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.

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Comments (126)
  1. Jeff  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    I just think this is a great, great story. Made even better by the fact here you have what seems to be a honest, hard-working guy singing covers in what look likes a not-so-well-attended hotel ballroom or whatever it is, and actually sounding incredible. I think the fact he sounds so much like Steve Perry is what makes this work, because that voice itself is so much of what Journey is…wish him all the best.

  2. Finally, the sequel to Mark Wahlberg’s “Rock Star” the world was waiting for.

  3. dannygutters  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    But what is KISS up to these days?

  4. Skatelip  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    I’m kind of speechless. That guy’s voice kicks tremendous amounts of ass and he doesn’t seem to have the benefit of an adoring audience helping to jack up his adrenaline. I grew up in the vortex of Journey as the non-stop radio/arena entity and without watching the video I’m not sure I would have pegged him as someone other than Steve Perry. No shame in that. Jeff is right that the sound is a necessary component to making that band. The best part is he sounds like SP 25 years ago which means he probably has some life left in those vocal chords.

  5. Observer  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    Absolutely Skatelip, holy shit, that kid can sing. What a great voice.

  6. sussbomb  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    dude has got some pipes…

  7. hank  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    fuckin-A.

  8. d.  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    wasn’t there a movie about this? marky mark, jennifer anniston… hmmmm! :)

  9. Roger  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    Incredible voice. This is a cute story.

  10. brendan  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    Ummm… wasn’t this the same thing Judas Priest did except without the internet?

  11. historyman68  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2007 0

    What about his old (cover)band? Now that the real Journey wants him, they’re all chopped liver?

  12. comparing his accent before he starts singing, and then his incredible voice… it’s kaufmanesque.

  13. One of the coolest things I’ve heard in eons. Suffice to say that Filipinos are reared with their mom’s teet in one hand and a karaoke microphone in the other. They may have an accent they’re not able to shake, but they’ve get better practice at classic rock than all the drunken frat boys in America.

    This story just rules. It’s like Elvis’ old band contacting one of the impersonators out there and saying, “Yeah, since the King’s no longer around, how about you fill in for him for now? Because, well, you’re the best we’ve heard.” Eh, more or less.

  14. he’s not a kid though, he’s almost 40. he-he

  15. dragnz  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2007 0

    Filipinos by nature tries very hard to get along and not offend, gratitude is big in the culture.

  16. Jenna  |   Posted on Dec 11th, 2007 0

    Wow. Just Wow.
    When I heard this story my first reaction was no way can anyone compare to Steve Perry. Then I went onto youtube and saw this guy. Man was I wrong. He is unbelieveable.
    I would buy tickets to see Journey in a heartbeat now.
    Way to go Arnel!

  17. All Ears  |   Posted on Dec 11th, 2007 0

    Certainly a good voice with soul, but technically he’s stretching for those higher notes rather than nailing them. Perry prided himself on his perfection in hitting his notes with all the soul he could muster. Augeri unfortunately could never quite find the notes. He was horribly off note when I saw him live three summers ago. My wife and kept looking at each other thinking, this guy is a lead singer? His throat problems likely contributed to it.

  18. tony  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2007 0

    Yeh…incredible…unbelievable…just like the movie rockstar…

  19. Russ  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2007 0

    Arnel’s voice perfectly fits with the JOURNEY’s music. I just hope that Arnel withstand the negativity others might thrown at him. I knew him but not personally because I was an avid fan of his old band “The AMO Band” way back in the 80′s at Olongapo City, Philippines. I knew how he took care of his amazing voice. He’s not abusive and he talked to us in falsetto voice as to not damage his vocal chords during regular conversations. I wish you luck with your new Journey Arnel. Godspeed!

  20. TowandaRox  |   Posted on Dec 23rd, 2007 0

    I have loved Steve Perry since I was 10 years old. Absolutely ADORE him. I have also been lucky to meet every member of Journey throughout the years, including Steve Perry twice in person—I’ve even met Augeri too—I’m one of those old “diehard” fans who used to be a member of the fan club and got those newsletters every month, and tickets and backstage passes to various shows—I followed them around a bit…a groupie, you might say…though fully clothed.

    So when I stumbled on this information while trying to find the rare wav file of “O Holy Night” by Journey, (which I haven’t found yet, anybody out there got it? send me an email if you do!), I was BLOWN AWAY…absolutely FLOORED…no WAY this guy can top Steve Perry of course, but my GAWD he’s GOT IT.

    He’s truly GOT IT folks…after a lukewarm reception by Augeri, who couldn’t hit the high notes and couldn’t remember all the lyrics, (though he tried very hard and gets an A for his efforts), the poor guy just sang words…he didn’t really FEEL IT, he wasn’t SINCERE in singing it…he didn’t have THE MAGIC like Steve Perry—and THAT is the problem Journey has been having since Perry walked away. Perry had a comraderie with the audience, he had some sexy dance moves, he could headbang and rock and do some wicked vocal styles that nobody can ever match—but this guy, I believe, is going to go very far.

    He’s got the CHUTZPAH, he’s got the PIPES, he’s got the SOUL that it takes to do Journey songs—I predict that he will revive this band like no other singer has—he will put Journey back on the map. I am SO GLAD Neal Schon knows how to use a computer. I really thought all he was good for was marrying and divorcing women, and holding a guitar, but now I bow to him and kiss his toes for finding this guy, and God Bless Journey for getting back the MAGIC.

    Don’t blow it this time guys. We still believe in you. Three’s a charm.

    And Steve Perry, if you’re reading this, even if you hate this new kid, he’s gonna keep lining your pockets for many years to come, so be nice to him and keep your fingers in the pie my friend. You deserve every respect, homage and honor that this guy feels in his heart and soul when he sings your music.

    —TowandaRox

    • angie  |   Posted on Mar 27th, 2008 0

      that’s a great piece ! makes me laugh on Neal Divorces…thanks for that insight…..

      • joebal  |   Posted on Apr 20th, 2008 0

        You make me smile. You know I would like to be Neal Schon shoes marrying and divorccing women.lol Really this guy is really good and admire journey more becasue Arnel.

      • joebal  |   Posted on Apr 20th, 2008 0

        You make me smile. You know I would like to be Neal Schon shoes marrying and divorccing women.lol Really this guy is really good and admire journey more becasue Arnel.

    • JULIE  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

      TowandaRox, you’ve said it! I wish every Pineda naysayers can read your post. It’s not about how much he sounds like Perry or not, but it’s the heart and soul that Arnel put into the singing that impressed me and makes me want to see Journey live again after I saw Auguerri in San Francisco’s Warfield show (that one was a good show, even though Auguerri’s voice was a bit too sweet and soft. You are right, Journey shall rise again and get even more fans now internationally with Arnel.

    • emhiljohn  |   Posted on Aug 13th, 2008 0

      nice. comment there, good reading!, i ‘d say more entertaining than watching the posted youtube clip.

    • Kidstud  |   Posted on Sep 9th, 2008 0

      I’ve read the comment you posted last 12/23/07 on Stereogum “Cheapest Audition by Journey” which struck me as the earliest ever prediction for the New Journey. Remarkably, you have predicted what exactly is happening now with the band with this new guy Arnel Pineda – revived with sold out concerts in the US! WOW! And to be one die hard fan of the original J, you did not dish AP at all but accepted Neal et. al.’s decision with their controversial pick.
      I was just really amazed with your piece that I decided to comment on it. Now, if you can just kindly let me know when to buy my winning lottery ticket let me know.

  21. kLeigh  |   Posted on Dec 31st, 2007 0

    Holy crap, this guy is good… there were shivers running up and down my spine. He’s right when he says there’s only one Steve Perry, but he sounds pretty close to me! Good for him for getting to be lead singer of Journey, he deserves it!

  22. gibemalt  |   Posted on Jan 2nd, 2008 0

    Freakin’s#1t! Pineda deserves a chance to be heard.Back in 1985-88 in Subic Bay/Olongapo City P.I. I heard him sing at least 2 hours each night every weekend in a local bar doing cover versions of Journey,Queen,Heart,Toto and all other power ballad bands.He’s voice is like a chameleon.He was w/ The AMO band then..this guy have more than enough heart/talent/and genuine appreciation for his local FANS(for lack of a better word).He made U.S. based bands tangible to Filipinos and more importantly to U.S. G.I.’s who are out on RnR’s.in Olongapo City (Subic was the biggest American base out of U.S.)making them feel like home. Welcome to the U.S. Bro.!

  23. RIck  |   Posted on Jan 8th, 2008 0

    I just can’t wait to see them at the Festival de Viña del Mar in Chile!!!! – I would have never gone…after so many lead singer changes I had “stopped believing” in the band…but as they were coming here…I went…well…what can I lose if I youtube “Arnel Pineda” ..and I was absolutely blown away–finally someone who could fit the bill. My jaw dropped my eyes popped. I couldn’t believe my ears…It was Journey with a twist alright…from that minute on…I knew I couldn’t miss their performance at the Festival..furthermore..I think they’re singing in one of the posh casinos here…I might even get front seat tickets for that …after all I’ve been waiting for so long for this moment….and who cares about the accent!! Let him sing…

    • Julie  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

      So did you go to Vina Del Mar festival? I saw the it in the YouTube and it was awesome. The chemistry between Arnel and the band was tangible. Good o days are here again!

  24. Old_Yeller  |   Posted on Jan 11th, 2008 0

    All Ears says “Perry prided himself on his perfection in hitting his notes with all the soul he could muster”

    You mean Perry in the Studio with all the enhancements yes, but “live” like in this video clip, I don’t think so. Pineda didn’t win The Best vocalist at the World Band Explosion back 2 back in 1987/1988 at Budokan Hall in Japan for nothing. The very same venue where this Journey gig was held. Note how he’s straining himself and practically whispering for the most part with neck veins to boot as the instruments drowned the “Voice” out. For lack of anything to compare it with, back then it WAS magical. You folks be the judge. Here’s the link…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU_XCpC6HdE

    P.S. If Arnel sounds good now. It’s kinda scary to speculate how he might have sounded in his younger yrs.

  25. DEl  |   Posted on Jan 11th, 2008 0

    HEY! I like this site, No Flames. All I can say is…He is very very very good in singing.
    Good luck Arnel!

  26. smartradio  |   Posted on Jan 13th, 2008 0

    The negative comments about Journey?s new lead singer mounts a lot spewing foul-smelling and trash-talking mouths out there!

    They?re doing tons of nonsense blabbering everywhere because of one thing. THE DEMANDS OF THESE SICK RACIST CREATURES WERE NOT MET! IT?S LIKE REVIVING A ROTTING CORPSE FROM THE GRAVE! LOL..! Sounds funny but they really are!

    I know Steve Perry is a great lead vocalist but he can no longer tour for health reasons, et al. Can these sick people who are questioning the band?s decision just shut up for a while and let the band prove themselves again? YOU GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO THAT JUST WASTING YOUR TIME CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK!

  27. JReed  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2008 0

    I agree with you all: let’s give the new man a chance.

  28. kvaltoz nvltz swixvbut jxipwfk zchwjod iwvxy wpanfoqis

  29. rOCKStar  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2008 0

    I studied both STEVE PERRY and ARNEL PINEDA

    STEVE PERRY is very good and the original

    ARNEL PINEDA is awesome and incomparable

    both are good but S.P is the past and A. P. is the future

    that’s why they are called JOURNEY coz the JOURNEY continues…

    NEIL MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE…HE IS WISE IN MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION…ARNEL IS THE MAN

  30. rOCKStar  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2008 0

    ARNEL PINEDA IS BETTER THAN STEVE PERRY IN THIS PRESENT DAYS…

    LET THEM BOTH SING IN THE BAND…LET SEE WHO’S BETTER

    OPEN YOUR EYES AND EARS…

    ARNEL IS THE MAN! YEAH!

  31. rOCKStar  |   Posted on Feb 17th, 2008 0

    ARNEL PINEDA IS BETTER THAN STEVE PERRY IN THIS PRESENT DAYS…

    LET THEM BOTH SING IN THE BAND…LET SEE WHO’S BETTER

    OPEN YOUR EYES AND EARS…

    ARNEL IS THE MAN! YEAH!

  32. 1venutian  |   Posted on Feb 22nd, 2008 0

    Check out this latest youtube video of the recent Journey show in Chile
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_qvhRMk2mM
    Just goes to show how well Arnel did. He’s proven some of us right … that after Steve Perry, he’s the one to revive Journey and go farther with the band. The crowd that night seemed ambivalent with the new frontman. He sure worked them up. Made me wish I was there. Can’t wait to see them live in my corner of the world (Southern Cali.)

  33. padz  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2008 0

    hi guys!

    try to search Journey Chile at youtube.. Judge it yourself..

    Happy viewing

  34. paola  |   Posted on Feb 25th, 2008 0

    we love in chile thank for coming and thank for live . paola

  35. DonnT  |   Posted on Feb 25th, 2008 0

    I love SP, enjoyed Aguirre’s DVD, never heard Soto, AP drove me nuts. Can’t stay out of YouTube for 1 day. Forget the accent, if any, just think of Pavaroti singing My Way, or Julio Iglesias singing Always on my Mind. Both have serious accent, but sounds good. AP is the lead vocalist of Journey… what else can anyone say? Give him time on his accent, he’ll get better one day, with better grammar too. I would not be surprise if one day Journey will compose a song with English, Japanese, & Tagalog lyrics. POSSIBLE…. Just like STYX….remember… Mr. Roboto…. and the The Lettermen…

  36. okabe  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2008 0

    SP—>”THE VOICE”
    AP—>”THE REAL VOICE”

  37. xaxecha  |   Posted on Mar 6th, 2008 0

    They say music is a universal language. Here’s one who can really express it.

  38. bill farley  |   Posted on Mar 13th, 2008 0

    There is one reason, and one reason only that Steve Perry is not in Journey. His voice is shot. God bless him. The guy laid it out every night he performed. He will go down as one of the greatest rock vocalist of all time. It happens to some singers as they get older and the years of touring take there toll (Robert Plant, Ian Gillan etc.)
    Give this guy (Arnel) a break. Like one person said,”It’s a journey”. Let them go as long as they can. Hell we’re all gonna be worm food to soon as it is. If you don’t like the guy, don’t by any of there stuff or go to any concerts.

  39. Wow! What a voice! I can fully relate to the comment by DonnT above. I can’t go a day without dropping by youtube to hear Arnel sing. Does anyone have a clue whether or not Journey will be coming to Toronto, Canada any time soon? In the mean time I can hardly wait for the CD release. Just listening to him gives me goosebumps…Rock on Arnel, rock on Journey! I still love Steve Perry’s versions of their popular hits as well, but he’s now retired and the past, where Arnel is now the future of Journey. So to all the detractors out there, just bugger off and give the guy a chance!

  40. Juan  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2008 0

    Arnel Pineda really has a GREAT voice. I’m sure he doesn’t measure up to SP but he is doing everything he can to at least live up to everyone’s[the fans] HIGH expectations..com’on,give my fellow Filipino a break. He’s still human you know. And I’m proud to say that he’s not boasting here in the Philippines about being the Journey’s new lead vocalist…And why do you care so much about the accent anyway?it doesn’t affect his singing does it?Keep it up ARNEL!Your kababayans are just here, always ready to support you.God bless..

  41. Danielle  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2008 0

    AWESOME! He’s got pipes!

  42. Nobody should be comparing the two singers…. Both Steve and Arnel are phenomenal in stage presence and vocal ability. Please save your not-so-nice comments to yourself and stop being a ‘hater’. (warm smile)

  43. diana  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

    Arnel can never replace Steve Perry; just imitate him as he imitates so many other bands,like heart,aerosmith,zepplin etc and he sounds awesome he can sing but can he truly do well touring and singing for thousands of fans instead of hundreds, only time will tell. replace steve never steve is origional and a true legend and im sure Arnel agrees…good luck arnel and god bless.

  44. diana  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

    Arnel can never replace Steve Perry; just imitate him as he imitates so many other bands,like heart,aerosmith,zepplin etc and he sounds awesome he can sing but can he truly do well touring and singing for thousands of fans instead of hundreds, only time will tell. replace steve never steve is origional and a true legend and im sure Arnel agrees…good luck arnel and god bless.

  45. diana  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

    Arnel can never replace Steve Perry; just imitate him as he imitates so many other bands,like heart,aerosmith,zepplin etc and he sounds awesome he can sing but can he truly do well touring and singing for thousands of fans instead of hundreds, only time will tell. replace steve never steve is origional and a true legend and im sure Arnel agrees…good luck arnel and god bless.

    • bungangaraw & partner  |   Posted on May 3rd, 2008 0

      Arnel is not imitating anybody. All those you mentioned happened to have voices similar to his. And if he is imitating them, isn´t it an awesome snf remarkable talent to be able to almost perfectly sing like them? Do you know anybody who could do that better? Could these singers ape Arnel in return?

      bungangaraw & partner

      • diana  |   Posted on May 10th, 2008 0

        A cover band singer practices mimicking lead singers cause thats what they do best,Im not saying Arnels not good but Steve paved the way for arnel to study the VOICE which is steve perry.Most of the journey songs were written and made for steves voice and yes anything else is just an imitation version. Steve will always be original and untouched,he is truly a legend…

        • Julie  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

          I agree Diana that Steve Perry is a legend. However, I still want to hear Journey’s music LIVE because they are one of the best Live bands out there and Arnel is also a good LIVE performer unlike other singers out there nowadays. I’m glad Neal is smart enough to get a good singer like Arnel because he will help move Journey forward with his Chamelon voice. Together the band can makegood music again.

  46. JAYNE  |   Posted on Apr 17th, 2008 0

    iCANT WAIT TO SEE JOURNEY IN PERSON IN JULY HERE IN OKLAHOMA AT AN OUTDOOR ARENA, IT WILL BE GREAT FUN. I WILL ONLY ANTICIPATE THAT THE BAND WILL HAVE A NEW SOUND, THERE IS ONLY ONE STEVE PERRY(I SAW JOURNEY TWICE BACK IN THE DAY WITH PERRY AS THE LEAD) WOW WHAT A BREAK AP HAS GOTTEN AND I WISH HIM THE BEST ON HIS NEW”JOURNEY” IN LIFE….SEE YOU IN JULY

    • JULIE  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

      Me TOO! My hubby and I will see them here in good o southern California. It’s good to live in the present and not dwell in the past like other people.

  47. Perry  |   Posted on Apr 21st, 2008 0

    I love AP. Can’t help but spend hours on the tube. his voice is phenominal. You can feel and be touched by his singing. It is out of this world. I can’t wait for his CD & video.

    perry

    • kris  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2008 0

      Since I didn’t see Journey’s concert 2008, I just watched them on youtube and couldn’t stop watching it. Hope they will continue with their success especially now with the new singer, AP.

  48. sarah  |   Posted on Apr 23rd, 2008 0

    Arnel still performs with The Zoo, and he also sings for Journey. He was just on TFC (the Filipino channel) performing with The Zoo. :)

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