Journey keyboardist and guitarist Jonathan Cain has called for a truce with fellow bandmate, guitarist and founding member Neal Schon. To jog your memory, just a few months after Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, Schon took to Instagram to lash out when Cain along with the rest of the band — vocalist Arnel Pineda and bassist Ross Valory — visited President Donald Trump under the Journey name. At the time, Schon has insisted that it should have been a private matter and not involved the band as they had always agreed to be politically neutral.
"I've stated how I felt about mixing religion and politics and how our music is not of one religion – Democratic or Republican," Schon wrote on Instagram. "This is and has been an issue with myself Mr. Cain and his now wife, since he married. I've had to fight this whole time to protect the brand I built with Steve Perry, way before Gregg [Rolie] and I picked Cain to replace himself when he wanted to retire from the road back then. Well frankly, I'm tired of having to defend all by my self. [Journey bassist] Ross [Valory] is no help.”
At the time, Cain chose to stay silent on the issue and never addressed it, on social media or otherwise. But now, during a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Cain chose to address the issue of the spat, and he says it’s time for all of them to put it behind them and move forward.
“For me, it was a historical chance to go, and it wasn't political,” Cain told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “I’m a history buff and was dying to see where all this history took place. I know Arnel wanted to meet the Filipino lady [Cristeta Comerford] that has worked as a chef there for 20-something years. And Neal and I weren't on speaking terms during that time. He was bashing me, so I didn't think he would want to come. That's all.
Cain’s wife, Paula White, who acts as the spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump had arranged the White House visit.“It was just an offer to take a tour. It wasn't an endorsement. Not at all,” Cain clarified in the interview. “And Ross decided to come and see the building that Eisenhower bowled in. I was like, ‘A bowling alley? How cool!’ We got to see the loft where they make the cookies. The kitchen was so tiny. We saw all the little nooks and crannies, and were like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is amazing.’”
Talking about why he chose to stay silent at the time of the bashing, Cain, who has a memoir titled "Don’t Stop Believin’” scheduled to release this year, dismissed the issue as "just something that happened.”
"We've had a tremendous relationship for 38 years," he said. "Any relationship that goes on that long, there's bound to be bumps in the road. But I think the band and our fans are bigger than all of this stuff. When you read my book, you'll see the mountains and the struggles that we had to overcome together. … Neal and I brought this thing, along with the rest of the guys, back to where it belonged. I'll always be grateful for that. We're brothers. I'm proud of that.”
When asked if it was difficult to work with someone who was bashing him on social media, Cain said, "It's kind of like if you have a fight with your wife. You live in the same house. You have to weather it and overcome it. For the fans, the music is all that matters. We all have our private life and then we have Journey.”
"You go through these things and you gotta get out the steam. Everybody has to vent. Then it's like, "OK, you said what you said. You said how you feel. Let's move on." That's how I feel.” The 67-year-old multi-instrumentalist also declared a clear truce saying, "Let's hit reset and make great music.”
The subject of music had also caused disagreement in the past, with Cain thought to be the main objector to making a new album. “That's not necessarily true,” he pointed out. “I think there's timing for everything. I just felt like the last couple of years wasn’t the time for new music. There has to be a time where it feels right, not only for the marketplace but for us as a band.”
Cain went on to explain how the market for Journey’s music has changed, and how it has gotten smaller. He also noted that The Rolling Stones hadn’t made new music in years while adapting to the new market. But Cain kept the doors open to the idea of making new music. He said: “I’ve certainly been writing," he said. "I've got some killer new ideas, so maybe it'll happen. I'm looking forward. If it's going to happen, we have to all come together. And it has to feel like the right time.”
Journey will tour the US with Def Leppard later this year. When asked about which band would be headlining during the tour, Cain said, "We're flip-flopping. In the cities where they are strong, they're closing. The cities we're strong, we're gonna close. It's kind of half and half.” Tickets for the tour are available via Live Nation.
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