Journey performs this Thursday at Golden One Center. Keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Jonathan Cain helped co-write “Don’t Stop Believin’”, one of the bestselling hits of all time. Here are five questions I had the chance to ask him about his career and why he's become a better musician since he "found God."
What did you think was going to happen to the band when Steve Perry told you in 1987 he was leaving Journey?
I didn't know. I was going to leave that up to the Lord at that point. Those four (previous) years were crazy. We were touring, recording, rehearsing, we made two album, and it takes its toll. We're only human, and I think there's a burnout factor that can happen when you work that hard.
Did you think Steve Perry would sing with the group when you were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
I was looking for him at soundcheck the day before. I thought he was going to surprise us, but he played it like how he wanted to play it, and I respect that.
On Perry's replacement, Arnel Pineda, who (Journey founder) Neal Schon found on YouTube.
I loved his voice, I was just wondering how he was going to handle the rigors and transition, and he was just going to have to grow into it. He's got a beautiful voice and a great heart and brings something unique to the table that makes us a world band. Nobody else in the world should be singing "Don't Stop Believin'" but Arnel, he lived it. He grew up with quite a broken childhood, they pretty much left him for dirt. He was homeless...his mom died when he was young, and then he was told he couldn't sing anymore, and he proved them wrong. If you can dream it, it's possible.
Since becoming closer to God have you become a better musician?
Yes, I feel renewed , restored, people say I look younger. I feel a sense of renewal, and the grace that I feel surrounds me, I like it. I like having grace in my life. I owe that to Paula (his wife) for pulling me back into the fold and recognizing that I was a man of God, I appreciate that.
When you're on stage, and look out at the audience, how do you keep your songs fresh night after night?
You have to put yourself in the audience's shoes. And you have to say alright, these people gave up their evening to come all this way to see us play, probably have babysitters at home or had to pay this crazy parking fee, had to come from miles away, so there's this sacrifice out there. You put yourself in their shoes, they chose us, they chose to come to our show, they chose Journey, so what else are you going to do but honor that?