As Steve Perry eases back into music after a cancer scare, he can’t help but look back fondly at the things he accomplished with Journey — even if a reunion still appears to be a remote possibility.
Before Perry joined, Journey had never had an album reach higher than No. 85. Afterward, they never had a release go less than platinum. In fact, the early-1980s Perry-fronted albums Escape and Frontiers sold an astonishing 15 million copies in America alone.
Then, he vanished. Perry hasn’t been with Journey since 1996’s Trial by Fire, and hasn’t issued a solo project in two decades.
Perry, however, has been slowly crafting a return to the business, discussing the possibility of new music — and collaborating with AWOLNation on the follow up to its 2011 debut Magalithic Symphony.
Neal Schon reached out when the guitarist found out that his former Journey bandmate had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his face. But the band has moved on since Perry’s departure, with Arnel Pineda serving as their frontman over Journey’s most recent studio efforts.
All of it appears to have put Perry in the mood to reminisce.
“Bands are the most amazing thing,” Perry told Artisan News at a recent Guitar Center event. “The older I get, the more I do realize how important what we had all together was and how it worked. I have not been in the band in years. The older I get, like I said, the more I realize that we brought that out of each other: I brought things out of them and they certainly brought a lot of my vocal stuff out of me — just rising each other to this place that you can’t get alone. It’s a different thing, and that’s probably the biggest chemistry thing that I recognize now.”
As such, Perry confirms, there are still no plans to rejoin his old band.
“I haven’t worked with Neal, no,” Perry says. “We’re trying. It’s tough. I’m doing my best in that area and I can only do so much.”