Since then, Muir has followed up on his initial entry with a regular series of addendae, charting the Journey with lead singers Jeff Scott Soto and Arnel Pineda, with insights that continue to rock the Journey community.
from the Philippines was fronting The Zoo, another tribute band (whose live repertoire included a number of Journey songs), and the guitarist contacted the singer after hearing him on YouTube clips.
With the hardcore hearing the rumour, and the rumour becoming a substantiated fact, yet another debate started on the melodicrock.com chat rooms but this time a number of the comments had, sadly, a xenophobic and semi-racist edge to them due to some American fans berating the choice of a relatively inexperienced 'cheap labour' outsider with a strange accent.
However, on December 5th, 2007, the official announcement was made that Arnel Pineda
was the new lead vocalist for Journey
, which came as no surprise to many a fan and music journalist who already knew the who, if not the when, while some heated 'fans' still continued to condemn the choice.
has a strong delivery but his highs aren't as clean as Hunsicker's, and his lack of experience at big-band long-tours level make him a curious choice over the likes of Kevin Chalfant.
Shirley got in on the act too, commenting that not only is Pineda
"Just phenomenal," but the recorded songs are "…sensational.
Before his Journey
began, Arnel Pineda
was a relative unknown outside of the Philippines and Hong Kong, but the Filipino community embraced him so quickly and passionately that he
has become not just a hero but a musical icon for those fans, and once his
story started to unfold it wasn't just his
fellow Filipinos that started championing the cause.
certainly had a traumatic and difficult childhood--his mother dying as he
teens, having to leave school to make money by collecting scrap metal on the streets, sleeping rough before getting his
first singing opportunity at only fifteen.
is now living a dream, and who would deny him that?
Arnel Pineda is a very good singer, with a powerful voice in his small frame and has a tonality similar to Perry circa the Frontiers/1983 era.
has great fullness of voice in his
low- to mid-range but has "dirt" in the upper register, yet his
power can take him beyond "normal" range and he
can nail the "Faithfully" outros with a sustain to match Perry…but by the same token will never be able to hit the clean highs of that signature sound so prevalent circa 1978-1982.
But then who could?
And although there is no question performing long tribute sets five or six nights a week requires discipline (and he
has toured in the Philippines), touring the world with all the pressures and problems that can bring (travel, bugs, physical & mental health, vocal attrition) while singing a full Journey set is a whole different microphone, and early in the 2008 tour he
was already (on some shows) stretching and struggling on the chorus money shots of some songs whilst singing 'under' the notes on those and others.
Also, although there are of course dedicated fans in the States, the U.K., and other parts of Europe that's not the market anymore--the potential in Australasia, the Philippines and parts of South America is massive, and the new younger developing fan base (including thousands who have never heard of Steve Perry - or even Journey
joined) will be desperate to hear the Greatest Hits they have heard on radio, YouTube
, or via their parents or elders, performed by a man they see as the new hero on the block.
is worldwide, people (in the U.K. the affiliation is the ASDA chain), and with the marketing potential of Arnel Pineda
and the territories mentioned above you have the opportunity for Journey
to make more money than they have since the Hay Daze.
"After all these Years," for example, is "Faithfully" for the new era and will become Arnel's
'song', while "Never Walk Away" is almost a reworking of "Be Good to Yourself.
Another comment that I took a bit of flak for was seemingly suggesting in the last Addendum that Arnel Pineda
was auditioned and hired only after Jeremey Hunsicker declined the opportunity (or had the offer retracted), although that came from the fans who don't accept that Hunsicker was offered the gig in the first place.
In a GQ magazine interview done in May, which primarily covered the resurgence and Arnel Pineda
but also gave a potted Journey history, Schon
was questioned on the issues behind not speaking about Steve Perry and came out with the remarkable "We just try not to.
Hence why Arnel Pineda
may yet struggle or be on a three-year contract.
That didn't do Steve Augeri any favours, it didn't help Jeff Scott Soto, and it caused problems for Arnel Pineda
In October 2008 Arnel Pineda
confirmed Revelation had gone Platinum (sales of one million in the United States), however the RIAA
have very specific calculation criteria for multi-disc sets and Revelation meets that criteria - each unit (CD) within the set counts as one unit towards certification.
The aforementioned tracks may well become two of what will be very few Steve Augeri-era songs to feature in future set-lists, and the way they sell it now it's as if Arnel Pineda
was the lead vocalist who followed and replaced Steve Perry (Pineda is continually compared to Perry) - albeit ten years later.
may have a similar tonality to Steve Perry, but Benoit David is a true sound-a-like.
And where would they be now if Arnel Pineda
never became the story because the hard drive had?
also struggled in parts during the 2008 tour (more towards the end of the schedule as vocal attrition kicked in), but overall was solid with some great deliveries.
However at the Superbowl he
was off his
game as he
later confirmed himself via on-line comments, and kudos to him for not ducking the issue nor using the cold he
was carrying as an excuse.
But that in itself is a telling sign - his
immune system had never encountered western infections or viruses before his Journey
began, and he
will be prone to picking up bugs as well as struggling to come to terms with singing such a vocally challenging songbook on the road.
It was also interesting to note that it's now only on that Journey road he's
allowed to sing the Journey songs, as shortly after a trip back home between the '08 and '09 schedules (where he
appeared on various programmes for interviews and performed some Journey numbers) he
was "prohibited" from singing the group's original songs in his
solo promotional appearances.
Meanwhile back on the JRNY09Eb tour, another telling sign was their performance for the CBS Early Show on 28th August where it was evident that Arnel Pineda
was clearly suffering from vocal fatigue and his
lower register was carrying some "dirt.
An early in the day performance can cause the latter however (and outdoor shows such as this and the Superbowl can produce pitching issues due to poor monitor mix and changing weather conditions), but the difference vocally from 2008 to 2009 is quite noticeable to those with an ear.
Hence the half-step drop.
The tour itself was well received as expected, and the highlight for the older fan or classic-era purist was undoubtedly Gregg Rolie's appearance at the Austin, Texas, show in September where he
performed "Just the Same Way," with Deen Castronovo taking the "Perry" vocals.
As regards the de-tuning, I wrote back in 2008 that Journey
"…had always performed in standard concert E tuning up to and including Arnel Pineda
's first Journey tour…and it may well cause problems for Arnel Pineda.
Unsurprisingly, their spot on the show was more about Arnel Pineda
, although they did perform two numbers (which, also unsurprisingly, were "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully").
This break from touring can clearly be attributed to necessary down time for Arnel Pineda
as well as vacation time for the band and entourage (now that they can afford to come off the road following year after year on it), because otherwise it would seem strange to disregard what is a "35th Anniversary Year" (since the release of the debut album) and the Tour potential of such an event.
Arnel Pineda had already turned forty when he started his Journey so it will only get harder, not easier-but he does have a great set of pipes, has some great moments, can deliver great versions of some of the classics...but he is not one of the greats, sorry.
Not in my (e)book.
Interestingly, the proposed 2011 JRNY tour may well be dependant on all parties agreeing to such...
was interviewed by the PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in November to talk about his
life, recent success, and the Arnel Pineda Foundation he
established to help support the street children of his
homeland (the Foundation also helped the victims of typh