Steve Perry's been working on new music for years -- and while there's still no official indication that 2014 will bring us a new solo record from the former Journey frontman, his comments during a recent public appearance made it clear he's excited about the way the songs are coming together.

"I've just been writing music and seeing what I can find, you know," Perry told Artisan News from the red carpet at Guitar Center's Drum-Off on Jan. 18. "It's such a new cool . . . world of music when you're mixing electric music and rock like Muse and Imagine Dragons. I think it's such a cool new kind of direction."

Perry made the rare appearance to contribute, in his words, "some background vocals and cowbell" for a live Drum-Off performance featuring his friend Steve Ferrone, well known to liner-notes junkies as a veteran session drummer who's contributed to albums for a long list of artists as well as for holding down the kit for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the past 20 years.

"Ferrone has an amazing feel," enthused Perry. "He's always had an amazing feel. Every record he's ever played on or when he plays live, it's just insane. Questlove is inducting him . . . they're playing together. To be onstage in rehearsal and hear them play together -- I mean, the pocket, the feel, is just huge." You can watch video above.

Perry's most recent full-length solo effort, 'For the Love of Strange Medicine,' celebrates its 20th anniversary on July 19.