Cheapest Audition Ever: Journey Searches YouTube, Finds New Lead Singer

Stereogum | December 6, 2007 - 11:12 am

Meet the Philippines’ Arnel Pineda (that’s “pin-eh-da”), the most recent man responsible for encouraging those wonderful YouTubes of nobodys covering somebodys we all love so. Journey’s needed a lead singer, and guitarist Neal Schon told Blabbermouth:

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. 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.

The Zoo is Arnel’s band, who’ve been rocking Journey covers and originals for years and, of course, posting ‘em to YouTube. Neal called Arnel, Arnel called bullshit followed by promptly losing his shit when Schon confirmed it all via email: Arnel had received a formal invitation to be the new lead singer of Journey. Pineda’s wise to the ways of überfans — gotta figure he’s one himself — and he’s “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.” That said, he does seem to stick to Perry’s stylings pretty, yep, faithfully.

The band’s stoked, citing great chemistry and Arnel’s big smile and warm heart and so on. It’s just a cute story and he’s got a great voice so we have no takedown angle on this one. Congrats, Pin-eh-da. This is what happens when you … don’t stop believin’? (Terrible.) Seriously though, bet he gets pretty emotional when they tour that tune. Journey’s working on a new album for ’08 with Kevin Shirley.

Tags: Journey