Rock Impressions

INTERVIEW WITH JOURNEY (italian version)
by Giancarlo Bolther

Red 13 was a real surprise to me, new look, new graphic, new sound, new format, small distribution, selfproduction..., we have enough to speak about, what would you say?
Basically it was off the cuff. It was not something that we planned, just sort of came about natureally, and I can say we had a lot of fun experimenting in new territories.

Why only a four song miniCD?
Because it was not planned to be a full CD. There was nothing planned in general. We felt like having something new to play live and we all felt it served it's propose. As the songs that we did play, "State Of Grace", and "The Time", went over very well live, which was what it was written for, live performance, not radio.

Can you tell us about the new songs and where did you find the ispiration to write them?
Basically yearning for something new and energized to play for our fans. Ya know, to liven up the show. Also, the into "Red 13" to "State of Grace" was on our Live DVD from Las Vegas. Coming on to the stage to this nightly, I envisioned after awhile using the same into but recording a new song that would come right after it. Which is what we did on our last tour. And received a great welcome from our fans. "The Time" was inspired by a 6/8 rhythm, which we had never touched upon. So I particularly loved the time signature in this song. And from the feed back on this song, you either love it or you hate it. I personally love playing it live. "Walking Away from the Edge" was a power ballad that I had a lot of music to, before we had decided what the song would be about. We all thought it should be about something other than your typical love song. It felt deeper than that. So we wrote about feelings within ones self. "I Can Breathe" was basically a song that we wrote for Arrival that never got by our label at the time. I always liked the song, so I re-wrote the guitar section, added some horns to it, tried to make ti a bit funkier, and there you have it. I find this very hard to talk about with music, as it is usually always about a feeling.

Are you satisfied with the new record? How are going the responses?
This is a tough question. Sound wise, no I am not satisfied because we never really intended to put this out on the market. We didn't have a huge budget. Which makes a big difference in any record..........actually, we had no budget. I think Jon and I have taken a lot of heat on this record about the sound of it. But, considering that we thought it would never make it to the stores, I'm fine with it. When we sell out of all of the CD's that we do have. I would love to bring in someone and have them re-mix it. Possibly Kevin Elson, he knows us very well. The only record that I have ever produced, that the sound turned out the way I imagined it was Hardline, it was a fun record to make, because I got to my songs to completely live the way I wanted to hear them. Thanks to the engineer Tony Phillips, how did an amazing job of engineering and mixing. I'd love to work with him some more.

You have choose Frontiers, an italian distributor, for Europe, why?
Of course..because I'm Italian, Deen is Italian, and Steve is Italian.

Red 13 pursuit Arrival and both have a new sound, what kind of music do you want to make today?
Yea, uh-huh. Somewhere in between what Journey has ben known for and the non restrictions that Red 13 entailed us to have.

Which emotions have you felt with your come back?
Which one??? I no idea I had a come back! Please inform me. I'm just happy playing!

Where would you place your new record in today's scene?
I threw a left hand curve at the rest of the guys. I take full responsibility for this left hand curve. But I fucking love it. I was finally unleashed from being controlled by Sony. So, sometimes you free like a kid in a candy store, you say 'I want some of this, and I want some of that...and I don't want to listen to any of your crap.

Augeri has a great voice, but he really reminds to Perry, why have you choose him, don't you fear that people will prefer the original singer (fans usually do that)?
Steve Perry has always been an amazing singer, and probably always will be. Steve Augeri just happened to have the same timber in his voice when I happen to hear him in Tall Stories. Which let me know that he could convey our songs to our fans. Entirely two different singers. One wants to work and one doesn't.

The last album Arrival was afflicted by Napster, what is you opinion today about that?
My opinion today is that I don't give a fuck all about CD' opinion today is about playing live, which is something that people cannot download. Live is where it's at. And if you have to have a rememberence of the songs live, then DVD is where it's at. Not everybody has a DVD burner yet, but still the way I look at it now, is live performance is where it's at because nobody can download it. And if you're worth a shit, people will come to see you live. That is the state of the industry is up in the air.

In the eighties your music were very popular with huge audiencies, but today melodic rock became quite underground, is this a strange situation for you? Do you like this?
I feel very good about it. Because it actually not as bad as you think. We've been doing much greater business live, than most people that are on MTV constantly, or on the radio constantly. So, at this point, it occurs to me that we have a built in audience.....and that we have paid our dues. And we'll continue kicking ass as long as they come to see us.

How do you feel about the new bands and the new genres, are you interested in today's music?
I love Coldplay, for the simplicity, for the power of majestic simplicity. I love the Dixie Chicks, for being sincere to there country roots, which is much like a blues player or listener being sincere to Albert King.......the king of all blues. Him and B.B. were my mentors. No Doubt brings a refreshing side of "I will fucking do what I want, and you will like it." I love Gwen Steffani, I think she sings amazingly well and sells everything she tackles.

Which memories about the eighties do you like best to remember?
The amazing shows that we had together as a band. They were truly amazing. The comradery that we felt together on stage. When we worked together, it was the most powerful feeling ever.

What does it mean for you to play rock music again after so much time?
It felt no different to me than just picking up the guitar everyday. I just got back from playing some new music for my band mates today. Musically I am all over the place. I have a new solo record "Eye On You" that's been finished for three years, that is being mixed right now, that will be released on Higher Octave Records. I am currently on my 47th song that I have been compiling, the material is all over the map, and it's very interesting. It's moving me.

You have a lot of experience in the music world, what has this tought you?
Believe in yourself, and where you want to take your own music. Try not to let anyone else interview in it. That's about all I can say, things have changed radically.

You have collaborated with great musicians, who are the ones that impressed you best?
Jan Hammer is the first on my list. Absolutely the most amazing musician I've ever played with. Also the most frightening musician I've ever played with. Albert King is my all time blues favorite. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Les Paul.......these are the guys that really moved me, and I had the honor of playing with them. John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Brian Setzer, Slash, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson.......all of these guys are truly the best of what they do.

Which have been the darkest moments of your career?
We need not go into's more of a personal thing. Which I would consider to be very boring for readers.

At this point of your carreer which are the projects that you still want to realize?
I really want to do movie sound tracks. I feel that a lot of my solo records that I have done in the past, could have been an opening eye for someone to notice them. I feel that I can wright music, for a feeling of what I am looking at on a screen in a second. Now I have been working with Gibson with this new 8.0 guitar, which makes me want to go there even more. I've got great ideas for this guitar.........if they choose to take me on to develop it. I'll make it the most modern, state of availability that a guitarist has to his fingertips.

What we can expect from Journey for the future?
I think that we are going to find a happy medium, now that we are not controlled by a company anymore. Between experimentation and where we have always been. Which is good melodic rock. I think a combination of Red 13 and Escape is in order. Which is pretty much what Frontiers was that day in age. Not afraid to take a chance, but knowing where the roots of the band are.

A salute to your italian fans?
Thank you for your support, thank you for your inspiration as a country. I appreciate everything that comes from Italy....being that I am half Italian myself. Thank God for Italian food and wine! Chow!

Thank you for the interview.


Review (in italian): Red 13, Generations

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