Steve Perry is looking at the future full throttle with the release of his first solo album in 24 years, titled Traces, which drops on October 5th. Journey fans got a chance to see him link arms with his former bandmates last year when the group was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Blabbermouth transcribed some of Perry's chat with DJ Eddie Trunk, who asked him how it felt to accept the honor, "When I walked out there, that was a real thrill. They had a whole worked-up thing - they had a big teleprompter, and I said, 'F that.' I pulled out my piece of paper. I says, 'I got some things to talk about here,' and I just sort of did my thing. The fans, they were so wonderful."

When pressed about why he chose not to perform with Journey, Perry explained, "I'm not in the band. I haven't been in the band for quite some time. Arnel (Pineda's) been in the band for almost 10 years, I think. He's a sweet kid -- he's a wonderful kid. He sings his heart out every night. It's his gig."

Perry shed light on the historic meeting between him and Pineda, who carries his torch night after night on the road with Journey: "There was a gentleman who we recently lost named Harry, part of the management team. Harry was there with me, and he said, 'Steve, listen, I don't know if you know, but Arnel's running up and down the halls. He heard you're here, backstage.' I said, 'Well, where is he?' He said, 'I think he's outside.' I said, 'Okay, I'll come out.' I walked out and he was there, and he comes up to me. . . there was something endearing about the way he looked at me. He was meeting, like, a grandfather. (Laughs) He's got the gig. It's his gig. He's doing great."

In what was undoubtedly the high point of last year's Rock Hall inductions, Steve Perry's loving recollections of his long-estranged former bandmates took most in the audience by surprise -- as was his generous and loving dedication to Journey's current frontman, Arnel Pineda: "I must give a complete shout out to someone who sings his complete heart out every night -- and that's Arnel Pineda, where are you Arnel? (Applause) Where are you?! Where are you?! Well, you must be backstage. To Arnel, I love you."

AUDIO: STEVE PERRY SALUTES ARNEL PINEDA