Steve Miller Disses U.S. Audiences: "They Want to Party and Take Pictures for Facebook"
On May 18, classic rockers the Steve Miller Band, Journey, and Tower of Power will join forces for a summer tour. Last week, Miller, along with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain -- both original Journey members -- participated in a lengthy conference call to talk about all kinds of stuff, from their respective histories to what they've been up to lately and what attendees can expect from the shows.
Schon talked solo for about an hour, addressing a popular subject of the last couple years -- Arnel Pineda -- and if it is still hard for longtime fans to accept a Steve Perry-less Journey. For those out of the Journey loop, Pineda is the Filipino singer-songwriter who captured the band's attention via his You Tube videos, getting him an audition with the band and subsequently the front man position held for many years by Steve Perry. Schon assured everyone that Arnel is continuing to wow fans: "He is a hell of a performer and he brings a lot to the table. His first show with us was an audition -- a do or die situation -- and the audience just went with him. He got out there into the audience. We didn't know he had that energy in him. He brings a lot."
Their collaboration is extending outside of the Journey realm, too -- the singer is working with Schon on a cover of the Police's "Synchronicity II" for a multi-artist release to benefit child slavery. Schon also notes that the band is moving into the future with Pineda and that he gets that some folks will always live in the past. He just doesn't have much time for fans still pining for Perry.
"If people don't like us for who we are right now, don't bother. Find your new love," he says.
Schon says the tour will be a combination of those beloved classics, a la "Don't Stop Believin'," and some new stuff, too. He says the audiences have been seeing a lot of younger folks and generally range from ages 7-70. He also says not to be surprised if any of the bands team up for some live jamming during the tour.
"I have opened for Steve and Ross [Valory, original Journey bassist] has played with Steve, so who knows what will happen. I'd love to play with Tower, too."
As far as checking out new music, Schon thinks Jack White is the best thing "modern rock" has going on.