After hinting about his return on Tuesday (Aug. 14), long-absent rock singer Steve Perry made good on the promise late Tuesday night as a video for “No Erasin,’” his first new song in 20 years, appeared without fanfare on YouTube.
The mid-tempo song begins, appropriately enough, with the line, “I know it’s been a long time coming,” before going into a tale of “love that won’t go.” The video features Perry performing the song in a studio with a band.
Concurrently, the ex-Journey lead singer took to his website to explain his absence and announce his new album, Traces, set for release Oct. 5 on Fantasy/Concord.
“Years ago, I disappeared. There were many reasons, but mainly… my love for music had suddenly left me,” Perry writes. “I knew that simply stopping was what I had to do. If music was ever to return to my heart, then and only then I would figure out what to do,” he begins. “If not… so be it, for I had already lived the dream of dreams.”
He continues, “Many years passed. One day, I began sketching some musical ideas with the creative freedom that I was the only one who would ever hear them. One song led to many. My love for music had returned. Then, another beautiful thing happened. I found love. My precious Kellie gave me a life I never knew I had. I lost her December of 2012. I now deeply understand the meaning of: ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.’” Perry is referring to psychologist Kellie Nash, who died of breast cancer after the couple were together only a year and a half.
Three years later, in May 2015, Perry says he began recording Traces. “These songs are special to me,” he says. I respectfully ask that you please listen to them, and whatever they make you feel, I thank you for listening.”
Perry has been an elusive figure since the ‘90s following his last album with Journey, 1996’s Trial by Fire, and 1998’s “I Stand Alone,” a solo song from the soundtrack to the animated film Quest for Camelot. Perry attended Journey’s 2017 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but did not perform with the band.
Listen to “No Erasin'” below.