Steve Perry Won’t Keep Fans Waiting Long for New Music
Steve Perry said he’s been working on new music recently — and he doesn't plan to keep fans waiting too long.
The former Journey frontman released his 2018 comeback album, Traces, after a 22-year silence. He recently launched an LP featuring some of those songs in a stripped-down, acoustic format — and in a new interview, he described that project as a way to wrap that part of his career.
“This is a goodbye to the Traces record,” Perry told Rolling Stone. “That’s because I have so much other material sitting around and new stuff I’ve written.” He added that he hasn’t yet added drum tracks to his upcoming material and has "no idea" when the songs will be released. "They’re just sketches now in the seed position," he said, "just like what you hear on Traces (Alternate Versions and Sketches).” Asked if there might be another 22-year wait, he replied: “Oh, no! Uncle Steve doesn’t have that much time!”
He explained his philosophy in stripping back the 2018 songs: “You take any song and sit near a campfire with an acoustic guitar and sing it, the song should be able to survive. It should work just as a melody with lyrics. If the vocal is strong enough to stand on its own, you’ll know it right away.” He added, “I love rock ’n’ roll and I love the production of rock ’n’ roll. But there’s something to be said for ultimate simplicity.”
Perry didn’t tour in support of Traces, although it was under discussion at one point. In the new interview, he touched on how much the idea had been on his mind, saying that the song “No Erasin’” contained some of those feelings. “For me, it was an emotional fantasy about standing in front of an audience again, although it could be a woman because of the line ‘backseat of your car,’” he said. “It’s about reunion. Originally it was inspired by a class reunion, but it became something bigger than that."
He also said that “Most Of All” had been written before he’d met girlfriend Kellie Nash, whose impact on his life, including by her death from cancer, inspired the Traces project. “I met Kellie Nash and then she passed away,” he reflected. “And then two years later, I built this studio and made this record and remembered I had this song. Oddly enough, it was about losing somebody. I had not lost anyone like Kellie, though I had lost my mother and father. All of a sudden, this song became very personal to me, even though I wrote it before.”