Journey 1/5/22

Neal Schon revealed why short-lived Journey frontman Jeff Scott Soto was fired back in 2007. Soto, who sang lead for Yngwie Malmsteen and now tours with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, fronted Journey from 2006 to 2007 after vocal issues forced Steve Augeri off the road — and according to him, was never told why he lost the job. Soto had played with Schon in his side band Soul Sirkus prior to being tapped for the Journey gig.

Blabbermouth translated a recent interview Soto gave to with Argentina’s Lucas Gordon in which he explained, “The problem is I don’t know. That’s the problem. If I knew what the problem was, if I knew the reason why I got fired, then at least I could be at peace with it; I could find a way to discuss it or talk about it. But I’m not legally supposed to talk about it. . . It got to the point where we had to take a legal side of things. But to get away from the legal side, I signed a document that I wouldn’t talk about anything negative, anything bad about them. And I don’t wanna talk negative; I don’t wanna talk about anything bad. . . But to this day, 14 years later — whatever it is — I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.”

Soto went on to say, “I was never given a proper reason. The only thing I was told was they had a change of heart. It didn’t make sense to me. If you have a change of heart, call me up and we can say goodbye, we can hug and say, ‘Hey, hopefully I can get a couple of tickets to the show with the new singer.’ That kind of stuff. You can leave as friends. I came in as friends; I wanna leave as friends.”

Journey co-founder, Neal Schon, who remains the sole member of the band to play in every lineup of the band, answered Soto’s question on Blabbermouth’s Facebook page, which posted the story. Schon said: “It was unfortunate but Steve Augeri’s voice gave out. We were in the middle of Def Leppard tour so I was working with Jeff on side project and suggested he come in and help Finnish (sic) the tour. It went well but all were not sold on him being the lead singer after writing a tune and listening. Both Jon and I agreed it didn’t sound right — or better put what we wanted. I hope this satisfies this on going drama. It didn’t work out.”

Schon went on to answer other posters questions and responded to comments adding: “I told him when it went down. It’s not my problem he can’t except it. This is all just rehashed rubbish for PR maybe because we just played to 50MM all over the world NYE on ABC.”

Elsewhere Schon wrote “Jeff finished a tour. Not long enough to be seriously considered historical. Next.”

Back in the day, Jonathan Cain actually told us that Jeff Scott Soto worked out better than anyone could have hoped: [“Jeff came out and started, and we just threw him to the wolves, and he went out there and somehow got it done, and I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s astonishing.’ And night after night, he kept getting better and better, y’know? And then, y’know, we had a coupla shows where he absolutely slayed the audience — I mean, they just were, like. . . roared with approval.”] SOUNDCUE (:18 OC: . . . roared with approval)

TL; DR

  • Neal Schon explained on Facebook why short-lived Journey frontman Jeff Scott Soto was let go back in 2007, posting in part, “It went well but all were not sold on him being the lead singer after writing a tune and listening. Both Jon (Cain) and I agreed it didn’t sound right — or better put what we wanted. I hope this satisfies this on going drama. It didn’t work out.”

JUST OUR OPINION

  • Every band seems to have one of these guys — the dude that alternately can’t get over the fact they were canned or still has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA why they were fired.
  • It must be horrible to almost taste fame or glory — but the answer to ALL these guys is — you either had a horrible attitude or you just didn’t have the chops. Nothing is lamer than a dude constantly asking his ex-girlfriend “What happened???” That’s what this is.
  • Jeff Scott Soto is a talented guy. It didn’t fit. If he doesn’t wanna talk about it anymore he should just stop talking about it.