With JOURNEY releasing new album this year, all eyes are on their singer Arnel Pineda.
It was reported by the band that Pineda has been struggling with live shows and the problem has been resolved by recruiting a vocal coach to help Pineda adopt a more efficient approach to singing.
This was addressed by drummer Dean Castronovo in a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock.
Here’s what Dean said:
“He’s been struggling, and we brought a vocal coach out who is fantastic. He came out and was coaching Arnel with how to deliver a little bit differently. A lot of it was mental as well as physical, but once we got [a new] soundman and once things got turned down and he was able to hear, [everything was different]. To think that he’s been struggling with this for 14 years, he said. I had no idea. I think it was something that he didn’t know if he had the liberty to say, ‘Hey, I need to fix this’ or ‘You guys need to try something different here,’ either get a new soundman or whatever. But once we got this guy, Tom, everything changed. He’s a different guy. [Pineda’s] a different guy. Oh, my God, it blew us away. I think it’s been 15 shows since that [change], and every night, he sounds amazing.
“Before, he was always trying his best and he would get there, but it was just him not being able to hear. Once they got that fixed, you can see the weight lifted off the kid. He’s just happy again. He and I are goofing around onstage, probably more than we should. [Laughs] We were goofing off all night because it’s just like a weight has been lifted. To have that kind of pressure stuck on you and not knowing what to do, it’s like, ‘How come I can’t do this?’ That’s what it took.”
Dean further talked about Pineda’s vocals on the upcoming album, saying:
“It’s definitely not your typical Journey [music] or ‘Escape’, ‘Frontiers’, or even ‘Revelation’. Arnel’s vocals on this … . There are songs on there, I was listening and going, ‘Who is that singing?’ I really did. I forget what the song was, but [I thought] that doesn’t even sound like Arnel, because he took it to a totally different place. I never knew that he could sing like that. He had that really bluesy, thick and syrupy blues thing. He’s really come into his own. It sounds amazing. He’s definitely not the Steve Perry clone. He’s made this stuff his own.”