The drummer was arrested in June and charged with rape, sexual abuse, and the unlawful use of a weapon following an altercation with his ex-girlfriend.

He was indicted and entered rehab, and Castronovo is now serving four years of probation. He has also been undergoing domestic violence classes and drug counselling as he attempts to get his life back on track, but that will be without his bandmates in Journey, who released him in August (15).

He tells Ultimate Classic Rock, "I'm not expecting to work for a while and if God opens that door, he'll open that door. But I'm definitely not ready and even if somebody asked me now, I wouldn't do it. A year from now, I don't think I would do it. I need some time. I don't ever want to have this happen again.

"I never want to do this to my band members, to any band member, any band... Drumming right now is a beautiful thing that I love to do, but I'm not ready to put the shoes back on and play. I'm just not ready yet."

He recalls the band fired him on 10 August (15), adding, "I was terminated. They haven't released an official announcement but, yeah, I was fired. I was in treatment at the time and I'm grateful that I was in treatment to be able to process that, because that was heartbreaking.

"But then again, you know, Journey has a stellar legacy and I've tarnished that, and they did the right thing. They did what they needed to do. Not because they were punishing me, because it wasn't about punishing me or wrecking my life. They didn't do anything of the sort.

"They did this because they loved me and they wanted to see me alive. That's the beauty of it. It wasn't about, 'Oh, let's just kick him out because he's a loser and he's just a drug addict'. They knew that I wouldn't be able to fix this if I was touring or if I was working with the band, or if I was being pulled back and forth. I needed to have solid recovery and to put this first, and they did the right thing.

"It was horrible and it's heartbreaking, because they're brothers, but they did the right thing, man.... because this is not a quick fix."

Castronovo, a former member of rock act Bad English, joined Journey in 1998. He was dropped from the band's summer (15) tour when news of his arrest broke. Omar Hakim was recruited as his replacement.