Journey's search for new front man didn't stop their music

The band Journey, from left, Ross Valory, Jonathan Cain, Arnel Pineda (sitting), Deen Castronovo and Neal Schon.
The band Journey, from left, Ross Valory, Jonathan Cain, Arnel Pineda (sitting), Deen Castronovo and Neal Schon. Travis Shinn - The PR Company

JOURNEY is living proof that you can't keep a good band down.

The San Francisco rockers have been through several incarnations over the years, particularly in their search to replace enigmatic front man Steve Perry, but their music has endured.

Their hit Don't Stop Believin' is just as popular with today, thanks to covers on TV shows like Glee and The Sopranos and in movies like Rock of Ages, as it was when it was first released in 1981.

There's no better proof of that than the fact that Don't Stop Believin' was the most downloaded catalogue track in iTunes history last year.

Founding member and bass player Ross Valory believes the reason for the song's enduring popularity is twofold.

"First of all, musically it's a good song. It's really well written," he said.

"And the lyrical message is clearly stated and can be viewed from so many different standpoints.

"Sports teams use it to encourage their players and as a moral boost to their fans.

"It has a very clear, inspired, uncluttered message that is universal to anyone.

"I think the key is that the message is clear and vital to people. It's about being inspired and hopeful and not giving up."

But Don't Stop Believin' isn't their only hit song.

The band also pumped out hits Anyway You Want It, Who's Cryin' Now and Open Arms in the late '70s and early '80s.

Journey tours Australia for the first time in February for a five-date national co-headline tour with Deep Purple.

Valory is excited for his first visit Down Under, although he won't have much time for sightseeing.

"To tour in Australia, given the distance between cities, means our day off is a travel day but we're going to try and soak up as much as we can," he said.

"The schedule doesn't allow us too much time to see much of the country, but there are all kinds of places I would have wanted to see - the Great Barrier Reef, Ayrs Rock, Kakadu."

It will also be a first for the band's current front man Arnel Pineda, whom the band discovered in a YouTube video.

Pineda's incredible story of Journey covers band member to the group's real-life lead singer is the subject of a documentary film, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

"We never thought that it would happen that way," Valory said.

"From having found his little videos on YouTube to bringing him into the band, it's a Cinderella story."

Journey and Deep Purple play the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on February 26.

Tickets available through Ticketek.

Topics:  australian tour, concert, deep purple, journey, music, music tour



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