Journey’s Neal Schon Says He Always Looked Up To Jimmy Page

In a new interview with American Songwriter, Journey guitarist Neal Schon stated that Jimmy Page has always been a great source of inspiration in his creative process.

Journey released their fifteenth and longest studio album, ‘Freedom,’ featuring fifteen songs on July 8, 2022. The long-awaited album arrived after 11 years of a gap from their previous record, ‘Eclipse,’ released in 2011. While the record was praised for successful musicianship performances, it was still criticized for its poor production and guitar-heavy mixing, making the album challenging for the listeners.

The album stood out with the prolific songwriting partnership between Neal Schon and the keyboardist Jonathan Cain. Journey launched its Freedom Tour on February 22, 2022, in Pittsburgh. The band has been currently hitting the road for the North American leg of the tour, which is scheduled to end on October 5, 2022, in Honolulu. When asked about the making process of their latest album, Neal Schon discussed the impacts of his influences on his creative outputs.

The guitarist explained that he had two methods of writing new material. Schon says he could collaborate with a songwriter and then work on a song with pre-prepared lyrics, or he could first determine the landscape of the track. Regarding the second point, Schon has always looked up to Jimmy Page and his creative vision, seeing the landscape beforehand. So, he tries to envision every part of a song before he creates it since it allows him to build a more solid base for the structure of a track.

Neal Schon speaking on his admiration for Jimmy Page:

“Writing for me, I can do it two ways. I can work with a lyricist who has lyrics first and try to wrap a song around it. But my forte as a songwriter is to lay down the landscape. I’ve always looked up to Jimmy Page in a rock arena and his sensibility, his creativity, to be able to see the landscape before he creates it. You have to envision it. He sees all the parts, and he’s throwing colors at the empty canvas, and there you go, you have a ‘Kashmir’ or whatever.”

You can listen to Journey’s ‘Freedom’ below.