STEVE AUGERI Says It Was An 'Incredibly Daunting' Task Replacing STEVE PERRY In JOURNEY
February 9, 2023
Steve Augeri, who was the lead singer of JOURNEY from 1998 to 2006, reflected on his time with the legendary American rock band in a new interview with QFM96's "Torg & Elliott" radio show. Speaking about the task of replacing Steve Perry in one of the world's most beloved rock acts, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was incredibly daunting. However, the one saving grace was I had a great vocal coach at the time, Mark Baxter from New England. And Mark just said, 'Listen, you're only gonna succeed if you could just sing like yourself and be yourself. That's the only way anybody will ever accept you — if you're genuine.' That little tidbit of information, as well as we kind of eased ourselves into 1,500-seat theaters throughout the country, and for the eight years we built it up to 15,000-[capacity arenas] to 70,000 festivals. So it took a lot of time. The fans were gracious, and they were truly… Without them, it could have never happened. And it wasn't a hundred percent across the board, because, frankly, if you came to me and said, 'Hey, are you gonna replace Robert Plant in LED ZEPPELIN?' I mean, take your greatest favorite bands and try to replace their lead vocalists. It's just impossible. Kudos to whoever was able to do that. First I think of Mr. Sammy Hagar, of course. He did it [with VAN HALEN] and he ripped the leather off the ball, didn't he? That was a grand slam that he did it."
Circling back to his time with JOURNEY, Steve said: "I had a beautiful run with them. I love those guys. I love their music. And it was a great stepping stone to get to today where I finally release a solo album called 'Seven Ways 'Til Sunday'."
Regarding whether it was easy picking up the pieces after his exit from JOURNEY, Augeri said: "It wasn't easy, but, of course, it was very easy because I had just walked away from JOURNEY. Now, granted, I left because I had vocal problems. So for the first year I had to heal my voice. And thank God that happened. And from there, it opened more doors than it closed, let's put it that way. How fortunate can it be that I can always say, 'Well, I used to sing for one of the greatest premier American rock and roll bands there ever will be — ever was or ever will be.' So, I'm thankful for that."
Augeri was born in Brooklyn on January 30, 1959. Steve was the lead vocalist in TALL STORIES, who released a single self-titled album in 1991. He went on to sing with TYKETTO for their 1995 album, "Shine". Augeri retired from music in the mid-1990s after TALL STORIES ran out of momentum. He was working at a Gap store when JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon came into contact with a demo tape of Augeri's. JOURNEY was, at the time, looking for new lead singer after the loss of Perry who had left the band following their brief mid-1990s reunion due to touring conflicts and health issues.
JOURNEY hired Augeri in 1998. Augeri's debut with the band was on the single "Remember Me" from the "Armageddon" movie soundtrack. He then appeared on the album "Arrival", the "Red 13" EP, and the "Generations" album. Augeri suffered voice problems during JOURNEY's 2006 tour, resulting in his departure from the band.
"Seven Ways 'Til Sunday" was released on January 27.
Augeri will support the album on a summer tour, "Pardi Gras", alongside Bret Michaels, NIGHT RANGER, JEFFERSON STARSHIP and Mark McGrath.
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