By Aja Hoggatt
August 15, 2018 at 07:12 PM EDT

Journey fans who never stopped believing are in luck because lead frontman Steve Perry is back with his first song since 1998.

Perry begins “No Erasin’,” the first single off his forthcoming album Traces, by singing, “I know it’s been a long time comin’,” and although the song is about seeing an old love again, it is a fitting line for the return of one of rock’s most beloved voices.

In a statement shared on his website, Perry admitted that for many years he thought he was done with music. “Years ago, I disappeared. There were many reasons, but mainly my love for music had suddenly left me. 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. If not… so be it, for I had already lived the dream of dreams.”

The singer also spoke about the losing his girlfriend Kellie Nash, a psychologist he met through Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. They met in 2011, but in 2012 Nash died after suffering from breast cancer. In the post, Perry goes onto say that because of the loss he “deeply understand[s] the meaning of” love. Three years later, he began recording again.

“These songs are special to me,” Perry continued in the heartfelt post. “I respectfully ask that you please listen to them, and whatever they make you feel, I thank you for listening.”

Set to be released on Oct. 5, Perry’s new album Traces features nine original songs as well as a cover of The Beatles’ “I Need You.”