“'I was frustrated about not having a singer,' explains guitarist Neal Schon, '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. 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.”
The band is currently prepping for a summer of touring and even recording a new disc with famed Producer, Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Rush), according to the Blabbermouth.net news item, Journey Scheduled To Open Virtual World In Second Life:
"On February 1, multi-platinum rockers Journey will release their new Virtual Island in Second Life. A grand opening party is planned inside Second Life at the 'Journey Rock Band' sim and will feature a meet-and-greet with band members. Live DJs will be spinning many of Journey's classic hits, recorded studio and live performances, as well as lots of other great music for fans to party to! The grand opening party is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. ET/PT. The Journey Island region in Second Life is named 'Journey Rock Band'."
Finding their new singer through YouTube, playing around in Virtual Worlds, making new music, and still touring. Love their music or hate their music, I find it refreshing to see bands like Journey embracing the Social Media channels and doing/trying whatever they can to stay engaged with their audiences and connecting more people to their music. I hope the major label record companies are watching. Even the classic rock bands are figuring this new world out.
I'm duly impressed. And yes, this guy can sing: