Perry’s departure from the band and the ensuing years have been marked by a complex relationship with the other members, especially co-founder and lead guitarist Neal Schon. This relationship eventually led Schon to question Perry’s entitlement to earnings from the band.
In a 2008 Q&A with GQ Magazine, Perry reflected on his time with the band. The singer expressed that he always felt like the ‘new kid on the block’ and struggled to prove himself to other band members despite the band’s success. He felt particularly challenged by Schon, as he didn’t have the same level of experience as other members who had played with notable artists before joining Journey.
Responding to Steve’s comments, Neal clarified that no legal issue prevented him from discussing Perry. He expressed frustration over the frontman’s perception that the band speaks negatively of him. The guitarist noted:
“No. I mean, I didn’t say anything inflammatory to him. I didn’t talk about how he still gets paid like a motherf*cker even though he shouldn’t be. It’s stuff like that I’m not allowed to talk about. But the facts are the facts, y’know? He sorta just bitches and moans and whines about everything. And he just assumes that every time we bring up his name, we’re sayin’ bad things. Or he thinks we’re hangin’ on to his coattails.”
Schon went on to explain why he feels it’s important to share the band’s history and his perspective,
“And it’s just not like that. It’s never been like that. He barely ever talks to the public, and he doesn’t want us talking about him, and he doesn’t want to talk about us, but when people ask me for stories about the band’s history and things that went down, I’m gonna talk about it. I mean—we’re completely done. I told you about the VH1 thing, which is true, about crackin’ the stone—I’ve been wanting to set that straight for a while. It’s the truth. So f*ck him.”