|AFTER ALL THESE YEARS... A BOOK ABOUT JOURNEY!
An interview with the author Neil Daniels
JOURNEY is just about the most talked about AOR act right now, with a new album to be released. The veteran melodic rockers' career has been given a new boost recently, and their classic song "Don't Stop Believin'" is the most downloaded song in the history of Itunes. The time seems to be right for a book about the band, and what do you know - Neil Daniels has written one! We discussed the book with him.
What or who prompted you to write a book about Journey?
Well, it was basically now or never. I didn’t think there was a likelihood a publisher would ever commit to a biography of Journey and with the whole Glee thing and the band’s massive success with Revelation I knew it was perfect timing. I’d tried a couple of years before when Jeff Scott Soto was in the band to get my idea commissioned but didn’t get any interest from publishers. I think it’s a massive triumph to get a book published on a band like Journey as publishers are very prejudice towards this kind of music. How many biographies do you read on AOR/melodic rock bands that aren’t self-published? Books that you actually see in Warterstone’s and HMV etc? Anyway, I hooked with an agent in London who happens to be a bigger Journey fan than I am and he was integral in getting me this deal with Omnibus Press. I guess publishers would be interested in the official Journey’s story but how truthful would it be? That’s something to think about…
What's your own relationship with the band, have you been a fan for long?
My relationship is purely that of a fan. I think they’re not only the greatest band of their ilk but a criminally underrated one too. I mean, Neal Schon is surely one of the greatest guitarists in rock history? I think so. They are musicians first and foremost and I think the musicianship on every album is a damn sight better than that of most rock bands. They’re better musicians individually and collectively than, say, the Rolling Stones. Journey were also the pioneers of stadium rock, which they don’t get credit for. They have crafted some of the most perfect rock singles (and albums) you’re ever likely to hear. The themes they sing about are universal.
Your personal favourite Journey album & song?
You've done a lot of research for the book and a lot of interviews. Did it
all go smoothly or were there some bumps on the road?
Did you talk to any of the current band members or Steve Perry?
During your research, what would you say were the most surprising
revelations you found about the band?
The hardcore Journey fanbase is pretty fanatical, some of them are called "Perry Jihadists" and so on. Are you afraid that they'll come after you
if some of the things in the book don't please them?
Oh, without doubt I’m sure I’ll get some emails from Perry fanatics once the book is out. I got some from Bon Jovi fans when I did the A-Z book but I’m not sure some people realise just how crazy Journey fans are. They really do love their band, don’t they? Bering a fan sometimes goes a bit too far though, I think. I think Perry still holds some people (women) totally spellbound even to this day. I guess for a lot of women he was their childhood idol. But it remains his voice that still captures the attention of so many people.
Now that you've become quite familiar with band and its' history, please
describe the following current or former members of Journey in one
I’ll do one line with short sentences. Ha…
Unique voice. Amazing stage presence. The greatest AOR singer ever. Just brilliant.
Criminally underrated. Phenomenal player. Absolutely amazing at what he does.
Absolutely integral to the success of Journey. Great player. Great songwriter.
Should be given more credit. Unfairly treated in the end. Very good AOR singer.
Great singer. Best of the post-Perry ones. Better front man now than 3 years ago.
Only one of the greatest drummers ever. Everyone knows that.
"Look Into The Future"... what do you think that the future holds for
What does it hold for you, any new book projects in the pipeline you could talk about?
Yeah, I’m working on an illustrated bio of Iron Maiden which will be a really cool full colour hardback coffee table type book. It’s out next spring. There might be a couple of print on demand books; perhaps a fictional rock novel. Not sure yet. My website has just been updated so please check out www.neildaniels.com
interview by Kimmo Toivonen,
11 April 2011