Journey, in fact, seems the one veteran group that’s been aided rather than diminished by drafting a younger, sound-alike singer — 43-year-old Arnel Pineda — to replace the voice of its ’80s heyday, Steve Perry. “We like his energy. He’s brought a lot of heart and soul to this band,” Cain says of the quintet still helmed by founding guitarist Neal Schon.
The Filipino Pineda also inspires a lot of national pride. “When you can play Manila for 40,000 people, that kind of works.”
Come May, however, Journey wants to quit looking back and start living as a present-tense band again. Wednesday’s audience at Planet Hollywood’s concert hall is due for a three-song preview of the new album, “Eclipse,” due May 24.
Cain describes it as “a concept record with some spiritual themes to it. Pretty tough, hard-hitting stuff. This is Journey with big combat boots on. And helmet and a rifle.”
Cain’s lyrics sustain the band’s hopeful themes of “searching for soulfulness and enlightenment and love and all the stuff that Journey’s about.” But the album also has a larger dynamic sweep with “some darker stuff in there.”
“We just felt like it was time to send a message to the world about how we feel about life in general,” he says.
The album incorporates Hindu principles of Tantra, “the belief that life is kind of a weave, a circle of energy, a life force that’s woven with the universe in all of us. We dove deep into it.”
Cain goes so far as to call the album “one of those headphone records.”
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