Guitar legend Neal Schon has joined forces with bassist Marco Mendoza (BLACK STAR RIDERS, TED NUGENT, WHITESNAKE, THIN LIZZY) and drummer Deen Castronovo (JOURNEY, OZZY OSBOURNE, STEVE VAI, HARDLINE) to create a unique body of work with jazz and blues-inspired virtuosic hard rock playing, entitled "So U". Due on May 20 via Frontiers Records, the new album features Schon, Mendoza and Castronovo splitting vocal and writing duties, with many of the tracks also co-written by NIGHT RANGER/DAMN YANKEES songwriter, singer and bassist Jack Blades.
"So U" track listing:
01. Take A Ride
02. So U
04. What You Want
05. Love Finds A Way
06. On My Way
09. Big Ocean
An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for "So U" can be seen below.
In a recent interview, Schon gave Ultimate Classic Rock some insight regarding "What You Want" and how it came together: "I had the opening riff floating around in my head. I went up to Jack Blades' house, because he and I write very quickly, and I showed him the idea and we wrote the lyrics and put the song together. I did a demo of it pretty much as it sits on the record in the same form. Jack had sung the lead verses back then and I was singing the parts that I'm singing, so that one was [mostly] together when I walked in the studio with Deen and Marco. That was one of the first songs that I wrote for this project."
"The song itself is kind of cool, it's funky and it's rockin'," Schon added. "I wanted to kind of do the SLY STONE thing with me singing the lower parts and Deen singing the high harmonies with myself and Marco, and then Marco lead singing and it's sort of pinballing around. I think that's a cool idea for a trio that I haven't seen done in a while."
Of "So U", Neal Schon commented, "This is a great new record that features all three of us — Deen, Marco and myself — sharing lead vocals. Enjoy!"
Best known as founding member and lead guitarist of JOURNEY, Neal Schon has enjoyed a remarkable career as one of rock 'n' roll’s top virtuosos, with a hand in creating some of the most popular songs of all time. Beginning his career more than 35 years ago in the San Francisco Bay area, the 15-year-old guitar prodigy left home to join Santana. Schon moved on in 1973 to form JOURNEY. With JOURNEY and other projects, he has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 platinum and gold albums, was awarded the prestigious "Legend Of Live Award" at the 2011 Billboard Touring Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2005 and was individually inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame in 2013. As the only member to record on all of JOURNEY's albums, Schon continues with the band today in its latest incarnation.
In addition to 6 solo albums and 14 studio albums with JOURNEY, Neal Schon has performed with Joe Cocker, Sammy Hagar, Paul Rodgers, Larry Graham, Betty Davis, Michael Bolton, fusion legend Jan Hammer, HARDLINE and supergroup BAD ENGLISH, as well as a variety of side projects. His latest instrumental solo album, "The Calling", released in 2012 via Frontiers Records, won rave reviews from fans and the media alike, with Vintage Guitar declaring "'The Calling' is a fine piece of work demonstrating that Schon still has it going on — and then some…The songs are strong and his guitar tones are absolutely luxurious." In demand as one of the leading guitarists of his generation, Schon also worked with Gibson to manufacture his own limited edition Neal Schon signature model custom Les Paul guitar, but now uses custom PRS Neal Schon LTD Private Stock guitars, made especially for Neal by Paul Reed Smith.