(Story Updated Below) Things are staying interesting -- and curious -- in the world of Journey. A day after the group's management issued a station denying rumor talks between the band and former frontman Steve Perry comes another report saying current singer Arnel Pineda, who guitarist Neal Schon discovered via YouTube, wants leave the band before his contract is up in 2016.
This comes from MelodicRock.com, which reports that "Journey tours are being scattered and are fewer due to a request from Arnel. He told the group it has gotten to be too much pressure leaving family at home (in the Phillipines) and singing almost every night. He's asking to leave in 2015."
But the site also reports that Schon contends that rumor "couldn't be further from the truth. Arnel and I are solid...VERY SOLID..We are very much looking forward to getting out there this year and kicking some ass...Journey is solid as we are and planning on touring all through 2015 as well as 2014."
Pineda has, however, acknowledges that he's felt the specter of Perry since he joined the band in 2007, telling us:
"I'm pretty conscious about it, yes… It's a lot to take. The pressure is very high. I mean, hardcore fans expect a lot from me, but somehow one thing that they misconcept about this is I am trying really hard to emulate Mr. Perry's absence... I can never fill up the shoes that Mr. Perry has left. But me being with Journey right now is about being able to help the guys send a message, making it still a relevant thing as of now because, well, as we all know the band's been going on for about 40 years now, since 1973, and it's going strong because the message is still very positive."
Journey has recorded two albums with Pineda -- "Revelation" in 2008 and "Eclipse" in 2011" -- and starts a tour with the Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power on May 15 in Chula Vista, Calif.
(UPDATE 3:13pm Feb. 7) According to Blabbermouth, Arnel Pineda released a statement stating the he is "as happy to be in JOURNEY today as I was when I first joined the group." He also added, "I wish whoever is making up these lies would put their time to good use and stop spreading these false stories."