Arnel Pineda

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19:  (L-R) Producer John Paterson, Arnel Pineda of the band Journey, producer David Paterson and Yu Session attend the after party for the premiere of 'Don't Stop Believin': Every-man's Journey' during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at Gansevoort Hotel on April 19, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)

Who Is Arnel Pineda?

After a series of unfortunate events in his childhood, Arnel Pineda found success in Asia as the front man for the group The Zoo. In 2007, he was discovered by Journey guitarist Neal Schon, after a series of YouTube videos were posted of him covering American songs, including the famous hit, "Dont Stop Believin'." In December 2007, Pineda became the new lead singer of Journey. His is noted for having a strikingly similar sound to former Journey front man Steve Perry.

Troubled Childhood

Arnel Pineda was born on September 5, 1967, in Sampaloc, Manila, in the Philippines. Throughout his childhood, Pineda endured grave misfortune. When he was just 13 years old, his mother, who was 35 at the time, passed away after a long battle with heart disease. Her medical costs left the family in serious debt, and Pineda's father could no longer provide for Pineda and his three younger brothers, Russmon, Roderick and Joselito.

While relatives were able to take in his brothers, Pineda was left on his own. He spent the next few years homeless, often sleeping outside in public parks and scraping for any food or water that he could afford. When possible, he would stay at a friend's house, who offered him a cot outside. Eventually, Pineda was forced to quit school and take up odd jobs collecting scrap metal and bottles at the pier and selling newspapers to support his family.

Early Career

Pineda's love of music started at a young age. He began singing at just five years old, and had entered many singing contests as a child. In 1982, when he was 15, Pineda was introduced to a local band called Ijos, and was encouraged by his friends to try out as their new lead singer. He sang the Beatles' "Help" and Air Supply's "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All." Although they were concerned with his lack of training, Ijos members were wowed by Pineda's powerful voice, and took him on as the new front man of the band. One of the band member's friends even offered to pay Pineda's salary, 35 pesos a night, out of his own pocket, and Pineda was offered a tiny room to sleep under the guitarist's front stairs.

In 1986, some members of Ijos joined together to form the new pop-rock band Amo. The group found success covering songs by hit groups Heart, Queen and Journey. In 1988, they turned heads when they won the Philippines' leg of the Yamaha World Band Explosion Contest. Although they were disqualified in the finals due to a technicality, the event was broadcast on TV in Asia, widening their fanbase. The band continued performing at popular clubs and arenas around the Philippines.

In 1990, the members re-grouped yet again, under the new name Intensity Five, and re-entered the contest. The band came in as runner up and Pineda won the Best Vocalist Award. After a series of unfortunate health problems in the early '90s, including the brief loss of his voice, Pineda re-emerged in 1999 with a new solo album with Warner Brothers. The self-titled album had several hits in Asia.

After brief stints with a few different bands, Pineda found success again in 2006 with The Zoo, a band that he formed with Monet Cajipe, a guitarist/songwriter who had been in all his bands during over the previous 20 years. The Zoo performed at several popular clubs in the area and, in 2007, released an album by MCA Universal titled Zoology . Soon the band began covering songs by groups such as Journey, Survivor, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and more, with more than 200 performances uploaded to YouTube.

On June 28, 2007, Neal Schon, guitarist and member of the band Journey, saw a video of Pineda on YouTube and immediately contacted him. The band had been looking for a new lead singer, and Pineda's voice sounded strikingly similar to Steve Perry, Journey's legendary former front man. After speaking with Schon on the phone, Pineda made arrangements to fly to the United States and audition with the band in San Francisco. On December 5, 2007, Pineda was welcomed as the band's new lead singer.

Right away, Pineda went on tour with the band, performing two shows in Chile and two in Las Vegas. Both were a huge success. After a series of guest show appearances and magazine features, Pineda gained popularity within the American public. On June 3, 2008, the newly organized Journey released their first album, Revelation , which came in at No. 5 on the U.S. charts. The album was their highest charting album since Trial by Fire (with Steve Perry), and reached platinum status by October 2008.

Soon after the album's release, the band continued touring around the world with Pineda. The documentary, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey , slated to be released in 2012, will chronicle the band's "Revelation Tour," and Pineda's first years with the band.

Personal Life

When he is not on tour, Pineda resides in the Philippines with his wife, Cherry, their children, Cherub and Thea. He has two other sons—Matthew, 19, and Angelo, 13—from past relationships.

QUICK FACTS

  • Name: Arnel Pineda
  • Birth Year: 1967
  • Birth date: September 5, 1967
  • Birth City: Sampaloc, Manila
  • Birth Country: Philippines
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Arnel Pineda is best known as the new lead singer for the rock group Journey.
  • Astrological Sign: Virgo
  • Nacionalities

CITATION INFORMATION

  • Article Title: Arnel Pineda Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/musicians/arnel-pineda
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: July 20, 2020
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014

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The Surprising Story of Journey’s Filipino Frontman

Well, it’s actually not that surprising once you learn about musical culture in the philippines..

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The Surprising Story of Journey's Filipino Frontman

Guys weaned on Led Zeppelin aren’t supposed to like Journey. Yet, decades beyond my rock ‘n roll formative years, I proudly stand in a crowd of Journey fans in Saratoga, New York, enamored with the band’s new Filipino lead singer, Arnel Pineda—the same singer who, a year prior, I watched perform cover tunes in dingy downtown Manila bars where wobbly ceiling fans swatted flying cockroaches. Having previously zigzagged across the Philippines in search of the keys to their native musical genius, I must admit I wasn’t surprised to witness Pineda’s rise to fame.

Arnel Pineda performing with The Zoo (before fronting Journey)

Arnel Pineda performing with The Zoo (before fronting Journey)

Photo by Bruce Northam

During my third trip through the Philippines, Southeast Asia’s only Christian country, I sought to answer the question: Why are the Philippines the rock-and-roll engine for the rest of Asia? From Hong Kong to Singapore and back up to Tokyo or Beijing , if there’s a skilled rock band on stage, they’re likely Filipino.

The Spanish colonial era that began in 1565 introduced guitars, choirs, and the art of serenading to the Philippines. This Eurasian hybrid—linked to the Renaissance—set the stage for a nation hooked on music. Historically, Filipinos have a song for every occasion, such as planting rice, fishing at night, and courting sweethearts. The Filipino serenade was inspired by the old-style Spanish romantic scenario: A guy shows up with his guitar outside his dream girl’s home and croons a love song. If she opens her window to listen and sings a song in response, he’s in; if the window doesn’t budge, it’s off to voice lessons or another gal’s house. Nearly every Filipino man I met born before 1960 had vivid recollections of serenading his eventual wife—or being shot down in flames.

Arreceffi Island, Philippines

Arreceffi Island, Philippines

My musical mission first led me to sand-and-ungle fringed Palawan, a narrow 250-mile-long island bisected by an imposing spine of limestone mountains. One of 7,017 Philippine islands, this is where I met Bing, a charming mother of five. She was serenaded at 2 a.m. by her eventual husband, who wasn’t put off by her underwhelming appearance at the window—her face at the time was encrusted with otherwise beautifying talcum powder. It was true love from the get-go.

Music wriggled its way into the Philippine heart long before the Spanish towed in stone cannonballs and religion. Palawan’s indigenous lowland Aboriginals, the Tagbanuas, expressed feelings of love in singing poems inspired by the inexhaustible variety of sounds in nature. They imitated the singing of insects and birds and created a bird scale that mimics musical notation. That birdlore vocabulary continues to bond men and women of the jungle.

In the 1980s, karaoke was invented by a Filipino man and then sold to a Japanese investor. It overtook the Philippines and modernized the serenade. Then, jukebox-style videoke began booming from street corners, bars, and malls. While American-style signs of affection play out as pricey gifts, horse-drawn carriage rides, and scoreboard proposals—most American men sing to their women only to humor them—Filipinos still sing to theirs as if their futures depend on it.

After Spain’s rule gave way to American colonization, the U.S. built schools in practically every village and taught the Filipino people English. Hollywood was also delivered to their doorstep. The Vietnam-era military bases needed entertaining, so Filipino rock, jazz, and lounge bands surfaced and thrived. Base towns became hubs for live Western music, which inspired many to pick up a guitar and sing. American soldiers also left behind a legacy of vintage guitars. Hundreds of collectors’ guitars—mostly Gibsons—found permanent homes in the Philippines. Turkey may have claimed the world’s “East Meets West” slogan, but it also justly describes the Philippines’s music scene.

Modern Manila, a mega-city of 15 million, is traditional yet faddish, Asian in character, but Western in disposition. Still hunting for the history behind the Filipino love of music, I was unaware that their irrepressible musicality was about to storm America until I caught wind that the iconic 1980’s rock band, Journey, had just auditioned a Filipino named Arnel Pineda as their new lead vocalist—and that same singer was fronting his Manila-based rock cover band, The Zoo, in a few hours. I sat in the front row and introduced myself to Arnel between sets. He sat with me and explained that Journey’s guitarist admired his covers of the band’s hits on YouTube and flew him to California. Only a few days after his tryout, it was supernatural to witness this still unknown would-be star rock out in a random, smoky Manila bar.

Arnel Pineda is not yet famous, but still happy.

Arnel Pineda is not yet famous, but still happy.

While the decision to hire Arnel had still not been made, I interviewed him after two more Manila shows. His arena-rocking potential was obvious. A month later, Journey announced him as their new vocalist, as well as a world tour. A Filipino fronting a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-bound band was the biggest entertainment news ever in the Philippines, outshining Filipino Lea Salonga’s Tony Award-winning role in Miss Saigon .

Before Arnel was launched out of obscurity and into the world spotlight, the youthful, unassuming 40-year-old was armed only with standard Filipino politeness. He insisted that his birthplace was “a big sponge that’s open to world music.” No stranger to smiling, he added, “We grew up breathing music, it’s in our veins.”

Some may call it luck, but Arnel was well-prepared for this opportunity. His mother, a tailor who passed away when he was 13, began grooming him via in-home performances at age five. Born into poverty, he was competing in local singing competitions by age seven. He went pro at 15, initially showcasing his vocal range in malls and later throughout the Philippines and other parts of Asia. His story was also punctuated by spells of hunger and homelessness.

It seems almost everybody in the Philippines can carry a tune. Women sing to nobody in particular, as they stare into internet café computer screens; a man whistles as he stands before a urinal; cab drivers croon along with their radios; maids belt out while working; a teenaged boy strums a guitar on a street corner, practicing a puppy love song. Like Brazilians and the Irish, few Filipinos are performance shy, because music—from liturgical to metal—is bred into their souls. Although karaoke machines are displacing windowsill serenades, my faith was restored as my Philippine Airlines flight touched down in California, and two flight attendants seated in the jump seats facing me began singing to each other. Music celebrates a universal love, and there’s no greater invitation to love than singing about it.

When Arnel Pineda first toured the world with Journey, he invited me backstage in Saratoga Springs, NY, where he was about to dazzle 25,000 wildly cheering fans. After a hug and a handshake, we reflected on how things had changed for him since our smoky bar-room conversations in Manila. It was a fleeting moment to revel in his rags-to-riches story. It’s rare to successfully replace the lead singer of an iconic band. Van Halen and AC/DC pulled it off, as did Journey. Before heading to center stage, he said, “If my mom was alive today, she would have been so proud.” His body may have been on cloud nine, but his familial heart was beating aloud. I reminded him that I wanted to write his biography. Walking into the spotlight, he turned around and nodded a yes.

>>Next: The Surprising Fact about Filipino Food

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Silverdocs: How Journey Found A New Lead Singer And Made Friends In Manila

Linda Holmes

Linda Holmes

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Arnel Pineda became the lead singer of Journey in late 2007. Silverdocs hide caption

Arnel Pineda became the lead singer of Journey in late 2007.

One of the oddest things about the story of Arnel Pineda is that it's not actually quite as odd as it might seem.

Pineda was a bar and club singer working in Manila in 2007, doing some original material but finding an audience mostly for his covers, when he got an e-mail from Neal Schon, the guitarist from Journey. Schon had seen videos of Pineda performing on YouTube and asked him to come to San Francisco and audition to become the band's new lead singer. From Journey fan to Journey member, because of YouTube.

That's the hook of Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey , which opened Silverdocs on Monday night. Director Ramona S. Diaz followed Pineda and the band from the time shortly after he started rehearsing with them through their very successful 2008 tour and their – the word is a cliché, but it applies – triumphant show in Manila in March 2009 when they brought him back home a hero, the successful lead singer of an iconic American band.

There is a certain fairytale quality to all of it – the guy who was singing Journey covers when he suddenly got The Call – but really, it's not that weird. Schon didn't stumble on him accidentally or get an e-mail from someone that said "You've got to see this guy!!!"; he found Pineda while specifically searching YouTube for lead singers, because it's a not-unusual way to find musicians. Maybe he was even looking for lead singers doing Journey songs. Maybe even for lead singers doing Journey songs who sounded a lot like former lead singer Steve Perry – which Pineda surely does. Other than the fact that he was in the Philippines, Schon found his guy the way he set out to find him.

Pineda isn't quite as young as he sometimes seems in the film; he can seem like a kid, but he turned 41 during the 2008 tour. He's a stretch younger than guys like Schon, who's pushing 60, but he's not Justin Bieber being plucked from YouTube because he's never done anything. The story threatens at times to become a wacky internet novelty, but at its best, it's something a bit more satisfying than that. At its best, it's about a working singer – not a YouTube fluke, but a working, day-in-day-out singer who's been playing for years and years – can suddenly find himself jumped to the head of the line, playing to 22,000 people with musicians he's admired all his life. It doesn't have a lot to do with YouTube; the better story is about a band taking a huge risk on a completely unknown quantity because they need a guy and they found one they think will be a fit.

(As a side note, as tempting as the "Don't Stop Believin'" title is, I would have gone with a variation on "Journeyman." Just a suggestion, pun-wise.)

The best parts of the film focus on Pineda; he has a playful attitude toward his own sometimes overwhelming anxiety about the situation into which he's been thrust. He turns out to be a terrific fit for the band, despite his own comment that partly because he's "so Asian," he looks like they Photoshopped him in when Journey has photos taken. In fact, one of the guys in the band comments that bringing something a little more "international" to the "all-American" group is probably an advantage – a prediction that proves true when Pineda helps the band develop an impassioned following of Filipino-American fans in addition to the people back home in Manila. (The security team notes at one point that for some of Arnel's fans, he's "like Elvis.")

But at almost two hours, the film feels long. It comes to what seems like a natural ending at one point, and then it goes on for probably another 20 minutes. There are some background segments on the general history of Journey that don't seem to have been made with the love that went into the Pineda-era stuff, and a persistent subplot about Pineda getting colds and drinking tean — while care of the voice makes a nice tour detail — keeps coming back and back and back but never really goes anywhere.

Then there is also the problem of "Don't Stop Believin'" itself. I don't think it's a spoiler – I really, truly cannot imagine how it could be – to tell you that the film builds to the performance of that particular song. This tour happened after The Sopranos put "Don't Stop Believin'" in the spotlight but before Glee put it there again, and the closing titles of the film point out that it's now the most downloaded song written in the 20 th century. But at some point, waiting for it becomes a bit of a tease, and the build to the performance (and the holding out on playing much of that song after playing most of Journey's others that are well-known, sometimes more than once) turns into a game. I would have dropped the bomb a little sooner, just to avoid the sense of inevitability.

But the film is fun, and it's worth seeing, not because it's the tale of an internet sensation, but because it's the tale of a bunch of guys who really, really want to hear crowds scream – either again or for the first time ever. As much as it's about how a band lifted an unknown singer into a dreamlike world of screaming crowds and far more money than he'd ever known, it's also about how a band found just the right guy at just the right time to help capitalize on the surprise comeback of one of the band's most famous songs. Pineda says at one point that it's like hitting the lotto, what happened to him, but in truth, Schon hit the lotto, too. You can see the guys standing around him at certain moments, looking at him or watching him perform, realizing that he's incredibly grateful to them, but in fact, without him, they are out of luck .

There's an argument to be made that when you set out to find your new lead singer looking specifically for someone who can sing your existing hits and make them sound just like they did when your old lead singer sang them – rather than being primarily focused on a guy who can contribute to whatever your next identity is – you run the risk of essentially covering your own music. Under this theory, Pineda was originally recruited to be the lead singer of the most famous Journey cover band in the world – the one called Journey. But they have since released two albums of new material, and it seems to be a little more than that. It may even be a little more than Schon expected to find on YouTube.

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Watch Journey Singer Arnel Pineda Perform a Lockdown Rendition of ‘Open Arms’

By Andy Greene

Andy Greene

Journey frontman Arnel Pineda has teamed up with Taka of the Japanese band One Ok Rock to record a lockdown version of the 1981 Journey classic “Open Arms.”

“Good day folks,” Pineda wrote on YouTube, “to honor the legacy of Journey’s Escape album, specifically Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Ross Valory and Steve Smith. Me and my one of a kind & extra exceptional buddy rocker of the amazing band One Ok Rock Taka decided to jam this song.”

Earlier this year, Journey fired bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith after guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain accused them of an “ill-conceived” attempt to seize control of the band’s trademark. Valory fired back with a counter-claim, but the matter is still working its way through the courts.

In the meantime, Journey have hired and bassist Randy Jackson and drummer Narada Michael Walden to take their places. Jackson recorded and toured with Journey in 1986, years before he became a household name thanks to American Idol . According to Schon, the band are working on their first new album since 2011’s Eclipse . “Just wanted to give you an update as we now have many new songs we’ve been recording!” Schon rote on Facebook in July. “The album is shaping up nicely.”

Before the pandemic hit, Journey were planning on spending the summer playing North American amphitheaters on a bill with the Pretenders. They wound up canceling the shows.

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ARNEL PINEDA Says Working With New JOURNEY Members Has Been 'Amazing'

JOURNEY frontman Arnel Pineda has told Rolling Stone in a new interview that the band has completed six tracks for its upcoming album, with "maybe seven songs to go." Asked if these cuts are ballads or rockers, he said: "For now, we're doing the rocker songs first, not the ballads. I think the seven songs they're working on, they're working on something huge, like how you've known JOURNEY doing ballads. It's between [1981's] 'Mother, Father' and [1978's] 'Winds Of March' . We're working on that song. We'll see what happens. I'm waiting for them to send me the demos so that we can record it next week."

Speaking about how things sound different now that bassist Randy Jackson and drummer/producer Narada Michael Walden are in JOURNEY , Arnel said: "It's somewhat like the sound back in the eighties when Randy Jackson joined the band for the 'Raised On Radio' album. It's kind of like that, but it's also more updated. Narada is producing my vocals and mentoring me on how to do it. He's telling me to sing it this way and that way. It's amazing. I'm learning a lot from Narada . It's truly an honor and I appreciate him for doing so. It's amazing."

As previously reported, JOURNEY is scheduled to headline the 2021 edition of Lollapalooza 's flagship event in Chicago on July 31.

Last March, JOURNEY parted ways with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith after the two allegedly attempted a "coup" in order to gain control of the JOURNEY trademark.

The new JOURNEY lineup performed a socially distanced version of "Don't Stop Believin'" for UNICEF USA 's virtual event "UNICEF We Won't Stop" , which aired in May 2020 on MSNBC . That same month, JOURNEY was supposed to launch a North American tour with THE PRETENDERS , but canceled the trek amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

JOURNEY 's most recent LP, "Eclipse" , was released in May 2011. The Walmart exclusive debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 13 — eight spots lower than the band's previous album, 2008's "Revelation" — which also went on to hit No. 1 on Billboard 's Top Independent Albums chart.

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Journey frontman Arnel Pineda breaks silence over band feud

journey front man asian

Lead singer of American rock band Journey , Arnel Piñeda , can no longer hold back from talking about the feud between two of his bandmates that broke out earlier this year and became public.

Tension continues to brew within the band up to now amidst Journey's ongoing 50th anniversary Freedom tour , fueled further by misleading reports spreading like wildfire across social media.

Journey members (L-R) Marco Mendoza, Jason Derlatka, Arnel Pineda, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Deen Castronovo

Arnel, who is not involved in the legal financial dispute between guitarist Neal Schön and keyboardist Jonathan Cain , found himself caught up in another issue after the Facebook post of Neal's wife Michaele Sch ön made the rounds online.

She shared (published as is), "TWO BAND MEMBERS of the Journey current LINE UP ARE 'adamant NO' against Gregg Rolie to return.

"Neal Schön and Gregg ROLIE will be somewhere Together at least one time this Year in Honor of what they began in 1972 .

"Faith, let’s ask God to find a way for them. let’s pray for forgiveness for those who hurt Gregg ROLIE and hope they learn what spirituality is someday .We all love you !!"

After the post went viral, fans were prompted to theorize that the two band members opposing Gregg Rolie's return are Arnel and Jonathan.

Read also: Arnel Pineda reacts to those tagging him as "new voice" of Journey; earns praise from the band's fans

Airing his side for the first time, Arnel took to Twitter on January 13, 2023: "you people are unbelievable…

"whoever’s spreading rumor about me regarding the #GregRollie issue?are maliciously ignorant..im not gonna stoop down to your level.."

Arnel Pineda tweet

Then again on February 5, 2023, he dropped two posts addressing the negative press he continues to get to this day.

He wrote (published as is), "m with the band to sing the legacy..if some of them are tired of me being with them,with all means,they can fire me anytime..

"and don't lecture me about spiritual BS..#walkthetalk"

Arnel Pineda tweet

His follow-up tweet read: "all i know? is #ivepaidmydues so stop reminding me where i came from..coz it's in my heart everyday..

"you just don't pay attention..im not a slave..im a human being like anybody else..

"#wrongiswrong #rightisright that simple.."

Arnel Pineda tweet

In an attempt to quash the worsening band conflict, Arnel once again tweeted three days later on February 8, 2023: "so much hatred people..we're on the brink of WWIII..

"lets just spread LOVE...

"don't you think its better to die being loved that being hated? [heart emojis]"

Arnel Pineda tweet

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Past and present Journey frontmen collide as Arnel Pineda meets Steve Perry

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Current Journey front man Arnel Pineda has recently fulfilled his almost four-decade wish of meeting the band’s original singer Steve Perry, Friday.

The two crossed paths after Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Brooklyn, New York.

“One of the sweetest hug you can ever get from one of my heroes and silent mentors,” said Pineda on a photo of him and Perry shared on Instagram. “It means the world to me. Waited 35 years for this moment. Thank you Almighty God!”

Pineda also expressed his gratitude to Perry, who had nothing but warm words for him for keeping Journey’s music alive.

In his acceptance speech, Perry said: “I must give a complete shoutout to someone who sings his heart out every night, and it’s Arnel Pineda. Where are you, Arnel? Arnel, I love you,” ABS-CBN News reported.

Pineda has been Journey’s vocalist since 2007. He was onboard for the band’s performance during the induction ceremony and belted out “Separate Ways” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Photo of Staff Report

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Arnel Pineda on JOURNEY’s Potential Reunion with Steve Perry and Career Impact

Arnel Pineda on JOURNEY’s Potential Reunion with Steve Perry and Career Impact | Society Of Rock Videos

via GIGS / YouTube

In a chat with Rolling Stone, Arnel Pineda, the frontman of the iconic band Journey, shared his thoughts on the possibility of reuniting with the former lead singer, Steve Perry. Pineda, known for his upbeat personality and powerful vocals, revealed his openness to the idea, sparking excitement among fans.

Dreamy Encounter with an Icon: Arnel Meets Steve Perry

Expressing his amazement at the unexpected encounter with Perry, Pineda shared,

“I posted on Instagram that I had waited 35 years for that. It was dreamy. I couldn’t believe I met him since he’s very reclusive and he avoids people.”

Pineda reflected on the profound influence Perry had on him, stating,

“He’s one of my heroes when it comes to singing. I remember back in the ’80s, I would sleep on the bus with my Walkman on in my ears as his voice sang all these favorite songs from Journey.”
  View this post on Instagram Modafinil 5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;”>   A post shared by Journey (@journeyofficial)

A Career Sacrifice for the Love of Perry and Journey

When asked about the possibility of Perry’s return and the impact on his role in the band, Pineda responded,

“I miss them so much together. Every now and then, I watch their videos together. It’s always them with Steve Perry that I watch.”

Acknowledging the sentiment of fans who proclaim, “No Perry, No Journey,” Pineda sympathized,

“I understand it. Where I come from, we’re so influenced by Western music. We loved the originals, if you know what I mean.”

Addressing the potential impact on his career, Pineda shared a surprising perspective,

“That would be OK to me! I’m telling you. That’s how much I adore him and I adore Journey and how much I adore Steve Perry.”
  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Retro and Nostalgia Creator (@70sandbeyond)

Anticipation for the Future: Pineda’s Genuine Enthusiasm

Recounting a personal anecdote, Pineda revealed,

“Back in 2005, I resigned from my job in Hong Kong because I lost my voice due to acid reflux. I was telling my friends back then that my only regret was I lost my voice before I had the chance to sing side-by-side with Steve Perry.”

He continued,

“I just wish that one show with him… it would change my life forever. It’s been 30 years now, and the band keeps changing my life in ways nobody would ever guess would happen.”

Arnel Pineda’s genuine admiration for Steve Perry and his eagerness for a potential reunion add a layer of anticipation to Journey’s future. As fans speculate on what could be, Pineda’s words reflect the profound impact that music and collaboration can have on an artist’s journey, transcending the boundaries of time.

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Steve Perry Walked Away From Journey. A Promise Finally Ended His Silence.

journey front man asian

By Alex Pappademas

  • Sept. 5, 2018

MALIBU, Calif. — On the back patio of a Greek restaurant, a white-haired man making his way to the exit paused for a second look at one of his fellow diners, a man with a prominent nose who wore his dark hair in a modest pompadour.

“You look a lot like Steve Perry,” the white-haired man said.

“I used to be Steve Perry,” Steve Perry said.

This is how it goes when you are Steve Perry. Everyone is excited to see you, and no one can quite believe it. Everyone wants to know where you’ve been.

In 1977, an ambitious but middlingly successful San Francisco jazz-rock band called Journey went looking for a new lead singer and found Mr. Perry, then a 28-year-old veteran of many unsigned bands. Mr. Perry and the band’s lead guitarist and co-founder, Neal Schon, began writing concise, uplifting hard rock songs that showcased Mr. Perry’s clean, powerful alto, as operatic an instrument as pop has ever seen. This new incarnation of Journey produced a string of hit singles, released eight multiplatinum albums and toured relentlessly — so relentlessly that in 1987, a road-worn Mr. Perry took a hiatus, effectively dissolving the band he’d helped make famous.

He did not disappear completely — there was a solo album in 1994, followed in 1996 by a Journey reunion album, “Trial by Fire.” But it wasn’t long before Mr. Perry walked away again, from Journey and from the spotlight. With his forthcoming album, “Traces,” due in early October, he’s breaking 20 years of radio silence.

Over the course of a long midafternoon lunch — well-done souvlaki, hold all the starches — Mr. Perry, now 69, explained why he left, and why he’s returned. He spoke of loving, and losing and opening himself to being loved again, including by people he’s never met, who know him only as a voice from the Top 40 past.

And when he detailed the personal tragedy that moved him to make music again, he talked about it in language as earnest and emotional as any Journey song:

“I thought I had a pretty good heart,” he said, “but a heart isn’t really complete until it’s completely broken.”

IN ITS ’80S heyday, Journey was a commercial powerhouse and a critical piñata. With Mr. Perry up front, slinging high notes like Frisbees into the stratosphere, Journey quickly became not just big but huge . When few public figures aside from Pac-Man and Donkey Kong had their own video game, Journey had two. The offices of the group’s management company received 600 pieces of Journey fan mail per day.

The group toured hard for nine years. Gradually, that punishing schedule began to take a toll on Journey’s lead singer.

“I never had any nodules or anything, and I never had polyps,” Mr. Perry said, referring to the state of his vocal cords. He looked around for some wood to knock, then settled for his own skull. The pain, he said, was more spiritual than physical.

[ Never miss a pop music story: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Louder. ]

As a vocalist, Mr. Perry explained, “your instrument is you. It’s not just your throat, it’s you . If you’re burnt out, if you’re depressed, if you’re feeling weary and lost and paranoid, you’re a mess.”

“Frankly,” Mr. Schon said in a phone interview, “I don’t know how he lasted as long as he did without feeling burned out. He was so good, doing things that nobody else could do.”

On Feb. 1, 1987, Mr. Perry performed one last show with Journey, in Anchorage. Then he went home.

Mr. Perry was born in Hanford, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley, about 45 minutes south of Fresno. His parents, who were both Portuguese immigrants, divorced when he was 8, and Mr. Perry and his mother moved in next door to her parents’. “I became invisible, emotionally,” Mr. Perry said. “And there were places I used to hide, to feel comfortable, to protect myself.”

Sometimes he’d crawl into a corner of his grandparents’ garage with a blanket and a flashlight. But he also found refuge in music. “I could get lost in these 45s that I had,” Mr. Perry said. “It turned on a passion for music in me that saved my life.”

As a teen, Mr. Perry moved to Lemoore, Calif., where he enjoyed an archetypally idyllic West Coast adolescence: “A lot of my writing, to this day, is based on my emotional attachment to Lemoore High School.”

There he discovered the Beatles and the Beach Boys, went on parked-car dates by the San Joaquin Valley’s many irrigation canals, and experienced a feeling of “freedom and teenage emotion and contact with the world” that he’s never forgotten. Even a song like “No Erasin’,” the buoyant lead single from his new LP has that down-by-the-old-canal spirit, Mr. Perry said.

And after he left Journey, it was Lemoore that Mr. Perry returned to, hoping to rediscover the person he’d been before subsuming his identity within an internationally famous rock band. In the beginning, he couldn’t even bear to listen to music on the radio: “A little PTSD, I think.”

Eventually, in 1994, he made that solo album, “For the Love of Strange Medicine,” and sported a windblown near-mullet and a dazed expression on the cover. The reviews were respectful, and the album wasn’t a flop. With alternative rock at its cultural peak, Mr. Perry was a man without a context — which suited him just fine.

“I was glad,” he said, “that I was just allowed to step back and go, O.K. — this is a good time to go ride my Harley.”

JOURNEY STAYED REUNITED after Mr. Perry left for the second time in 1997. Since December 2007, its frontman has been Arnel Pineda, a former cover-band vocalist from Manila, Philippines, who Mr. Schon discovered via YouTube . When Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, Mr. Pineda sang the 1981 anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’,” not Mr. Perry. “I’m not in the band,” he said flatly, adding, “It’s Arnel’s gig — singers have to stick together.”

Around the time Mr. Pineda joined the band, something strange had happened — after being radioactively unhip for decades, Journey had crept back into the zeitgeist. David Chase used “Don’t Stop Believin’” to nerve-racking effect in the last scene of the 2007 series finale of “The Sopranos” ; when Mr. Perry refused to sign off on the show’s use of the song until he was told how it would be used, he briefly became one of the few people in America who knew in advance how the show ended.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” became a kind of pop standard, covered by everyone from the cast of “Glee” to the avant-shred guitarist Marnie Stern . Decades after they’d gone their separate ways, Journey and Mr. Perry found themselves discovering fans they never knew they had.

Mark Oliver Everett, the Los Angeles singer-songwriter who performs with his band Eels under the stage name E, was not one of them, at first.

“When I was young, living in Virginia,” Mr. Everett said, “Journey was always on the radio, and I wasn’t into it.”

So although Mr. Perry became a regular at Eels shows beginning around 2003, it took Mr. Everett five years to invite him backstage. He’d become acquainted with Patty Jenkins, the film director, who’d befriended Mr. Perry after contacting him for permission to use “Don’t Stop Believin’” in her 2003 film “Monster.” (“When he literally showed up on the mixing stage the next day and pulled up a chair next to me, saying, ‘Hey I really love your movie. How can I help you?’ it was the beginning of one of the greatest friendships of my life,” Ms. Jenkins wrote in an email.) Over lunch, Ms. Jenkins lobbied Mr. Everett to meet Mr. Perry.

They hit it off immediately. “At that time,” Mr. Everett said, “we had a very serious Eels croquet game in my backyard every Sunday.” He invited Mr. Perry to attend that week. Before long, Mr. Perry began showing up — uninvited and unannounced, but not unwelcome — at Eels rehearsals.

“They’d always bust my chops,” Mr. Perry said. “Like, ‘Well? Is this the year you come on and sing a couple songs with us?’”

At one point, the Eels guitarist Jeff Lyster managed to bait Mr. Perry into singing Journey’s “Lights” at one of these rehearsals, which Mr. Everett remembers as “this great moment — a guy who’s become like Howard Hughes, and just walked away from it all 25 years ago, and he’s finally doing it again.”

Eventually Mr. Perry decided to sing a few numbers at an Eels show, which would be his first public performance in decades. He made this decision known to the band, Mr. Everett said, not via phone or email but by showing up to tour rehearsals one day carrying his own microphone. “He moves in mysterious ways,” Mr. Everett observed.

For mysterious Steve Perry reasons, Mr. Perry chose to make his long-awaited return to the stage at a 2014 Eels show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn. During a surprise encore, he sang three songs, including one of his favorite Eels tunes, whose profane title is rendered on an edited album as “It’s a Monstertrucker.”

“I walked out with no anticipation and they knew me and they responded, and it was really a thrill,” Mr. Perry said. “I missed it so much. I couldn’t believe it’d been so long.”

“It’s a Monstertrucker” is a spare song about struggling to get through a lonely Sunday in someone’s absence. For Mr. Perry, it was not an out-of-nowhere choice.

In 2011, Ms. Jenkins directed one segment of “Five,” a Lifetime anthology film about women and breast cancer. Mr. Perry visited her one day in the cutting room while she was at work on a scene featuring real cancer patients as extras. A woman named Kellie Nash caught Mr. Perry’s eye. Instantly smitten, he asked Ms. Jenkins if she would introduce them by email.

“And she says ‘O.K., I’ll send the email,’ ” Mr. Perry said, “but there’s one thing I should tell you first. She was in remission, but it came back, and it’s in her bones and her lungs. She’s fighting for her life.”

“My head said, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Mr. Perry remembered, “but my heart said, ‘Send the email.’”

“That was extremely unlike Steve, as he is just not that guy,” Ms. Jenkins said. “I have never seen him hit on, or even show interest in anyone before. He was always so conservative about opening up to anyone.”

A few weeks later, Ms. Nash and Mr. Perry connected by phone and ended up talking for nearly five hours. Their friendship soon blossomed into romance. Mr. Perry described Ms. Nash as the greatest thing that ever happened to him.

“I was loved by a lot of people, but I didn’t really feel it as much as I did when Kellie said it,” he said. “Because she’s got better things to do than waste her time with those words.”

They were together for a year and a half. They made each other laugh and talked each other to sleep at night.

In the fall of 2012, Ms. Nash began experiencing headaches. An MRI revealed that the cancer had spread to her brain. One night not long afterward, Ms. Nash asked Mr. Perry to make her a promise.

“She said, ‘If something were to happen to me, promise me you won’t go back into isolation,’ ” Mr. Perry said, “because that would make this all for naught.”

At this point in the story, Mr. Perry asked for a moment and began to cry.

Ms. Nash died on Dec. 14, 2012, at 40. Two years later, Mr. Perry showed up to Eels rehearsal with his own microphone, ready to make good on a promise.

TIME HAS ADDED a husky edge to Mr. Perry’s angelic voice; on “Traces,” he hits some trembling high notes that bring to mind the otherworldly jazz countertenor “Little” Jimmy Scott. The tone suits the songs, which occasionally rock, but mostly feel close to their origins as solo demos Mr. Perry cut with only loops and click tracks backing him up.

The idea that the album might kick-start a comeback for Mr. Perry is one that its maker inevitably has to hem and haw about.

“I don’t even know if ‘coming back’ is a good word,” he said. “I’m in touch with the honest emotion, the love of the music I’ve just made. And all the neurosis that used to come with it, too. All the fears and joys. I had to put my arms around all of it. And walking back into it has been an experience, of all of the above.”

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Demi Moore on Full Frontal Nudity With Margaret Qualley in ‘The Substance’: ‘A Very Vulnerable Experience’ but I Had a ‘Great Partner Who I Felt Very Safe With’

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Demi Moore and her dog Pilaf attend a photocall at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Carlton Cannes Hotel on May 19, 2024 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Demi Moore ‘s new film, the feminist body horror “ The Substance ,” sees her bare it all, with several scenes featuring full nudity. At the Cannes Film Festival press conference for the film on Monday, the 61-year-old actor discussed the “vulnerable experience.”

“Going into it, it was really spelled out — the level of vulnerability and rawness that was really required to tell the story,” Moore said. “And it was a very vulnerable experience and just required a lot of sensitivity and a lot of conversation about what we were trying to accomplish.”

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“I had someone who was a great partner who I felt very safe with. We obviously were quite close  — naked — and we also got a lot of levity in those moments at how absurd those certain situations were,” she said. “But ultimately. it’s just about really directing your communication and mutual trust.”

As the film progresses, Moore becomes horribly disfigured thanks to the abuse her other half Qualley is inflicting on her. By the film’s last act, she quite resembles Anjelica Huston from the 1990 film “The Witches,” after she transforms into a humpback abomination.

Dennis Quaid also stars in the film as an “asshole,” as he described his character during the presser. The late Ray Liotta was meant to have the role before his passing in May 2022, and Quaid dedicated his performance to him.

“In my heart, I dedicated this role to Ray Liotta, who was set to play it,” Quaid said. “It was this week, two years ago that he passed, so I’d like to remember him. He was such an incredible actor.”

Cannes went wild for “The Substance” at its premiere on Sunday night, giving the film an 11-minute standing ovation , the longest of the fest so far.

In an interview with Variety , the French director discussed the film’s feminist themes, saying that body horror is “the perfect vehicle to express the violence all these women’s issues are about.”

With an undercurrent of #MeToo at this year’s festival as the movement grows in France, Fargeat hopes the film will shine even more light on the issue. “It’s a little stone in the huge wall we still have to build regarding this issue, and to be honest, I hope my film will also be one of the stones of that wall. That’s really what I intended to do with it.”

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COMMENTS

  1. Arnel Pineda

    His is noted for having a strikingly similar sound to former Journey front man Steve Perry. Troubled Childhood Arnel Pineda was born on September 5, 1967, in Sampaloc, Manila, in the Philippines.

  2. Arnel Pineda

    Early life. Arnel Pineda was born on September 5, 1967, at St. Jude Thaddeus Diagnostic Clinic in Tondo, Manila, to Restituto Lising Pineda and Josefina Manansala Campaner. His mother instilled his love for singing at an early age, encouraging him to sing along to her favorite singers like Karen Carpenter and Barbra Streisand.Growing up, his parents entered him in many singing contests.

  3. Journey's Arnel Pineda on New Album, Dreams of a Steve Perry Reunion

    Journey Frontman Arnel Pineda on the Band's New Record, Dreams of a Steve Perry Reunion. "I'm delivering on the legacy that the Voice [Steve Perry] has left behind," says Arnel Pineda. "Meeting ...

  4. The Surprising Story of Journey's Filipino Frontman

    Before Arnel was launched out of obscurity and into the world spotlight, the youthful, unassuming 40-year-old was armed only with standard Filipino politeness. He insisted that his birthplace was "a big sponge that's open to world music.". No stranger to smiling, he added, "We grew up breathing music, it's in our veins.".

  5. JOURNEY's JONATHAN CAIN: 'We're Very Happy With ARNEL PINEDA'

    In a new interview with Steve King of the 105.3 The Bone radio station, JOURNEY keyboardist Jonathan Cain spoke about the band's current working relationship with its longtime vocalist Arnel Pineda.

  6. How Journey Found A New Lead Singer In Manila : NPR

    Pineda was a bar and club singer working in Manila in 2007, doing some original material but finding an audience mostly for his covers, when he got an e-mail from Neal Schon, the guitarist from ...

  7. Journey Lead Singer Arnel Pineda

    For booking corporate events, private functions, live streaming and other events, please contact my managers - preferably through Viber: Yul Session (1-702-858-6368) or Bojie Yangco (1-604-812-2728). You may also reach them via the contact form below.

  8. Journey (band)

    History 1973-1977: Formation, Journey, Look into the Future and Next Neal Schon, the remaining original member of Journey in 2008. The original members of Journey came together in San Francisco in 1973 under the auspices of former Santana manager Herbie Herbert.Originally called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section and intended to serve as a backup group for established Bay Area artists, the band ...

  9. List of Journey band members

    Journey is an American rock band from San Francisco, California.Formed in February 1973 as the Golden Gate Rhythm Section, the group was renamed Journey in the summer and originally included keyboardist and vocalist Gregg Rolie, lead guitarist Neal Schon, rhythm guitarist George Tickner, bassist Ross Valory and drummer Prairie Prince.The band's lineup as of 2021 features Schon, alongside ...

  10. Watch Journey's Arnel Pineda Sing a Lockdown Rendition of 'Open Arms'

    Journey frontman Arnel Pineda has teamed up with Taka of the Japanese band One Ok Rock to record a lockdown version of the 1981 Journey classic "Open Arms." "Good day folks," Pineda wrote ...

  11. Journey Frontman Explains Why He Refused Move to US From Philippines

    During a conversation with Front Row Live, Journey singer Arnel Pineda discussed his role in the group, his Filipino heritage, new material, and more.. You can check out the music of Journey here ...

  12. Journey with new album and new front man | Music, Musicians and Bands

    I'm sure this is old news to most people. Just found out that Journey has a new front man and is a pinoy. Arnel is really an asian sensation! His voice sent chills to my spine, he's the next best thing to SP. Just check out his covers of Journey hits with his former pub bar, the Zoo on Youtube. M...

  13. JOURNEY's DEEN CASTRONOVO Says ARNEL PINEDA Is 'The Most Amazing

    Being a lead singer, and being out in front, I'm gonna give it a shot, and I'm gonna give it my best shot. And I believe it'll work. That's all I can do is have faith that I'm gonna go out there ...

  14. ARNEL PINEDA Says Working With New JOURNEY Members Has Been 'Amazing'

    JOURNEY frontman Arnel Pineda has told Rolling Stone in a new interview that the band has completed six tracks for its upcoming album, with "maybe seven songs to go." Asked if these cuts are ...

  15. Journey's Arnel Pineda breaks silence over band drama

    February 13, 2023. Resize. Arnel Pineda, front man of American rock band Journey, broke his silence on the feud between his bandmates, who are on the road for their "Freedom" tour to mark the band's 50th anniversary. The turmoil made headlines after a legal dispute between guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain was publicized in ...

  16. Journey frontman Arnel Pineda breaks silence over band feud

    Journey frontman Arnel Pineda speaks up on allegations hurled against him amid ongoing band feud. Lead singer of American rock band Journey, Arnel Piñeda, can no longer hold back from talking about the feud between two of his bandmates that broke out earlier this year and became public. Tension continues to brew within the band up to now ...

  17. Past and present Journey frontmen collide as Arnel Pineda meets Steve

    Current Journey front man Arnel Pineda has recently fulfilled his almost four-decade wish of meeting the band's original singer Steve Perry, Friday. The two crossed paths after Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Brooklyn, New York.

  18. Steve Perry

    Stephen Ray Perry (born January 22, 1949) is an American singer and songwriter. He was the lead singer and frontman of the rock band Journey during their most successful years from 1977 to 1987, and again from 1995 to 1998. He also wrote/co-wrote several Journey hit songs. Perry had a successful solo career between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, made sporadic appearances in the 2000s, and ...

  19. Arnel Pineda on JOURNEY's Potential Reunion with Steve Perry and Career

    via GIGS / YouTube. In a chat with Rolling Stone, Arnel Pineda, the frontman of the iconic band Journey, shared his thoughts on the possibility of reuniting with the former lead singer, Steve Perry. Pineda, known for his upbeat personality and powerful vocals, revealed his openness to the idea, sparking excitement among fans.

  20. Steve Perry Walked Away From Journey. A Promise Finally Ended His

    A Promise Finally Ended His Silence. On Feb. 1, 1987, Steve Perry performed his final show with Journey. In October, he's returning with a solo album, "Traces," that breaks 20 years of radio ...

  21. Arnel Pineda, Lani Misalucha to take the stage at The Sahara in Las

    Dubbed "Asia's Nightingale" by MTV Southeast Asia, Misalucha was the first Asian to headline in a main showroom on the Las Vegas Strip when she performed at Flamingo Las Vegas. Capping the show is Pineda, best known for being the front man for the rock band Journey since December 2007.

  22. Journey

    Official HD video for "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)'' by JourneyListen to Journey: https://journey.lnk.to/listenYDWatch more Journey videos: https://Journey....

  23. ASIAN AMERICAN FRONTMAN : r/AsianMasculinity

    Homegrown was an awesome pop punk band in the 90s that had an Asian front man as well as another Asian member (can't remember what he played). Reply ... Not Asian-American, but Asian: Journey And technically Chester Bennington was the front man of Linkin Park, but Mike Shinoda was heavily heavily featured in their songs. ...

  24. Demi Moore on Full Frontal Nudity in 'The Substance'

    Demi Moore's new film, the feminist body horror "The Substance," sees Demi Moore bare it all, with several scenes featuring full nudity.

  25. Celtics celebrate, confident championship window is wide open

    Item 1 of 2 Jun 17, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) walks off the court with the trophy as he celebrates winning the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas ...