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Journey’s Neal Schon Will Never Get Sick of Playing ‘Don’t Stop Believin”

Travis Shinn

“We could have easily written a bunch of songs that sounded just like some of our older songs, but we wanted to bring something fresh on this record,” says Journey guitarist Neal Schon. The legendary musician is on the phone talking to Noisecreep about ‘Eclipse,’ Journey’s superb new album.

Packed to the rafters with sky high choruses and meaty guitar riffs courtesy of Schon, ‘Eclipse’ is every bit as good as Journey’s ’80s work, and often times better. “We’ve been playing a lot of new songs in our set lately and I can see people in the crowd singing along with every word. That’s when you know you did a good job,” laughs Schon.

It’s a great time to be in Journey. Not only is ‘Eclipse’ garnering rave reviews throughout the world, their upcoming US tour with Foreigner and Night Ranger is already doing brisk business. If that weren’t already enough, their 1983 radio staple, ‘Don’t Stop Believin” has become a rock standard, up there with ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘My Generation.”

“We were backstage getting ready to play a show when someone told us about ‘Today’ show thing.” Schon is talking about a June 8th airing of the top-rated morning show where its anchors bid farewell to co-host Meredith Vieira by performing ‘Don’t Stop Believin” as a huge production number. Even Jimmy Fallon got in on the action demonstrating his best Neal Schon impersonation on air guitar. The farewell culminated with a large flash mob comprised of ‘Today’ show personalities and crew singing and dancing along to the Journey anthem in the street. If you haven’t seen it already, you can check it out here.

“Someone pulled up the show on a computer we had in the dressing room. We loved it. That song just keeps on going and going and going. There doesn’t seem to be an end to it. We’re all obviously stunned and proud of what ‘Don’t Stop Believin” has done.

Watch Journey’s live performance of ‘Don’t Stop Believin” live from Chile

“A few weeks ago I also found out from our management team that ‘Don’t Stop Believin” has become – by far — the most downloaded song of the 20th century. That’s just astonishing to me. I remember when we recorded it and I heard it back for the first time. I told the guys that it would be huge. I knew it instantly. It’s funny but there were other songs on that album [‘Escape,’ 1981] that were much bigger than ‘Don’t Stop Believin.” It’s been a lot of fun having the song become as popular as it has so many years after it was originally recorded.”

With the song being as ubiquitous as it has these past few years, Noisecreep asked Schon if he’s starting to get sick of playing ‘Don’t Stop Believin” night after night. “No, not at all – there’s nothing to be embarrassed by. I actually feel lucky about it. Who wouldn’t want one of their songs to be loved like that? It’s become an anthem and you know what – good for us.”

Journey kicks off The Eclipse Tour in North America on July 18 in Omaha, Nebraska. Check for complete Eclipse album, Eclipse Tour dates, and ticket information.

Watch the ‘Eclipse’ EPK from Journey

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