106.7 Lite FM recently conducted an interview with former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry about his upcoming comeback solo effort, “Traces”. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he did any singing during his hiatus from the music industry:
Steve: “No. I mean, I really had the conviction of not coming back to this in order to really leave it. I kinda had to turn my back to leave because it was too painful. I can’t look back. I had to move forward, so I went to my hometown and I started riding my Harley up and down these old country streets and just hanging out and just reconnecting where I was born, where I was raised, which is California, the small town of Hanford, California. I lost my parents — they were out there in the cemetery — so there were frequent visits out there, just to reconnect. Where have I been? What happened? And where am I now?”
On how long he worked on “Traces”:
Steve: “The new album [was worked on for] about two years or so. I have a studio in my house, a beautiful studio that’s a dream come true to have my own space. We did the whole record except we did the strings at Capitol Records.”
On whether he will tour in support of “Traces”:
Steve: “We’re talking about that. I mean, right now, we’re trying to do all the radio and talk to people like yourself and talk about where I’ve been and emotionally what the songs are about and all that.”
On whether he has any anxiety about being onstage:
Steve: “I never had butterflies or what do you call it? Stage fright. I never had stage fright, but what I think singers don’t talk about, if you want to know the truth, it’s a very neurotic instrument because it’s you. [Laughs]”
On whether he would ever return to JOURNEY:
Steve: “No. I think that we’ve gone on our separate ways and we’re doing great. Arnel [Pineda] is a great singer and he’s been in the band for ten years, but yeah, I don’t think that’s where I’m at right now. It took forever for me to find the passion for music again because I felt it was kind of damaged. I thought I would never feel that love again for music, so I had to walk. Now that I’ve found that again — I have so many other songs ready to be recorded.”
On whether he’s prepared for all the questions about his comeback:
Steve: “We’ve been doing these questions, but they’re the questions at the particular moment. I’m okay answering the questions. It’s time to talk about all of this stuff because I have been invisible for 30 years. If there’s ever a time to talk about it, it’s probably now.”
On his voice:
Steve: “It feels good. Of course [there was rust]. Like you were asking me a second ago, the voice was cold when I first started. It was rough. I went, ‘Whoa, I need to do some work on this.’ I gotta tell you: I have decided to take that pressure off of me because I’m just an older guy in a new world. I still have hair. [Laughs] I’ve decided to take the pressure off because I just want the material that I was writing to have an opportunity to be the best it could be for it is unto itself. So, every song I treat so differently. Like ‘No Erasin”, it’s a song about a reunion where these people go to this reunion and they hook up for the first time. I don’t mean ‘hook up’ — I mean start talking. They go outside and talk about what they used to be in high school and they go part where they used to park and smooch and they go in the backseat of her car. It’s about reconnecting with the past and there’s no erasin’. You can’t get rid of those feelings. You might think you can, but guess what, everywhere you go, honey, there you are. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s about that. Every one of the songs, ‘No Erasin”, ‘No More Crying’, which might be coming some time soon, they all have their own respective demands. And vocally, I kinda kept doing what I thought they needed.”
“Traces” will be released on October 5 via Fantasy Records (a division of Concord Records/UMG). The disc marks Perry‘s first solo album since 1994’s “For The Love Of Strange Medicine”.
Perry‘s final full concert with JOURNEY took place in early 1987. He later rejoined his bandmates for a brief performance in 1991 to honor late concert promoter Bill Graham. He also appeared with JOURNEY when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2005.
The singer was inducted, alongside his old band, at the 2017 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.