Pineda hails from Quezon City in the Philippines and has been singing Journey songs and original material with his band, The Zoo, for the past couple of years in clubs all over his homeland. The singer said joining the legendary band is a dream come true for him.

“It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world. It’ll be a lot of hard work on my part and I’m actually looking forward to the scrutiny I’ll get from the hardcore Journey fans,” Pineda said. “I know they’ll expect me to sound exactly like ‘the voice’ (Steve Perry), but that will never happen. I know there’s only one Steve Perry in this world.”

This time when it came to selecting a new vocalist, guitarist Neal Schon wanted someone new to the music business – so he turned to YouTube.

“I was frustrated about not having a singer,” Schon explained, “So I went on YouTube for a couple of days and just sat on it for hours. I was starting to think I was never going to find anybody. But then I found The Zoo and I watched a bunch of different video clips that they had posted.”

Here’s Pineda and The Zoo with a dead on rendition of “Faithfully.”

Schon soon found himself hooked.

“After watching the videos over and over again, I had to walk away from the computer and let what I heard sink in because it sounded too good to be true. I thought, ‘He can’t be that good.’ But he is that good, he’s the real deal and so tremendously talented. Arnel doesn’t sound synthetic and he’s not emulating anyone.

“I tried to get a hold of him through YouTube and I finally heard from him that night, but it took some convincing to get him to believe that it really was me and not an imposter.”

Pineda admits he was skeptical at first.

“My friend Noel picked up the message on YouTube and told me it was from Neal. I thought it was a hoax so I ignored it. Noel said, ‘What if it really was Neal and he wanted to offer you the chance of a lifetime?’ So I emailed Neal back and the rest is history.”

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain said Pineda is exactly what the band needed.

“With Arnel’s soaring tenor, Journey returns to our heritage sound,” Cain said.

Schon agreed saying, “We feel reborn. I think there’s a lot of chemistry between the five of us. At first we were going to go into the studio and just write 4 songs, but now it’s escalated to a lot of great new and diverse material. The stuff sounds tremendous. Everyone’s so stoked about it. We feel very fortunate to have found Arnel.”

Journey is currently working on a new album with legendary producer Kevin Shirley, which they hope to release by spring/summer 2008. Details will be announced early next year.