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.
Schon discussed JOURNEY‘s plans for new music during an interview with FOX17 Rock & Review. Speaking about how the recording sessions have been coming along so far, the guitarist said (see video below): “We have, like, six rockers already done. Arnel [Pineda, vocals] is finishing singing touches on two of ’em right now. And the others are done. And we’ll be releasing a single probably after the first of the year — the first single. And then we’re gonna come with a second single, and then a third single, and then, before the tour starts, a whole new album.”
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Neal also talked about JOURNEY‘s recent lineup changes, with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith having been replaced by Jackson and Walden, respectively.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.