Journey's co-founding guitarist Neal Schon revealed that the band is prepping its first studio set in nearly a decade. Schon, who frequently posts clips of himself with assorted guitars playing along to programmed tracks, uploaded another such clip — with the news: “Been in studio and Journey album is starting to take shape back in later today zzzzz.”
The still-untitled set will be the first to feature returning bassist player Randy Jackson and new recruit, drummer, Narada Michael Walden, who have replaced the ousted Ross Valory and Steve Smith.
Journey's last studio album, Eclipse, was released on May 24th, 2011. The Wal Mart exclusive debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at Number 13.
Eclipse showed a slight shift in direction, with a harder rocking feel and more layered soundscapes. Neal Schon told us that the inspiration for the production shift was all his: “This was kind of a vision of my record which I'm grateful to the band for finally, like, letting me do one. Like, I'd been wanting to do a, more of a musical conceptual record for quite a while. It's not like, y'know, we never quite like, y'know, zoned in on an idea before we actually went there and looked at the landscape before we actually created it.”
Keyboardist Jonathan Cain told us that for Journey to continue to make in-roads in radio today, they need to have one foot in the past and one in the now: “It's hard when you bring a new guy in to, y'know, get that commitment in radio. Y'know, 'cause it's not Steve Perry, it's the new guy, 'Well, why should we play this?' 'Cause it sounds like Journey, that's why! Y'know? So there's signs of it, y'know? It's gotta be undeniably soundin' like the new Journey. It can't be soundin' like some heavy version of Journey. They're just not gonna go for it. And it has to be so recognizable, that they're like 'Oh, wow, we gotta do this. We gotta play this!'”
Journey recently scrapped its entire 60-date summer tour with the Pretenders due to the ongoing pandemic.