During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon spoke about the band's touring plans for the foreseeable future. He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're already planning for '23 and '24 — two years ahead of time… We've already got 40 shows that are gonna start around the same time [in 2023] that we did this year, in February. We're going with TOTO again, and we're gonna do the secondary markets in the United States and do some of the main markets that we didn't hit this last time. And then we're gonna take a little break and then we're gonna go overseas — we're gonna go over to Europe, we're gonna go to Japan and possibly South America."
Schon went on to say that JOURNEY will support TOTO in Europe, where the Steve "Luke" Lukather-led outfit has established a stronger footing through a more consistent touring schedule.
"I said, 'Luke, if we do this [in America] and we agree to do this together, you'll have to do the same thing with us in Europe,'" Neal said. "And so we'll be opening up for them over there."
"TOTO has done extremely well abroad, because they worked that market forever," he continued. "And we never really did, because management never wanted us to go there and they never promoted us correctly over there. I have a feeling when we go this next year with TOTO, we're gonna find all our fans that we never saw before. 'Cause nobody knew we were there when [we played there in the past]. And we've got fans all over the world."
Neal, who founded JOURNEY in 1973 in the aftermath of a stint playing with Carlos Santana, revealed that he would like to see SANTANA added to the bill for some of JOURNEY and TOTO's joint touring activity next year.
"It'll be my 50th anniversary with JOURNEY — the only existing guy that started it with Herbie [Herbert] for 50 years next year," he said. "And so my idea is that what better thing would it be to end up with Carlos and TOTO in some of the bigger markets and stadiums in Europe, South America, wherever we go, at the end of '23. I think that we can open up the first 40 shows and do a longer run if we added SANTANA to be the bill in some cities — just try it out. 'Cause we did it before and it was very successful."
JOURNEY and TOTO previously joined forces for an early 2022 U.S. arena tour.
JOURNEY is continuing to promote its latest album, "Freedom", which was released in July via BMG. The LP debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Current Rock chart.
The members of JOURNEY celebrated the album's release by kicking off a residency featuring special symphony orchestra performances at the new, state-of-the-art Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas.
As JOURNEY's legend continues to grow larger and their touring gets bigger, "Freedom" is the band’s first album of new material to be released in eleven years, since 2011's "Eclipse", and in addition to Schon, along with longtime keyboard player and primary lyricist Jonathan Cain and vocalist Arnel Pineda, one more member was recruited for the LP — bassist extraordinaire Randy Jackson, who had played on JOURNEY's 1986 album "Raised On Radio".
Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017, JOURNEY has 25 gold and platinum albums, with total sales adding up to over 100 million albums worldwide, earning the band two Diamond Awards with a third on the way for the "Frontiers" album. JOURNEY has also surpassed one billion streams on Spotify.