JOURNEY GUITARIST NEAL SCHON SET TO ONCE AGAIN BRANCH OUT ON HIS OWN WITH THE RELEASE OF HIS SIXTH SOLO ALBUM, ‘i on U,’ DUE OUT FEBRUARY 22, 2005 ON FAVORED NATIONS
November 23, 2004 -- What could be next for a musician who’s done it all? As the lead guitarist and songwriter for the multi-platinum band Journey, his work with guitar legend Santana and composer Jan Hammer, NEAL SCHON has lived the life of several rock gods. Still, he continues to reinvent himself, taking his own musical vision to new heights with his sixth solo outing, i on U, a dazzling collection of guitar instrumentals. It’s due out February 22, 2005 on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label.
Playing with modern sounds and flavors, yet always staying true to his signature guitar sound, i on U pulls it all together. Says SCHON, “this is the first album that encompasses everything and makes it brand new.”
“Since I joined Santana,” he continues, ”I’ve always tried to go into every album in a different way. i on U is taking me to a new place and new sounds, but you can hear my years of work throughout the whole album. Sitting back and listening to it now, the history with Santana and Jan Hammer really shines through.”
For i on U, SCHON teamed up with keyboardist and songwriter Igor Len as co-producer, and drummer Omar Hakim.
“When I was on tour and trying to put the first stages of this record together,” he says, “I called Igor Len, who I had worked with on my ELECTRIC WORLD solo album, and asked him to be involved. He sent me some tracks that he was working on, and they were going exactly in the direction I wanted to go with my music. So I took his hooks, added all of the guitar parts and synthesizer solos, and embellished and tweaked them from there. Although I wrote ‘Father,’ ‘Moondust,’ and ‘Highland’ on my own.”
Each listener will experience the album differently. From the majestic opening of “Blue Passion,” and the soaring melodies of the title track, the songs suggest wide open spaces, an overview of what’s to come, with tracks like the driving, passionate “Burning Bridges.” Then it’s on to the far off reaches of the imagination, with the arpeggiated rhythms of “Timeless Motion,” the spicy funk of “Loner’s Dream,” and the eastern flair of “It Will Happen.”
“The guitar is one of the most expressive instruments of our time,” proclaims SCHON. “I want the listener to be able to imagine whatever they want since there are no lyrics. And have the music take them to any place they want to be.”