Steve Perry, one of the most iconic voices of the 1980s, is ready for his comeback. The former lead singer of Journey has released his first single in 24 years and plans to debut a full album, Traces, in October.
Perry abruptly left Journey and the music scene, he says, because he lost his passion for the industry. As part of the band, Perry was responsible for selling more than 75 million records worldwide, and his voice is an unmistakable part of hits like “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways (World’s Apart),” “Any Way You Want It,” and “Don’t Stop Believin’”.
Journey continues to tour without Perry and recently has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Perry declined to join them on stage, saying the current lead singer deserved the chance to perform, since he was the band’s frontman now.
In a post on his new website, Perry explained his absence — and return.
“There were many reasons, but mainly my love for music had suddenly left me,” he wrote. “I knew that simply stopping, was what I had to do if music was ever to return to my heart. Then and only then I would figure out what to do. If not… so be it For I had already lived the dream of dreams. Many years passed. One day, I began sketching some musical ideas with the creative freedom that I was the only one who would ever hear them. One song led to many. My love of music had returned. Then another beautiful thing happened. I found love.”
That love, Kellie Nash, ended tragically with her death from breast cancer in 2012. But before her passing, she made Perry promise not to isolate himself. And that promise led to his return to music.
“This was not about seeking closure or moving on, but about taking it all with me, about feeling it all, and expressing it all in hopes that it might move and help other people too,” he said. “She told me one night, ‘If something happens to me, promise me that you won’t go back into isolation because I feel that it would make this all for naught.’ In the years after her passing, that conversation never left me, and my love for music slowly returned.”