THE MULTITALENTED FRONTMAN TALKS ABOUT HIS FOUNDATION, SUCCESS, TOURING + CARS AND FAVE SNACKS
Being one of the faces of the legendary rock band Journey, frontman Arnel Pineda has recorded several albums released with Journey, such as 2008’s Revelation and Journey Live in Las Vegas DVD, 2009’s Journey Live in Manila and 2011’s Eclipse album. He also had a documentary film with the band titled as Everyman’s Journey released in 2013, and has appeared in various TV shows and graced the covers of several magazines all over the globe.
Adding more to their star power as a rock band, Pineda and Journey have successfully teamed up with other popular musicians and outfits in music tours worldwide, which include the likes of Heart, Foreigner, Steve Miller band, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Tower of Power, Santana, Cheap tgrick, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Rascall Flatts, Pat Benatar (featuring Neil Giraldo), Loverboy, Thunder, Survivor, Nightranger and Styx.
Prior to joining the famed American rock outfit, Pineda was part of Pinoy bands Ammo and Zoo. He was also a cover musician having played in various music bars across Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore. Pineda was discovered by Journey lead guitarist and founding member Neal Schon. He officially joined the band on December 5, 2007 and formally performed his first show during Journey’s tour in Chile in 2008.
Pineda is a well-travelled musician, having played with Journey in almost every famous arena and venue worldwide such as the Hollywood Bowl, Tokyo Budokan and Wembley Arena. He was also at the spotlight of several music festivals that includes the Download Festival and Graspop Metal Meetings.
Each time Pineda performs onstage, an average crowd between 10,000 to 50,000 can be seen gathering at these events, proof of his immense popularity in recognition of his vocal prowess.
Being with Journey, Pineda has done several hundred shows spanning continents. The majority of these were held in the USA and Canada, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom and some Asian countries like the Philippines, Singapore and Japan.
When he is not busy marking rounds around the globe with Journey, Pineda keeps himself busy with his own foundation (named after himself), which provides under privileged children quality education, health services and medical attention.
Questions and Answers
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Arnel Pineda where he talked about his journey, his dream car, and the things he learned from travelling the world.
Here’s the excerpt of our conversation that took place during the press launch of his major solo concert entitled Arnel Pineda: Love and Rock N’ Roll slated on February 27, 2016 at the Music Museum.
What’s your idea of fun?
A fun road trip that leads to the beach with my family… that’s my idea of fun. [Smiles.]
How do you prepare yourself for non-stop touring?
Touring demands so much time as well as energy. That’s why I make sure to go to the gym, get enough sleep and have a complete voice rest. To keep my voice, I steer away from dairy products and oily food. I try also to avoid gaining weight was much as I can, because I noticed it can slow down my performance onstage.
What’s the best and the worst part of being on tour?
The best part is performing onstage and witnessing people have fun. It is unbelievable and surreal to play in front of the massive crowd singing along with you the whole time, and giving off great energy. I also enjoy going to different places, because I get to see different types of crowd and reception. I love my family. So, being away from them is the worst thing possible. I get sad and depressed at times.
Do you still celebrate every successful show?
Yes. Normally, we have champagne or wine. [Laughs.]
Do you have your dream car?
I don’t drive but if I have to, I’ll choose Lotus and Porsche. Or maybe, a sports car. [Smiles.]
Do you have any favorite snacks?
Nothing in particular. But I like fruits, vegetables and other alternative sources of protein like tofu. When I’m here in Manila, I take a bite of ice cream and a little milk. [Laughs.]
You’ve been with the band for more than eight years now, what have you learned from your bandmates?
Being with the band was a big blessing and I’m grateful for it. Yes, it was difficult at first—with all the comparisons to Steve Perry. But like what I’ve always said, I’m not trying to compete with him. I’m just here to continue the legacy of the band. Neal, Ross, Deen and Jonathan are so meticulous, but they helped me broaden my perspective when it comes to songwriting. They pushed me harder than I had ever been pushed before and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. Also, I’m more disciplined now.
What will you remember most when this journey finally ends?
I am humbled and grateful for everything. Imagine, how could a simple guy like me sing for a big band like Journey? And this has been a dream come true for me— penetrating the international market.
You can connect with Arnel Pineda
from the band Journey
Arnel Pineda Press Photos by Ronnel Cuison