Internet darling YouTube has done everything from expose police brutality to change political elections, so why can’t it help a band find a new singer? Pop rock legends Journey found out the video channel can do just that, as the band used it to find a new lead singer, Arnel Pineda. Journey is currently working on a new album with producer Kevin Shirley, which they hope to release by next spring/summer with a tour to follow.
Pineda replaces Jeff Scott Soto, who parted ways with the band earlier this year after stepping in for Steve Augeri, who had to leave the band in 2006 for medical reasons. Arnel hails from Quezon City in the Philippines and has been singing Journey songs–in addition to original material–with his band, The Zoo, for the past couple of years in clubs all over his homeland.
“It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world,” Arnel said in a statement. “It’ll be a lot of hard work on my part, and I’m actually looking forward to the scrutiny I’ll get from the hardcore Journey fans. I know they’ll expect me to sound exactly like ‘the voice’ (Steve Perry), but that will never happen. I know there’s only one Steve Perry in this world.”
Guitarist Neal Schon wanted someone new to the music business, so he turned to YouTube, and after seeing a clip of Arnel singing “Faithfully,” he knew he had found the perfect frontman.
“I was frustrated about not having a singer, so I went on YouTube for a couple of days and just sat on it for hours,” Schon said in a statement. “I was starting to think I was never going to find anybody. But then I found The Zoo and I watched a bunch of different video clips that they had posted. After watching the videos over and over again, I had to walk away from the computer and let what I heard sink in because it sounded too good to be true. I thought, ‘he can’t be that good.’ But he is that good, he’s the real deal and so tremendously talented. Arnel doesn’t sound synthetic and he’s not emulating anyone. I tried to get a hold of him through YouTube and I finally heard from him that night, but it took some convincing to get him to believe that it really was me and not an imposter.”