Neal Schon is well aware that the music video for Journey’s hit song “Separate Ways” is…well…not great.
The infamous music video came up during a recent interview with Vulture when Schon was asked to rate “Separate Ways” on a “cringe scale” between 1 and 10.
“Oh my God! You know what a lot of people don’t understand? This was the very beginning of MTV. Nobody was making $200,000 videos or $500,000 videos or $3 million videos,” begins Schon. “Some people were paying a million and a half for a music video because they had a movie producer backing them financially. What a freakin’ rip-off. I mean, that’s what it became.”
He continued, “But back when we did this, our manager came to us and said, ‘Look, we need to get a music video. Who should we use?’ I suggested the director Wayne Isham. He came in and put together the storyboard. It was going to be in New Orleans, on a pier. Is it terrible? The air guitar and keyboards are cheesy as hell. I give it a 10 on the cringe scale. It’s so silly, man.”
Schon would go on to criticize additional music videos saying, “Journey was not a band that did well with videos that had story lines. ‘After the Fall‘ was terrible. ‘Chain Reaction‘ was a little more fun. Steve [Perry] and I were pushing each other around for that one, and I’m in his face. I think the only videos that really worked for Journey were when live concert footage was used. It was like a live performance — showing the audience, showing us onstage.”
Schon and Perry are now on friendly terms, but when he’s not reconnecting with his old friend (or, apparently, bashing their old music videos), Schon is still very busy with Journey. The band is releasing their new studio album Freedom — their first new LP in 11 years — tomorrow (July 8.) Freedom is available for pre-save/pre-order here.
Journey is also hitting the road this summer on select tour dates in the United States in between residency shows in Las Vegas. A full list of upcoming show dates can be found at JourneyMusic.com.