyboard player Jonathan Cain, who spoke from a tour stop in Salt Lake City.
"I wrote a chorus and brought it in to Steve Perry (then lead vocalist) and Neal Schon,"Cain said of the song that started out as words of encouragement scribbled on a notebook.
"Those guys were taking a chance with me when they drafted me into the band in 1981. I brought the idea in and trusted them to craft it with me, and we did it together. It was just a testimony to the chemistry we had as a band. I was a brand new guy, but they just knew I was going to fit in. And, you know, for my father's war cry to come out and still last after all these years has been pretty cool."
If there's a theme to Journey's May release, "Eclipse"- a 12-song album of new material - it's "clear the noise in your head,"Cain said. The release is a concept album based on the Hindu philosophy of living in the now, being in the moment.
A character on the album starts out in the "City of Hope,"the first song on the album, and wanders off into spiritual enlightenment.
"Neal and I - when we started the album - we were looking for something that entailed the physical and metaphysical.... So, it's very cool in that sense to turn off the noise and connect to the real deal. That's really the message."
The idea of the winged scarab featured on "Eclipse"and many of Journey's past album covers, including "Escape," started with 1978's "Infinity," with the songs "Lights,""Anytime"and "Wheel in the Sky."The beetle has become the band's mascot and carries a bit of superstition.
"The one and all of Journey is the evolution that continues to take place with members coming and going," Cain said. "The band has evolved similar to ways that the Egyptians used to think that the beetle would go up into heaven and take the souls into the afterlife and continue to have eternal happiness. Well, that beetle has brought us a lot of happiness."
The band's current lineup is Cain, Schon on guitars, Ross Valory on bass, Deen Castronovo on drums and Arnel Pineda on lead vocals.
Journey's newest member, Pineda, lives with his wife and child in the Philippines. He joined the band in 2007 after being discovered on YouTube.
"Arnel is just a ball of energy," Cain said.
Pineda was singing "Don't Stop Believin' "and "Faithfully" with his band, the Zoo, in Manila. Schon spotted him on the video- sharing website and called Cain, who remembers saying, "The kid's got pipes, but can he speak English?"
Turns out he could, but it did take Pineda some time to wrap his head around what Cain describes as the "grand illusion": social and cultural differences, and the stardom that comes with being part of an American rock band.
Journey as well as Foreigner and Night Ranger will take the stage at Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach on Friday for a night of classic rock 'n' roll. The three bands have sold more than 200 million records combined.
"It's going to be an evening of memorable music," Cain said.
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