Arnel Pineda: Journey to go on a hiatus after 2016


ARNEL says he sees himself living a simple life after his singing stint is over— having his own little farm and being a great cook.

In our recent interview with Arnel Pineda, lead vocalist of the American band Journey since late 2007, he said that he and his band mates Neal Schon, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo and Jonathan Cain might go on a hiatus after 2016. Whether the group would continue touring after the break, Arnel said was still uncertain. “It will depend on the demand,” he pointed out.

But Arnel didn’t look worried in the slightest. He knows that the opportunity of fronting an iconic rock band only comes once in a blue moon, and certainly doesn’t last forever. Once his stint is over, Arnel said he sees himself living a simple life—having his own little farm and being a great cook. And if a good opportunity comes along, “why not pursue a career in the Philippines?” he added.

But right now, Journey is busier than ever. After doing a couple of shows in Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and Australia earlier this year, Journey marched on a series of gigs in the United Kingdom and Germany, which started last May 16. Needless to say, Arnel is determined to savor every show and song onstage.

Excerpts from Inquirer’s interview with Arnel at his recent launch as the ambassador of Puregold’s “Tindahan ni Aling Puring” campaign:

How do you prepare yourself for touring?

I stay away from dairy products and oily food. My diet consists of fruits, vegetables and alternative sources of protein such as tofu. I try to avoid gaining weight as much as possible because it hinders my performance onstage. Touring demands so much energy.

I make sure to go to the gym, get enough sleep and have a complete voice rest. I only start talking an hour or two before a show.

Will you be promoting new stuff in this tour? Any follow-up to “Revelation” (2008) and “Eclipse” (2011)?

We’re just doing shows this time. But we’re convincing our guitarist (Schon) to come up with a new album.

What’s the best part of being on tour?

Just being onstage and seeing people have a good time. It’s so incredible performing in front of 10,000-15,000 people singing along, and giving off great energy. And going to different places, you see different types of crowd and reception.

How about the worst part?

The downside is being away from my family. I get sad and depressed at times. I also hate it when I lose my voice.

How do you deal with your acid reflux?

There was a time when I had to cancel around five shows because I lost my voice due to acid reflux. Being with Journey, I get introduced to very good doctors and specialists. I’m managing the condition with proper medication.

Do you celebrate every successful show?

Yeah, we have wine or champagne. No more hard drinks though—I’m over those!

You were supposed to have a concert here last March 21. Why was it canceled?

It was because of sluggish ticket sales. And I think it was just wrong timing—kids were graduating and people were preparing for Holy Week. Hopefully we can do it in 2015 or earlier. This year and the next are already packed.

You mentioned that the band’s going on a hiatus after 2016? Will you resume touring after?

We’re going to finish our commitments with [entertainment company] Live Nation Entertainment… It depends if there’s still a demand for us to be up onstage. And if there’s clamor from fans for us to perform in different places, then we’ll go out.

What will you do during the band’s hiatus?

I’m working on a solo album. I already have 12 songs which I’ve recorded in my home studio. I’ll try to promote that.

How did you find the documentary “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey”?

Well, medyo nandiri kasi ’di naman tayo artista.  Haha! They even showed me getting a massage. Nag-Coco Martin ako! But it was great! I believe it would inspire artists and musicians who are losing hope that they could succeed, and that miracles could happen. I actually want to turn it into a film.

So are you working on it right now?

I’m talking with investors at the moment. But I have a hard time finding an actor that has the same looks and height. Having a great voice is not really a must. I just want my story to be portrayed well.

You were also very open about your vices in the documentary—alcohol, drugs, etc.

Because I want people to see that these things can really negatively affect our lives. I want to tell all the dreamers out there that they should stay away from vices if they want to succeed; that they need training, guidance and support.


What have you learned from your band mates?

They’re so meticulous. I could say that I’m more disciplined than ever. They also helped me widen my perspective when it comes to songwriting.

You’ve been with the band for more than five years now? Do you believe that fans have fully embraced you as the vocalist?

It was hard in the beginning—with all the comparisons to Steve Perry. But like I’ve always said, I’m not trying to compete with him—I’m just trying to continue the legacy of the band. But now I can say that there are more fans now than critics.

What will you remember most when this journey eventually ends?

The whole experience itself—it was just kind of bizarre in a way. How could a simple guy like me sing for a band like Journey? It’s very rare for an artist born and raised in the Philippines to penetrate the international market. Being with the band was a big blessing and I’m grateful for it.

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  • ninerkiddo

    When I worked with Arnel Pineda in Dubai, UAE for a show he was accommodating at mabait; to top it all his wife even helped us by taking my camera to take a photo of myself and Arnel… Mabuhay sila mag-asawa at ang anak nila at ang bago nila anak. OFW from Dubai, UAE.

  • Noel

    Black Eyed Peas is also one group that seems to be going nowhere today. Popular bands and groups don’t last long.

    • JanofVA

      True…I think young people nowadays have a very short attention span. Di gaya noong bata pa ako, talagang pag idol mo, idol for life…ha..ha..posters, albums, magazines, pictures, t shirts, everything..and you follow them for years…ha..ha..nowadays yung mga kabataan, they will go crazy for an artist’s song tapos after that song wala na..they don’t follow that artist anymore..hays…

      • kunsabagay

        hehe pero nung bata ka pa andyan na Journey

      • TondoBoy

        at Menudo

      • JanofVA

        Huy, di naman, Menudo at Duran Duran generation ako..ha..ha..ha..pero born ako around nagsimula yung Journey…he..he..he..

  • JanofVA

    Good attitude, Arnel. Even if the band goes on hiatus, it was a good run for you. Not a lot of people can say they performed in front of 10,000 plus people and all over the world. There is nothing wrong with living a simple and quiet life with your family.


      You are such an inspiration Arnel. Good luck. Do whatever your heart desires.

  • delpillar

    During Typhoon Ondoy and Pablo, you peronally donated 25,000 US Dollars each plus another 50,000 US Dollars from your band-mates and friends in the USA.

    You are a great contributor to our country not only for good image but also financially for choosing the Philippines as your home… a place where you will retire and invest your money.

  • EstingMagwejueting

    God Bless, More power, good health and always happy. For you are truly blessed!! Mabuhay, Ariel Pineda!!

  • JK1000

    Great job Arnel ! You’re a true ambassador for our country. You stayed humble after all these years, not liked Manny Pacquiao and his family.

    • jamesyapfanatic

      oo nga…grabe tong pacquiao dynasty nato..mga social climbers naman!!!

    • xfme

      this is not to belittle the talent of arnel pineda but he is not in the same league as manny paquiao. the band journey has been in it’s sunset years and to tell you the truth nobody here ( i live in the states) has heard of or remember the band. I know the band because in the 80s, it was popular in the philippines with its original lead vocalist, perry. i only knew of arnel pineda because i read pilipino online news sites and i know filipinos make a big deal with pineda. manny paquiao on the other hand is a celebrity here. you see him everywhere – popular late night talk shows, on bus tops billboard advertising liquor, on tv ads promoting pistachios etc. americans pronounce his name menee-pey-kee-yao. if you see him hobnobbing with us celebs, it could be that these us celebs are the ones hobnobbing with him. everyone loves a winner so you just wait – maybe not for long.

  • jamesyapfanatic

    arnel pineda gave the philippines pride and honor. god bless you more arnel…i have seen you sing way back your california jam, olongapo days….from then on i have become your fan.

  • laluzcinco

    Arnel, puede ba sa iyung computer o kaya laptop paki type in mu ang Diablo Hand Sign. No malice intended . God Bless.

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