Ex-Journey frontman Steve Perry says despite the tragedy that inspired his first solo album in 24 years, Traces, his new music isn't all sad songs.
Perry tells Q104.3's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke that the new album (due October 5) depicts scenes from his life, including the highs and lows, just like everyone has.
"It's not all sadness and loss," Perry say. "The album is really, really sort of happy moments. It just opened up my heart to the idea of writing again. When that happened, everything came out."
After leaving Journey for good in the mid-'90s, Perry says he didn't sing, write or even think much about music. That was until he met his late-girlfriend Dr. Kellie Nash, who died of breast cancer in 2012. His relationship with Dr. Nash and his subsequent loss of her reignited his passion for music.
Perry says Traces has been in the works for about four years. And when he says he "walked away" from music, he means it!
"I had not sang either in the time gone, so I had to start working on that. 'Cause it was dormant," he confirms.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer knows that no one likes the fact that he left Journey — and then music entirely. But he says that after his passion burned out, he had no other choice.
"I'm not complaining [about Journey]," he says. "It was a dream come true for me. I loved every bit of it. In fact, that was the hardest part was it was a dream come true. How do you walk away from something like that? Well, the only reason I did it was because my passion for it, my actual connection to it started to become invisible...I thought, 'What am I? Just a parody of myself?'"
Making the decision to leave Journey was one thing. Telling the band, and then the fans, was another thing entirely.
"I had to just do the unpopular thing, which is tell the band. And I knew it was going to upset the fans, but I just had to stop."
Now that he has new music to promote, and a three-album solo catalog, Perry says he'll get back on stage eventually.
"We're talking about that but nothing is solid yet," he says of when he'll take his new songs on tour. "Right now we're just talking about the music and the album and all the writing of the record and things like that."
Watch the full interview above!
When Steve Perry announces his tour, go here for the dates.
Check out the video for Perry's "No Erasin'," Perry's first single in advance of his new album.