Arnel Pineda Denies Rumors He Wants Out of Journey (Updated)
This has been quite the week for Journey rumors: Steve Perry seemed to say he was talking to the band about a reunion, which his former bandmates quickly denied, and now those ever-talkative anonymous sources are saying current vocalist Arnel Pineda wants to be let out of his contract.
The news comes courtesy of Classic Rock Magazine, which quotes MelodicRock.com founder Andrew McNeice as saying Pineda's days with the group could be numbered. "The Journey tours are being scattered and are fewer due to a request from Arnel," reads the quote (which we've been unable to find elsewhere -- see below for an update on that). "He told the group it has gotten to be too much pressure leaving family at home and singing almost every night. He’s asked to leave in 2015."
Pineda's looming burnout comes in spite of what seem to be dedicated efforts on the part of his bandmates. "They got him a bus for him and his family, but his wife says it’s too hard to travel with two babies, and their boy has school," continues the report. "Arnel stated that he does not want to record a new album with Journey because that would just mean more work. He is very stressed right now and angry with Neal [Schon]."
However, in a recent update at MelodicRock, McNeice seems to dash cold water on those rumors, saying Schon recently reached out to him to say, "Rumors couldn't be further from the truth. Arnel and I are solid ... VERY SOLID... We are very much looking forward to getting out there this year and kicking some ass. We will be in rehearsal for 3 weeks prior to the tour and we will be revamping things to keep it fresh. I'm also heading to rehearsal with the original Santana band for a record to be recorded later this year titled 'Santana 4.' Journey is solid as we are and planning on touring all through 2015 as well as 2014."
For now, all this means is that people remain interested in a reunion of that classic Journey lineup -- and even though whether it would even work is highly debatable, these rumors won't be going away anytime soon.
2/7 Update - Through his representatives, Pineda has sent us a statement strongly denying this story:
"I am as happy to be in Journey today as I was when I first joined the group. Next to my family in Manila, Journey is my family. When I'm not working, I spend time at home with my wife and kids, and my Foundation. Now, I am busy preparing for our tour with Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power. I wish whoever is making up these lies would put their time to good use and stop spreading these false stories." - Arnel Pineda
2/8 update: McNeice has denied making the quotes attributed to him in Classic Rock, declaring on his Facebook page that, "This latest story comes from some crap that was posted on my FB wall by a third party, which was quickly deleted."