After a tumultuous 2020 that saw Journey split with longtime bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith, all legal matters are now behind the band. According to a new statement, a settlement was reached in the legal dispute that occurred when the two members tried to take control of the band name and were then dismissed by Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.
The split occurred on March 3 of last year when guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain accused Valory and Smith of attempting to pull a corporate “coup d’etat” trying to gain control of the band’s name and trademark without consulting them. Schon and Cain had a 1998 written agreement with former vocalist Steve Perry that granted them the rights to the group’s name and trademark.
Schon and Cain filed suit against Valory and Smith, seeking $10 million in damages, and accused the pair of holding an improper shareholder and board of directors meeting in which they sought to remove Schon and Cain from their leadership position in the band’s Nightmare Productions company.
With the two musicians ousted over the dispute, Journey quickly filled the void with former bassist Randy Jackson and drummer-producer Narada Michael Walden.
In a statement issued by Q Prime, Journey’s management company, an update on the case was revealed.
“The members of the band Journey who were parties to a recent lawsuit (Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Steve Smith and Ross Valory) are pleased to announce that they have resolved their differences and reached an amicable settlement agreement,” opened the statement. “Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain acknowledge the valuable contributions that both Ross Valory and Steve Smith have made to the music and the legacy of Journey. Ross Valory and Steve Smith wish their former bandmates well and much success in the future. Journey looks forward to continuing to tour and make new music for their dedicated fans around the world.”
Earlier this year, we spoke with Journey vocalist Arnel Pineda who confirmed that Journey had already completed six songs toward finishing a new album. Pineda also sang the praises of new members, telling us, “I can’t believe they said yes to join the band. On their own, they’re like big names already. My god, they’re like additional magic for the band.”
He then added of Walden, “With Narada, we’ve already finished six songs and it’s been amazing. He’s starting to be one of my biggest mentors. He’s been so patient with me and he’s so good. It’s no wonder he’s a Grammy winner. I’ve been getting his vibe and he’s a good teacher.” Pineda also revealed that the band wanted to have a new album out before returning to the road.