LISTEN: “The passion for the music came back." Steve Perry of Journey talks about his comeback

After a long break, one of music's great voices is back. Steve Perry talks about his new album and highlights of his long career with Journey

August 17, 2018
Steve Perry

Myriam Santos

When people talk about the greatest voices in music, Steve Perry’s name is always high on the list. His lead vocals on nine Journey albums are legendary, and he’s put out some indelible solo material too.

But he reached a point in the late 1990s when he just got burned out, he lost his love of music, and he pulled the plug on singing– “not even singing in the shower,” he told me.

Eventually, through a mutual friend, Steve met Kellie Nash, a psychology PhD who was battling breast cancer. Over the next few years, the two fell in love, but ultimately Kellie succumbed the cancer in 2012.

Crushed by the loss of the love of his life, but inspired once again, Steve starting writing, and rediscovered his passion for singing. The result is a new album called Traces. It’s coming out on October 5.

I talked to Steve about all of this . . . about moving through his grief, and recapturing the inspiration to use his musical gifts to express all those complicated emotions around love and loss.

Then we shifted gears and talked about the past: The night he spent in the studio with a who’s who of musical royalty recording “We Are The World” in 1985, reconnecting with Neal Schon and his Journey bandmates at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and the stories behind a couple of Journey’s best-known songs – “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Lights.”

I tried to talk him into touring, but I’m not sure I got a yes on that. Not yet, anyway!

Part 1: Giving up on music, and getting inspired to create again

Part 2: "We Are The World," "Don't Stop Believin'," and "Lights" -- the stories behind the songs