16: Thanks for taking time out to fill 16 readers in on Journey, Jonathan. Why don't we begin with the questions on everyone's mind: What's the new Journey album like?
Jonathan Cain: It's full of surprises! The sound is real aggressive. It's got a real good edge to it, yet it still sounds like Journey.
16: Are there any ballads on it?
JC: There are two ballads among the seventeen numbers we've worked up. When the album comes out in early '83, there'll be about ten or eleven songs chosen and those two ballads will be among them I'm sure.
16: Tell us more about the new Journey sound.
JC: I think the album is Journey's most daring and that the changer is something we've all shared in. The sound is recognisably Journey, but with more fire than we've ever captured on tape before. It sounds real live, like a concert. Steve Perry did a lot of the vocals live, in an isolation booth, to help get that sound.
16: What about the lyrics for the new music?
JC: They're a lot deeper this time, retrospective actually. They look at society and examine relationships. I think they show more social awareness.
16: What was your contribution to the new material, Jon?
JC: This album marks my first lead vocal for Journey. I sang lead a few times when I was with the Babys, but this rock number is my Journey debut so to speak! I also wrote music and/or lyrics on the other numbers. One ballad, in fact, was a veritable brainstorm. I woke up in a cold sweat one night - I'd been dreaming - and within an hour I had a new song written!
16: Is that how all the Journey songs are written?
JC: No. Sometimes Neal will come up with something on guitar, Steve Perry'll write a melody for the vocal and we'll refine it together. Sometimes each of us writes a song in its entirety. For the first time, Steve Smith's contributed two songs too.
16: Where did you get the album together?
JC: Well, we rehearsed in this huge warehouse we have, then we went back to this terrific, state-of-the-art studio (where we'd recorded the Escape LP) for the actual recording. Mike Stone and Kevin Elson produced for us again and now that the music's done we're all working on the packaging and the tour that goes with it.
16: How long have you been with Journey, Jon?
JC: Over a year and a half.
16: How is it different from being with the Babys?
JC: I'm much more involved with the songwriting, the music's much more a part of me. Needless to say, it's also nice having this success.
16: Speaking of successes, there's another Cain family member who's doing very well with her debut album. Just how involved are you in your wife, Tane's career?
JC: I'm very involved. I wrote all the songs on the album, co-produced it and even shared some vocals. Journey's manager, Herbie Herbert, is Tane's manager too.
16: Did Tane always want to be a rock singer?
JC: Always. You know, her dad's actor Doug McClure, so she's grown up around entertainers. When I first heard her sing, I fell in love with her voice. A buddy of mine introduced us I'm glad.
16: What's it like in a dual rock-career marriage when both of you are out on the road?
JC: We're happier actually. I go out and see her less, of course, but then she's not waiting for me all the time either. It works out well with both of us working and it's a good outlet for Tane's high energy. When we see each other the time is appreciated we pay more attention to each other. I'm very proud of her!
16: Speaking of rock tours, Jon, what's the story on the upcoming Journey voyage?
JC: I'm not exactly sure about the timing, but I think we may begin with Japan and Europe, then come back to the States for a major tour this coming Spring.
16: You've recorded on your own before, Jonathan, do you ever think about doing a solo album now?
JC: Possibly I'll do one in the future, but right now, I don't think anyone would buy it! I've been through that before! Maybe I'll try it one day, but it would have to be a very personal kind of album.
16: Steve Perry's just had a hit single with Kenny Loggins. Have you had any opportunities to work with other performers too?
JC: I recently wrote a song with Sammy Hagar for his Geffen Records LP it's a killer! and I've been working with some other people too. I can't talk about those projects yet, but there are a few surprises coming up!
16: Do you think Steve Perry might take his recent success and parlay into a solo album?
JC: He's talked about doing a solo LP and he might want to take a beak after this upcoming album and tour, but I don't really know if he's made definite plans for one. As for me, I already have a great outlet for my material in Journey. Maybe two years down the road.
16: What do you say to people who insist it was you who turned Journey around?
JC: I've heard people say I've changed Journey. Some people don't like it, and some people do. I've had a lot of input, but so has Steve Perry and everyone else in the band. We all contribute to create the best album and show. On stage, the focus is on Steve Perry and Neal Schon, but we all have different colours that create an aura on that stage. Each night it's different. We're like actors in a play and we enjoy what we do.
16: Jon, when you take that show on the road, what's it like?
JC: It's work. We get silly sometimes, but in fact the tour is a lot of concentrated work. We lease a plane and we're off. We have our moments, but there aren't too many practical jokes. We play softball for charity instead. There's a lot of push and pull in Journey a lot of give and take. That's what makes it all work!
© 16 Magazine Inc., February 1983.