JOURNEY‘s most recent LP, “Eclipse”, was released in May 2011. The Walmart exclusive debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 13 — eight spots lower than the band’s previous album, 2008’s “Revelation” — which also went on to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart.
Pineda discussed JOURNEY‘s plans for new music during a new interview with Bionic Buzz. Speaking about how the virtual recording sessions have been coming along so far, the singer said (see video below): “We have finished three songs so far, and I’m on my way to studying three more songs to record with them.”
Arnel, who is laying down his tracks at his studio in Manila, Philippines, while the rest of the band is in the United States, continued: “Thank God, this technology is really effective for us, so it’s doing us good. But, of course, it’s not as exciting or as good as when the band is together, where the spur-of-the-moment magic happens — it’s, like, five minds locked in and focused to make some really great songs.”
In a separate chat with Philstar.com, Pineda offered an update on the previously announced movie based on his life. He said that the screenwriter of the blockbuster movie “Joker” is penning the script of his biopic under Hollywood studio Warner Bros.
“It’s ongoing,” he said. “You must know the movie ‘Joker’ right? The scriptwriter of that movie and ‘Now You See Me’ is still working with his script. We’re very positive that it’s going to happen.”
Born in the Philippines, Pineda has been fronting the legendary rockers since 2007 when JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon discovered him leading a Manila cover band on YouTube. A vocal doppelganger for JOURNEY‘s longtime vocalist Steve Perry, Arnel has helped put JOURNEY back in arenas once again. But some fans were not happy about the addition of Pineda, complaining about his ethnicity and dismissing his voice as a “copycat” of Perry.
Two months ago, Schon told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that the recording sessions for the new JOURNEY album are “going really, really amazing. We’ve got, like, 13 new tracks in the can that Arnel is now singing on. But the band is on fire, man. I’m excited about this record. And I believe we’ll start releasing things after the New Year… It’s been really pretty much either Jonathan [Cain, keyboards] working in his studio, sending us a track, and then we’re overdubbing on it, or it’s Narada [Michael Walden, drums] and I playing live together, which is working quite well — just drums and guitar. And then we send it to Randy [Jackson, bass] and to Jon, and then have Arnel on it. So, it’s coming together, man. For being a virtual record, it sounds amazing.”
Neal also talked about JOURNEY‘s recent lineup changes, with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith having been replaced by Jackson and Walden, respectively. In early March, Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit against Valory and Smith, who have been members of JOURNEY on and off since the band formed in 1973, claiming the two attempted a “coup” in order to gain control of the JOURNEY trademark.
Asked if the legal issues with Valory and Smith have been resolved, Schon told “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”: “It’s not resolved, and we’re trying to figure it out. I can’t really talk much about it, like last time, but we put a more-than-generous deal on the table for them to take and accept, or not. If they don’t accept, then we’re going to court. And I feel very solid about our case. So that’s where it’s at. I’m willing to take it to the mat, all the way, for something that I’ve worked my whole life on.
“The way things went down was really not that kosher,” he continued. “I mean, what should have happened, rather than them trying to take over at that point, was to call us up and say, ‘Hey, let’s sit down and talk about this.’ Instead it went a different way. And both myself and Jonathan didn’t appreciate it.”
The new JOURNEY lineup performed a socially distanced version of “Don’t Stop Believin'” for UNICEF USA‘s virtual event “UNICEF We Won’t Stop”, which aired in May on MSNBC.
JOURNEY was supposed to launch a North American tour with THE PRETENDERS in May, but canceled the trek amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, Pineda released a song called “This Christmas – A Beacon Of Hope” to kick off the Christmas season.