WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
September 20th, 2012 By Amy Harris | Music | Posted In: Live Music, Interview

Q&A with Journey

Revitalized rockers headline Riverbend's final show of the season Friday

journey d3a9633 600p crJourney's Jonathan Cain (Photo: Amy Harris)

Journey is a legendary Rock act from the ’70s/’80s, but the band is not done yet. The group put out its 15th album, Eclipse, last year, Journey's second effort with current lead singer Arnel Pineda, and is currently out on tour with fellow ’80s hitmakers Pat Benatar and Loverboy. The band's classic music is standing the test of time and crowds still react emotionally to its vast catalog of hits, as well as some of the new music selections.

CityBeat spoke with keyboard player Jonathan Cain, who is now in his fourth decade with the band, and discussed how he was influenced to write one of Journey's biggest hits, as well as how the band stays relevant in today’s ever changing musical landscape.

Journey performs the final concert of Riverbend Music Center's season tomorrow (Friday).

CityBeat: You guys have been touring on Eclipse for the past year. Are you guys working on new material yet?

Jonathan Cain: No, we are just settling into the touring aspect of things right now. We worked pretty hard on the last one and thought it was time to focus in. I recently had a child and (guitarist) Neal (Schon) has been going through all his things with Michaele (Salahi). We have been busy. I just opened a new studio in Nashville called Eviction Sound. We have been focusing on all the stuff we have to do. It’s a balance deal. We’ll start working on new music eventually.

CB: You mentioned some of the personal issues with Neal and Michaele. (Salahi, a former Real Housewives of D.C. star, left her husband for Schon in a very public "love triangle" soap opera.) Has any of that gotten in the way of the band’s activities?

JC: No. Not at all. They are getting through it and still in love. It’s all good.

CB: Any fond Cincinnati memories from the past?

JC: Fond Cincinnati memories? I have had some nice encounters with the fans down at the hotel bar there; closing the bar there would be the response. I do enjoy going to the ball games as well. Cincinnati always has a pretty good baseball team.

CB: I was recently covering the CMT Awards in Nashville and saw the performance with Rascal Flatts. How did that collaboration take place?

JC: The Rascal Flatts thing came about because we have a mutual friend. I play golf with one of the guys who produces the CMT Awards. He asked me one time on the golf course, “Who do you think Journey should do a (CMT's cross-genre showcase) Crossroads with?” And I said, “Honestly I think Rascal Flatts best fits with the sound Journey does,” and he agreed. We talked to their senior management and the rest was history. We will probably do a Crossroads together at some point.

CB: I couldn’t get the song out of my head for four days after that night.

JC: It’s one of those hummers. Every band needs one.

CB: My favorite Journey song ever is “Faithfully.” I know you wrote that song. Can you talk me through that process to put that song together?

JC: Basically, the song was written on the road.

I was in Saratoga, NY, in upstate New York. We had just come off the bus and I was feeling a certain way watching the crew take the stuff down every night with the riggers and the roadies. I felt they needed to have a song and same with us. We all miss our family the same way. I don’t care who you are in this business, you still sacrifice something to be out on the road. It’s something I wrote for all of us.

It’s a good ol’ Country song that turned out to be a big ol’ hit. (Original singer) Steve Perry actually wanted that on his solo album and I declined. I said, “Journey or bust.” It was the last song we recorded on the Frontier album back in ’83. We never even rehearsed it. That was live in the studio. That was the third take. Steve put his signature vocal on it.
I was thrilled to have penned that song, then we played it live and the fans came back with “I’m forever yours, faithfully.” They turned it around and it was pretty cool.

CB: I have asked other artists about hits like that and they say, typically, the hits come out quickly. Was that the case with that one?

JC: Yeah, I wrote that in a half an hour on a napkin. It was very quick in the room. I woke up and I had started it. I wish I still had the napkin. I don’t have it. Then there was the keyboard I had on my bed I used to bump around ideas on. It was one of those Casio keyboards you just take in your suitcase. When I got to the gig, I got a real piano backstage at the Saratoga Performance Arts Center and sort of flushed it out.

The first time I did the demo, I was working with Keith Olson back in L.A. and he let me record it just by myself and that was what I played for everybody. He played it for the girls from Heart. He said Nancy (Wilson, guitarist) cried when she heard it. I thought that was a good sign. I guess they liked it.

CB: I saw on your website that you share blogs and journal entries. Have you kept journals all through your touring years?

JC: No, I should. I sort of dropped the ball on that one. I am getting inspired to write a new one. A lot has happened since the last one. I want to update the fans. It just may take on the highlights.

We have just had this movie released Every Man’s Journey. We debuted it at the Tribeca Film Festival and San Francisco Film Festival. It’s a documentary that was made by a Filipino lady that heard about Arnel (also Filipino) joining our band. So she came out on our tour. She spent her last four years following our buses around, coming to rehearsals. So they finally put a movie together. That was really exciting to attend and it really helped him solidify himself as he has evolved as an entertainer and a star. You see it actually happen, I think they are going to release it next Spring. It is really something. It is a neat story. We are proud of him.

CB: I find it very inspiring you welcomed someone new into the band and are so supportive of them moving forward.

JC: It was kind of a no-brainer. The guy can sing better than anyone can sing it. We went, “You know what. Let’s go with this guy.” We loved his heart. We loved the man as a father. The whole package. He makes us better. He is great.

CB: I saw in your journals you were blogging about South America and other places. I wish I had written down all my travel stories over the years. What has been your most memorable travel story recently?

JC: Actually, the European thing with my son was really great. We went to Europe and he went on the road with me and we got to go to some pretty incredible places. We played golf together in Scotland. There was this incredible experience, everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Royal Palace of Stockholm and to see it with your son is pretty darn cool. We went to San Salvatore, about a mile up and you look out from the Swiss Alps and it is breathtaking. I have to say that European trip was at the top of the list.

CB: Any habits you’d like to break?

JC: I probably drink too much wine.

CB: Any regrets over the years?

JC: No. I believe life is perfect. You live to learn from your mistakes and grow. If you regret something then lessons haven’t been learned. Everything you regret is something you haven’t accepted in life. Mistakes are chances to grow, chances to understand a deeper sense of who, what, and how you relate to the universe.

CB: Do you think Rock music is a dying art?

JC: No. I don’t. It is a niche now. We are a niche now. We aren’t as popular as we were but if you come to our show you can see it is alive and well. Just because the media has stiffed us doesn’t mean we aren’t out there in our own way. We are quietly playing for thousands and thousands of people. We have sold 800,000 tickets. It’s crazy. It’s a lot of people. It’s a good show. Pat Benatar is on the bill. We have Loverboy opening up when it is the three of us. We are having fun. We are keeping things alive.

CB: Are you a political band? We are in a critical election time. Are you planning to back any candidates?

JC: No. We stay out of that. If they want us to play and pay us a bunch of money, we will play for them.

CB: Either candidate?

JC: We would. The bottom line is we have a lot of fans on both sides. That’s my feeling. I’m tired of Republicans, I’m tired of Democrats. Let’s just get the people together and get shit done instead of arguing and bickering. This is the worst Washington has ever been. That’s just my take on it. (Journey reportedly was paid a half million dollars to perform during the Republican National Convention this year.)

CB: We are looking forward to you in Cincinnati. What can the fans look forward to that night?

JC: It is a cool mix of all of our stuff. Some new, some old. Great video, great lights. We have a new sound guy. Our P.A. sounds like a big, giant jukebox. I don’t think we are too loud. I think we sound cool. I think we look pretty cool. They are going to see a great show. It is going to be a good first class Rock show with a lot of hits.

 
 
09.21.2012 at 02:29 Reply

I love Rock!!! For me it is the best music ever. I am 41 years old, and I love Journey since I can remember. I was a little girl singing all the journey songs. Thank you to Jonathan Cain for not letting the Rock die. Love You Journey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could see you guys some day But my economic status is not that good . God Bless you !!!!!!!!!!

 

09.23.2012 at 03:09 Reply

journey really help save my life i was  in a very bad place. i am a survivor of incence.  journeys music and steve perrys voice help me move on and make the right choices until this day. thank you guys . when my freinds here journey they think of me arniel you are awesome.  keep rockin journey forever

 

09.26.2012 at 05:25 Reply

I love Journey! Im one of the younger fans, my father grew up loving Journey and he passed that down to me. My dad and I are really connected by Journey. Arnel you are adorably awesome!!!!!

 

09.27.2012 at 10:41 Reply

No matter what my life throws at me i can always throw on a Journey album and it makes my world a better place when i'm listening. a fan for life here!

 

10.07.2012 at 11:49 Reply
SJT

Journey is nothing without steve perry,so grow up and bury the hatchet

 

10.21.2012 at 12:49

No. They don't deserve Steve coming back. They totally have not given him any credit at all and they show that by how they put Arnel on a pedestal instead of Steve who helped them be successful and turned their back on him when he needed them the most. Steve is going to come out with an album soon and he will kill the chances of this fake Journey with a fake Steve Perry of ever being popular again. They are foolish if they think the majority of people like them anymore. Not without Steve Perry ever.

 

11.17.2012 at 12:34

Ive seen Journey with the last 3 lead singers and Steve Perry is by far the best singer Journey has ever had!!!I saw Journey in 1986 with Steve perry and that was by far the best concert I have ever seen!

 

 
 
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