Arnel: I'm still with Journey

Posted at 06/11/10 2:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - International Filipino singer Arnel Pineda denied reports saying that he is no longer the vocalist of the American rock band Journey.

In an exclusive interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, Pineda said he has no idea where the negative report came from and who started it.

"Hindi, tsismis lang 'yan. It's not true. Ewan ko kung sino ang nagkakalat niyan. Actually, hindi ko alam. Wala akong idea, pero definitely, nasa Journey pa din ako," Pineda said.

Pineda, who sings for the US rock back even without a contract, proved his healthy relationship with his band mates by recording a new album.

"Yes, may bagong album. Mayroon na siyang title pero di ko pa masasabi kasi hindi pa siya final. May 12 tracks siya at mayroong original compositions. Isa doon yong sa akin, 'To Whom It May Concern.' Kasama ko ang brother ko sa lyrics, pero ang melody sa akin, tapos may isang collaboration," Pineda said.

"To whom It May Concern" talks about peace in turbulent times.

Pineda, who also does solo performances in the Philippines, is preparing for another 2-year concert tour that will start next year.

"Yes, super busy for the next two years. Ang tour ay sa Europe, sa Asia, and South America. Talagang busy na naman," Pineda said.

Pineda was wildly applauded at a telecommunications internet concert gig last night (June 10) in Taguig where he recalled that his fame was the product of social techno media.

Except for a few lines of "Faithfully", the rocker refrained from singing Journey trademark songs, at the event, per agreed working restrictions with Journey in his solo shows.

In April 2009, Pineda confirmed to abs-cbnNEWS.com he was prohibited him from singing the group’s original songs in his solo gigs in the Philippines.

However, he was quick to add that his band mates only wanted to keep the “sacredness” of Journey's songs.

“Kasi mag-isa ako. So, kapag wala sila ay nawawala ‘yong sacredness ng kanta kapag hindi mo sila kasamang kumakanta,” Pineda had explained. (Click here for full story.)

Like Charice and other Pinoy talents, Pineda said he will go on raising the Filipino flag abroad as a member of the group.

Meantime, Pineda is elated with the early success of the much-talked-about teen talent, Jovit Baldivino, one of the finalists in the ABS-CBN's biggest talent search contest, "Pilipinas Got Talent".

The competition's winners will be chosen on Sunday. "I hope he makes it, " said Pineda.

Pineda also shared that he wants to do a show or record a duet with Baldivino.

Pineda is also supporting the efforts of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-Aawit (OPM) to revitalize the group with new leaders and members who will carry on the torch of protecting the rights and welfare of local singers.

Formed in 1973, Journey's ballads include "Don't Stop Believing," "Any Way You Want It," "Faithfully," "Open Arms," "Send Her My Love," "Separate Ways," "Wheel in the Sky," "Who's Crying Now," "Stone In Love," and "Lights."

The band has changed its lead vocalist several times, the most popular of whom was Steve Perry.

Pineda was discovered in 2007 by member Neal Schon (guitarist and background vocals) via YouTube.

The rest of the band members are Ross Valory (bass guitar, background vocals), Jonathan Cain(keyboard, background vocals), and Deen Castronovo (vocals, drums, percussion). -- with a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News