Frontiers | A Tribute to Journey is the world's premiere tribute to the 80's rock pioneers. Yes, that Journey – the ones responsible for selling over 75 million records, including some of rock's most venerable anthems - the Journey rebuffed by critics and the musical establishment, even as those very critics secretly kept “Don’t Stop Believin’” in their Walkmans and saved a special place for “Faithfully” in their mix tape collection. No one ruled the road from 1979-1983 like Journey. Twenty-five years after that iconic lineup last graced the stage, Frontiers has carried on the banner of separate ways, summer lovin’, and open arms. As a tribute act, few - if any - have such a colorful back-story that blurs the line between tribute and the "real deal."
When Frontiers formed in 2002, lead vocalist Jeremey Hunsicker had little motivation other than to enjoy time in front of audiences singing the songs that he was born to sing. The lure of fame and fortune was an idle of youth, and as Hunsicker crossed the threshold into his thirties, he felt it was time to settle down in his career as a shipping sales executive, start a family, and make music an enjoyable side project.
Fate would play a different hand, however. In early 2007, Journey (yes, that Journey) found themselves at a critical crossroad. Do they abandon their signature sound, forged by iconic vocalist Steve Perry - the soundtrack of millions of sweaty backseat hookups in the 80s, and rediscovered by the youth of the new millennium? New vocalist Jeff Scott Soto - a heavy sounding tenor with a vocal character miles from the Perry signature - had barely shaken the road dust from his shoes before the band decided it was time once again to embrace the "legacy sound." This time their journey would lead them to YouTube, and keyboardist Jonathan Cain's daughter would lead him to Frontiers vocalist Jeremey Hunsicker.
In late May 2007, Jonathan Cain phoned Hunsicker, and explained the band’s situation. “They think I’m crazy,” he explained to Hunsicker, “But the way you perform those songs is inspiring.” Cain managed to convince a skeptical Neal Schon to take a last minute cross-country flight to Charlotte, NC, where Frontiers would perform a festival in front of over 5,000 people. For Hunsicker, there would be only two people in the crowd that mattered. By the end of the performance, Schon’s skepticism was erased, and at dinner later that night, the three would make plans to meet again in San Francisco, perform for the band’s management (uber-mogul Irving Azoff), and begin writing a few trial songs for a new Journey record.
What followed was a roller coaster ride none could have predicted, with Hunsicker and his seven-month pregnant wife flying to San Francisco. The band rehearsed and wrote new music, broke bread together, and made plans for an upcoming tour in 2008. Hunsicker would return to Virginia that summer, offer in hand, as the new vocalist of Journey. It was an offer he had never independently pursued, and one that – despite the promise of fortune and some degree of fame – did not come without a price. With the birth of his first child only weeks away, and the demand of a years worth of touring over his head, ultimately Hunsicker stepped away from the situation. “There were a few red flags,” said Hunsicker. “I always told myself that if it was meant to be, it would happen. When it didn’t fall into that perfect fit, I thought maybe someone was trying to tell me something.”
But his time with Journey would prove prosperous nonetheless. One of the songs co-written with Journey would be the lead single off of Journey’s new Wal Mart record, “Revelation.” He maintained contact with Journey, and began to see additional writing opportunities with other artists. With burgeoning interest in Hunsicker’s story and the trickle-down effect it soon had on Frontiers’ booking schedule, there was a clear opportunity to take the tribute act full time.
Rounding out the touring production of Frontiers would be guitarist Kenny Seay, original Frontiers bassist Greg Eanes, Russ Whitman on drums, and double-threat Isaiah Osborne ..boards and rhythm guitar. Each musician made a full time commitment to the music, and it shows in every performance. Perhaps no other tribute so closely replicates not only the music of the original band – But also that band’s spirit of originality and improvisation…The key to what made Journey without equal when they walked out on stage every night.
Journey founding guitarist Neal Schon would reflect on Hunsicker’s brief flirtation with stardom in an interview in June 2008. “Jeremey Hunsicker…He was very good… but he was a bit scary because he was almost too much like Perry. He was almost like a duplicate, probably the closest of anyone out there.” Perhaps not the best fit to step into the shoes of a legend. But a ringing endorsement for a tribute singer who was able to find happiness doing what he loves on his own terms.