JOURNEY’s NEAL SCHON On Legal Dispute With STEVE SMITH And ROSS VALORY: ‘Everybody Wanted To Own The Brand’

JOURNEY‘s Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain spoke to Cleveland.com about their legal dispute with the band’s former members, drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory.On March 3, 2020, Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit against Valory and Smith, who had been members of JOURNEY on and off since the band formed in 1973, claiming the two attempted a “coup” in order to gain control of the JOURNEY trademark. The suit, which sought more than $10 million in damages, accused Smith and Valory of holding an “improper” shareholder and board of directors meetings in February 2020 during which they ousted Cain and Schon from leadership posts at Nightmare Productions under the “incorrect” assumption that the company held the rights to the JOURNEY name. An answer filed by counsel defending Valory against the complaint’s allegations and the cross-complaint attempted to dispute and refute these allegations.”Everybody wanted to own the brand, and I felt there was a takeover going on,” Schon told Cleveland.com. “The ship is not going down. No one’s stealing the brand. Things took a turn, businesswise, that I didn’t like, and that Jonathan didn’t like and we decided not to go along with it. There were a lot of unrealistic statements that were being made by different people and us not really talking and just believing what others were saying. Once I actually sat and talked to Jonathan, we cleared everything up and got rid of the divide-and-conquer scenario and realized we had a lot more to say musically together, as brothers.”Cain added: “It was sort of a shocking thing, that brothers had come to that. We had to sort it out. You get lemons, you make lemonade — what else are you gonna do? It’s probably not that out of the ordinary for bands to do this kind of stuff, and it’s usually based on greed or whatever. I really am glad it’s behind us, that’s all — and I wish everybody well, really. I have no ill will towards anyone.”In April of this year, Schon and Cain “reached an amicable settlement agreement” with Smith and Valory. JOURNEY now consists of Schon and Cain, longtime singer Arnel Pineda, returning bassist Randy Jackson of “American Idol” fame, as well as drummer Narada Michael Walden and keyboardist Jason Derlatka. Bassist Marco Mendoza is filling in while Jackson recovers from back surgery and drummer Deen Castronovo is also back in the fold, sharing the drum duties with Narada.Last fall, Schon told “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about JOURNEY‘s split with Valory and Smith: “The way things went down was really not that kosher. I mean, what should have happened, rather than them trying to take over at that point, was to call us up and say, ‘Hey, let’s sit down and talk about this.’ Instead it went a different way. And both myself and Jonathan didn’t appreciate it.”In June, JOURNEY shared a new single, “The Way We Used To Be”. The song was the multi-platinum band’s first new music since 2011’s album “Eclipse”, and the first track released by the band’s revamped lineup. “The Way We Used To Be” marks Walden and Derlatka‘s first studio recordings with the band, and Jackson‘s first since 1986’s “Raised On Radio”. The song was produced by Narada Michael Walden at his Tarpan Studios, with co-production by Schon and Cain.

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