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Frontiers | The Journey Tribute / Blog

1.23.09 | West Virginia

01.23.09 Comfort Inn Lobby; Barboursville WV 0934 AM

Well, I narrowly missed the Comfort Inn cut off for the cardboard pastry breakfast layout, so I'm sitting here in the lobby drinking some of their world famous "Gourmet" coffee blend while Fox News plays in the background.

We'll be in Indianapolis tonight at The Vogue which is a very cool and very historic (well historic as far back as the 70's from what I can tell) venue with about 1000 capacity. Once again we've had a pretty good buzz about the show so hopefully we'll have a good turn out. The last time we had a very good time in Indy but the opening band's crowd wasn't very pleased with Frontiers....The opener, who seemed like cool guys, had a set list of tunes such as "Better Man," "Man In The Box," and "Champagne Supernova." Apparently their fans were imported straight from 1994 when it was not yet ironically cool for 23 year olds to appreciate Journey. About 25 of them remained directly in front of the stage for the first 30 minutes of our show, yelling things like "Play something good!" or "You suck!" as we performed the first group of songs in our set (Only The Young, Send Her My Love, and another little known tune called Faithfully). So once they left it was a pretty cool show. Tonight I'm hoping to get some video as the venue has a great stage and should film well.

We'll be at The Bluebird on Saturday in Bloomington. IU is in session so that show is pretty much a guaranteed sell out. Been building that room since 2005 or so, so we've got a good foundation there.

Finished the new tune with John on Wednesday - "The Way I Remember." It's a mid-tempo tune with a great hook. Yesterday I began working on one of John's basement tapes which is inspired by an old Otis Redding tune, while he begins building a new song from the ground up for our next collaboration. I don't want to lose any creative energy or artistic momentum we've built up over the past month or so, so I'm working on some of his older tunes while he creates some new ones so I don't lose my focus during any downtime while he builds a foundation for any new tunes.

I watched Wall E last night here in Barboursville and really enjoyed it. While Wall E was in production in summer of 07, Sabrina and I were lucky enough to have a guided tour of Pixar Studios, courtesy of Journey's driver, a fantastic, wonderful soul named Malcolm. To think that we stood in John Lasseter's office and gazed into Steve Job's office (dark, but always available should Jobs come by the campus)....Just an amazing experience, considering how big of fans Sabrina and I are of Pixar. In retrospect, that was the coolest part of going to California to join Journey...And yes, in retrospect that does include writing with Neal and Jon and performing for Irving Azoff.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. About to hit the road for another 6 hours. Later, friends!

1.16.09 | North Carolina

01.16.09 Road; Somewhere beween Raleigh & Wilmington 16:42

On the way to the Soapbox in Wilmington for tonight’s show & killing time in the back of the van listening to Ghostland Observatory and making strange faces into the Photo Booth camera on the Macbook.

Been wanting to start blogging for the ReverbNation site about the making of the upcoming CD and also wanted to start a road blog for Frontiers. I don’t want to duplicate the same crap so I’ll just make one blog and cover both things.

So John (Spinks) and I are just about done with the new song. Very cool – The original demo John sent over was just a 12 string acoustic treatment of a chord structure he’d been trying to find a home for for some time. After working up a melody and lyrics, John’s been working on the full blown production mix which I assume will be the one that ends up on the CD. The cool thing is that we’ve got that 12 string arrangement that I may eventually be able to post on ReverbNation as it’s a very different arrangement and won’t give too much away. We both agree we are getting into our groove now and things are going very well.

A quick change of direction. GLO’s “Stranger Lover” just popped up on the iPod. What a great hook and use of vocoder. The singer’s name is Aaron Somethingortheother and he’s one bad mofo. From what I’ve seen of their live performances he’s got the stage presence of Freddie Mercury (and some of the pitch oddities as well). Just absolutely grooves!! Probably not the average Journey fan’s cup of tea, but great music nonetheless. A great pre-gig jam anyway. Walked around The Norva’s greenroom for 2 hours listening to this sheeat before the show.

Back to the record – “Can’t You See He’s Gone” and “This Is Your Life” both awaiting uncertain futures. Style-wise it remains to be seen if they have a place on the new CD. My original intention was to release TIYL separately on iTunes but definitely not in the form of the demo I posted to RN. Unfortunately my hard drive was pulled off my desk by a curious 17 month old and it will not turn on now. Which probably means retracking the whole thing. And if I can find a place on the new CD for it, I’d definitely want John to track the bass and possibly add some guitar. So for now it remains in limbo. “Can’t You See He’s Gone” is another track in limbo right now as the tunes John and I are cooking up are very distinctive and I’m not sure that there’s a place for it amongst this current vibe. I know Stephen C and I will be working together again in the future so it may appear on a different CD somewhere down the road. Or it may just fit on this current project – Who knows…

So tonight we hit The Soapbox on what must be one of the coldest nights in our nations history. Funny. When we played there in October it was cold as hell also. There’s been quite a bit of buzz for this show tonight so I hope there’s a good turnout. When we did our Alive After Five show in Wilmington it was insane. Crowd surfing, weeping girls and funnel cakes. Tonight we will shoot for the funnel cakes & consider ourselves lucky.

A personnel change in the works for Frontiers – More on that as the dust settles.

GLO’s “Piano Man” just popped back up. Going to tie off now so more later.