Neal Schon has labeled the recent discourse surrounding Journey’s 2007 dismissal of vocalist Jeff Scott Soto as “rehashed rubbish for PR.”
In a Jan. 3 comment on Facebook, Schon noted that “all were not sold on [Soto] being the lead singer after writing a tune and listening. Both [keyboardist Jonathan Cain] and I agreed it didn’t sound right – or, better put, what we wanted. I hope this satisfies this ongoing drama. It didn’t work out.”
Since those initial comments, hundreds of other fans have responded with questions and opinions of their own. In many cases, the Journey guitarist has replied.
When one fan suggested that Soto’s style of singing would undoubtedly have required Journey to adjust, Schon responded: “An adjustment was not a problem at all. A catalog of high soprano tenor songs were.” This sentiment was echoed when the guitarist noted to a different follower that “some of the heavier songs worked” with Soto’s voice while “the others didn’t.”
When another commenter criticized Schon for waiting 14 years to explain the singer’s dismissal, the guitarist insisted he “told [Soto] when it went down. It’s not my problem he can’t except [sic] it. This is all just rehashed rubbish for PR maybe because we just played to 50MM all over the world NYE on ABC.”
Soto replaced Steve Augeri in Journey in December 2006 after the latter singer began suffering throat problems on the road. After Soto’s firing in December 2007, Journey hired Arnel Pineda, who remains the band’s frontman to this day.
Journey have a 2022 tour lined up, with Billy Idol and Toto opening for them at separate points in the trek. To that end, one Facebook commenter veered away from the Soto discourse to ask about new Journey material and possible collaborations with their openers.
“New music for sure as we have a new double album coming out [in 2022],” Schon confirmed. “As far as collaborating I’m always in. Love both Steve Stevens and Luke [Steve Lukather].”
Journey Albums Ranked
Journey have been through their share of incarnations over the past four decades.