ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna‘s JOURNEY tribute band called BEYOND FRONTIERS (formerly JOEY BELLADONNA’S BEYOND THE BAND and JOURNEY BEYOND) performed at The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan on Friday, October 13 as part of its fall 2023 U.S. tour. Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below, courtesy of the Front Row Bobby YouTube channel.
In a recent interview with Ernest Skinner of Canada’s Border City Rock Talk, Belladonna was asked if he was serious when he said that he would love to sing with JOURNEY one day. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’ve been around [the JOURNEY] guys, my wife and I.. God, I know Deen [Castronovo, JOURNEY drummer], and I’ve had dinner with Neal [Schon, JOURNEY guitarist], and soundchecked with the crew. I mean, I’m so far into knowing the whole band and crew that I always would have loved to have done that. ‘Cause I just like the music. The music is really appealing to me. I love all the melodic [aspects of it]. I love the musicianship. There’s so much there. Without really outright looking for that gig, without asking, you know what I mean? Yeah, I love the music and that’s why I put we put BEYOND FRONTIERS together because I’ve always thought it would be a fun night and I like singing the music.”
Joey went on to say that he and rest of BEYOND FRONTIERS are currently working on “studio versions” of their “whole set. And it sounded pretty good,” he said. “It just hasn’t really been mixed yet to where I want it.”
Last month, Belladonna was asked point blank by Mike Hsu of the 100 FM The Pike radio station what he would say if he was contacted right now and asked to front JOURNEY. Joey responded: “You know, I would definitely be really interested in doing that. That would be great. Not that I think that that’s gonna happen, but, yeah, it would be great. I’d love that challenge. It would be great.”
Regarding why he chose to launch a JOURNEY tribute band, Belladonna told 100 FM The Pike: “Well, I’ve been singing JOURNEY stuff throughout the years, but never had a band that I thought that would be, you know, willing to do it correctly and lengthy like where I could keep it going. I’ve always liked the music so much. I’ve owned all the music. I liked JOURNEY long before Steve [Perry] even came. I have all those records, so I was really into the band a lot. But of course, when Steve came along, I was down with singing that live somewhere. And [I] just put it together and said I wanted to do a whole night of it. I just thought it would be fun, and it looked like a blast. And we do have a blast doing it.”
Belladonna‘s JOURNEY tribute also features keyboardist Doug Carter, bassist Paul Arntz, guitarist Matt Basford and drummer Justin Ward.
In an April 2020 interview with SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, Belladonna stated about his approach to singing material that was originally written and recorded by Steve Perry: “Obviously, when you do [something like this], there’s always open ground for [people to say], ‘You didn’t do that part, ‘You didn’t do this.’ [But] I didn’t wanna copy it note for note. Sometimes I just like to do my own thing with it. Represent it and do what you can, but I love to mess around with things. Not so much to try to be too different, but just make it cool and do it your own way versus trying to get every note. I’m sure some guys study every second of it. Even with ANTHRAX, I do songs different a lot of times. It’s just fun that way. To do things off the cuff is fun for me versus trying to follow everything… I can study it all day, but I just don’t feel like doing that. I wanna have a little fun doing my own thing with it.”
Belladonna‘s JOURNEY tribute made its live debut in March 2020 at The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, Virginia.
In a 2005 interview with MusicDish, Belladonna was asked about the rumor that he came to the table with a JOURNEY tune during his 1985 audition for ANTHRAX. “Actually, what happened was I went into the room and they said, ‘Just go on in,’ and they hadn’t heard me sing,” he said. “They’d heard of me and they asked me to come in, but we were going in to start tracking and stuff, to get the mic set up and all that and they said, ‘Let’s get you in there and get you warmed up.’ I hit the mic and belted out some JOURNEY… I think it was [the song] ‘Lights’. I didn’t know what the hell I was getting into in the first place. I just wanted to lay some vocals or something. Just to kinda give an idea and that’s what happened. It wasn’t really anything more than that. I just kinda belched it out. I think I did ‘Oh Sherrie’ [written by Steve Perry], too, or something. I dunno why, but I just did. It was something off the top of my head I could do a cappella and it was kinda challenging. I thought maybe in range or something that would be kind of intriguing. It was definitely one they weren’t expecting.”
ANTHRAX‘s 2013 EP “Anthems” EP included the band’s cover version of JOURNEY‘s “Keep On Runnin'” alongside classics by RUSH, THIN LIZZY, AC/DC, CHEAP TRICK and BOSTON.
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