As Journey continues preparation for its summer tour with Steve Miller and the Tower of Power, Neal Schon can’t help but wonder what’s to become of their recording legacy. With the forthcoming arrival of So U, the guitarist will have released two solo projects since Journey’s last album — and, to be honest, he’s not really sure when (of maybe if) the band will enter the studio again.
Some of that trepidation is no doubt related to 2011’s harder-edged Eclipse, which debuted at No. 13 in the U.S. but then quickly faded. Whether that was because of the band’s return to guitar-focused songcraft or the general sag in post-millennial album sales, it’s put the other members of Journey in an introspective mood about going forward.
Schon suggests that they’ll focus, for now, on concert performances — while he uses solo albums as an outlet for the kind of the musical pyrotechnics (like his crunchy new song, “What You Want,” above) that have become the guitarist’s personal legacy.
“We’ll have to see what happens,” Schon says. “I know that [frontman] Arnel [Pineda] is definitely game for anything. He likes to rock. We’ll have to see where [longtime keyboardist] Jonathan [Cain] is at. I definitely feel, for Journey, it’s a different beast, you know? I think maybe it’s more suited for my solo stuff — and to bring a bit of it into Journey, but only like in a live setting. I think that our records are just more about making songs, but then nobody’s really all that jacked up about recording new songs in the band right now. I am, but I’m trying to get everybody else motivated.”
Journey begins its summer tour dates with Miller and TOP on May 15, and continues with them into August.