Journey founder and lead guitar player Neal Schon says not much has changed in his rocky relationship with his bandmates, particularly keyboardist Jonathan Cain, since last summer.
Schon and Cain have reportedly been at odds for the past few years over politics and religion and the place those things have in Journey.
"It's in the same place," Schon told Eddie Trunk of his relationship with Cain. "It's been sort of the same for a while — I would say, like, the last two years. And so I just put my head in my own space, and I'm really there to play live for our fans. It's about the music and it's about the fans — it's not about anything else that's going on inside."
The guitarist was furious over a public White House visit Cain, bassist Ross Valory and singer Arnel Pineda made last summer, and he let the world know about via his social media accounts.
Schon said the visit was an underhanded attempt by Cain at endorsing the Trump Administration in the name of Journey. He added that Journey was invited to the White House more than once during the Obama years and always declined for fear of appearing to make a political endorsement.
Schon launched several tirades against Cain via social media last summer during Journey's tour with Asia. He accused Cain of everything from trying to discredit his songwriting contributions to trying to polarize the Journey fan base.
"Journey should never be used and exploited by anyone, especially band members for politics or any one religion," Schon wrote on Facebook last year. "I've been here since 1972 and this has always been our belief."
Cain, a born-again Christian whose televangelist wife has close ties to the Trump administration, has reportedly tried to shepherd the band in a more faith-based direction. But Schon says Journey has always tried to appeal to fans, regardless of their personal beliefs.
When asked by Trunk why the guitarist aired out the band's dirty laundry via social media, Schon said management wasn't making any progress and his other bandmates didn't want to get involved. He thought it was better to be completely open with the world.
"I have a lot of faith in the fans. And I wasn't getting a lot of help anywhere else," he said.
"I'm gonna open it up and I'm gonna talk to the fans themselves and I'm gonna get their opinion," he added. "And so now they've spoken, and I feel really good about what I'm doing. I feel like I got, you know… 99.9 percent [of the] fans are understanding where I'm at, so it's a good thing."
Despite the drama, Schon says Journey's upcoming tour with Def Leppard will be magical every night for the fans.
"We are definitely gonna bring it, I know, 'cause [the band's disagreements have] nothing to do with the way that we play," he said. "We get along perfectly musically most of the time. It was a lot of different changes in the outside thing and people's personal lives that, you know, I'm somewhere else. So, yeah, it's gonna be fine."
The 58-city Journey/Def Leppard co-headlining tour kicks off May 21 in Hartford, Connecticut. Tickets go on sale beginning Saturday, February 3, at LiveNation.com.
Schon and Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott have been on the road, doing interviews to promote the tour. You can watch their full interview with Q104.3 New York's Jim Kerr below!
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