‘The kind of jamming we used to do’: Neal Schon releases sizzling new video for title track of The Calling

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Neal Schon has released an official video for the title track to his forthcoming solo effort The Calling, which finds the guitarist reuniting with his former Journey bandmate Steve Smith.

The album, set to drop this week via Frontiers Records, arrives as Schon takes a short break from Journey’s seemingly never-ending tour scheduled. The band resumes dates with Pat Benatar and Loverboy on October 30, 2012 in New York, then plays in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Canada, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan in the weeks that follow.

Get additional details on upcoming Journey shows here: http://www.journeymusic.com/pages/tour.

Schon worked with director Dan Barnett, who helmed the concert film Journey: Live in Manila, on the shoot — which finds Schon and Smith playing with a fiery abandon, sounding nothing like the familiar pop-rock sound they established with 1980s-era Journey favorites like “Send Her My Love.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW: We go in-depth on Neal Schon’s forthcoming new solo release ‘The Calling,’ which blends in sounds and textures from throughout his stirring career in rock.]

Not to say that “The Calling” doesn’t sound like Journey.

“The Calling,” instead, goes further back: To the heavy weather of 1977’s Next, with its thunderous rhythms and fretboard-melting riffs, and to the free-form prog-rock inclinations of Journey’s 1975 debut — a gift For fans of the original pre-Steve Perry configuration of this band.

Originally invited to put down rhythm tracks for four tracks over two days, Smith told us that he and Schon reconnected on such a deeply resonant level that the drummer ended up performing on all 12 songs.

“Neal and I have an immediate chemistry so we got right into a creative zone,” Smith says. “First of all, Neal is a prolific writer. Every time he picks up a guitar, he plays something new — and with a little work that idea can be developed into a tune. We did the kind of jamming that we used to do with Journey, and then we experimented with moving the ideas around to create arrangements and finished songs. The keyboard player Igor Len was there to help flesh out the songs and, between the three of us, we just let the ideas come. We came up with the entire album in four days!”

“The Calling,” the first advance single from two separate forthcoming solo Schon projects, was part of a recording session held with Len (who also appeared on Schon’s 2005 solo album I on U) at Fantasy Recording Studios in Berkeley, California, after Journey completed 2010’s Eclipse. Jan Hammer (who collaborated with Schon on his initial pair of early-1980s solo projects) also took part. A second solo album from these sessions will feature bassist Marco Mendoza and current Journey drummer Deen Castronovo.

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