Jeff Scott Soto Reflects On If Steve Perry Wasn’t Alive
Jeff Scott Soto talked about joining Journey and why it was one of the toughest decisions in his life during a recent appearance on the Breaking Absolutes podcast.
Jeff appeared in the first two albums of Yngwie Malmsteen as a lead singer, and he has been singing for Mike Portnoy’s Sons Of Apollo as well as his own band, named Soto. A 55-year-old singer tried out himself in Journey back in September 2016, and he sang during their live events. Even though Journey announced Jeff as a permanent member, they fired him two months later.
In the conversation, Jeff touched upon the fact that replacing such singers as Steve Perry and Steve Augeri is pretty demanding. Besides that, Jeff mentioned the problem with the Journey fans. According to Jeff, Journey fans thought that Steve was still their singer even though he announced his departure from the band. Because of that, people expected to see Steve during the live shows instead of him.
As Jeff said, people knew Steve was alive and well, and they always questioned why Steve didn’t sing in the first place. If Steve wasn’t alive, Jeff thinks that the fans would have accepted him pretty easily.
Jeff Scott Soto shared his thoughts on singing for Journey:
“One of the hardest parts about singing for Journey… Okay, first of all, replacing Steve Perry, Steve Augeri already had that task. But now I had the task of replacing the guy who replaced the guy.
Now, if it were Queen, if it were a situation like Queen or AC/DC where the singer is deceased, there’s no way that singer’s ever gonna sing those songs again, so for the bands to forge on, they have to get a new singer.
Stop whining, stop bitching, stop moaning — the band’s moving forward with a new singer because their original singer is no longer with us. Steve Perry was alive and well.”
“Nobody knew his whereabouts, nobody knew if he was recording; all he ever said was, ‘I’m retired from singing, retired from performing.’
But the fans, especially the fairweather fans who are not watching all the Blabbermouths and all the talk and all the gossip, the fairweather fans will just come to a Journey and all they’ll say is, ‘That ain’t Steve Perry.'”
Because they don’t even know he hasn’t been in the band for 20 years. All they know is, ‘Who’s that guy? This ain’t Journey. What’s going on here?’ They feel duped.
So that was probably the hardest part about singing for Journey for me, was going on stage every night when a good portion of the audience was going, ‘Wait, Steve Perry’s alive. He can still sing, I bet. Why isn’t he doing this? Why do they have this guy?’ If Steve Perry was no longer with us, I think it would have been a little easier transition.”
You can listen to the full interview below.