Alex Lifeson Talks About New Band and RUSH’s Legacy
via DEV Channel / Youtube
Alex Lifeson talked about his new band Envy of None and shared the Rush‘s legacy in a new exclusive interview.
Lifeson said that he continued working and writing music casually after the last Rush tour in 2015. Until his old friend Andy Curran reached out to him in 2016 to work on some material.
At first, there was no plan to start a band, but when Curran met singer Maiah Wynne and introduced her to Lifeson, things have changed and they started making new music.
“He met up with Maiah in a songwriter’s contest that she was one of the contestants and they got to talking and he recommended that she start working with other people, she googled him, saw the Coney Hatch connection and said ‘Well, why don’t I write with you?’ he said ‘Yeah, okay we can try some stuff,’ and when once he heard her vocals, he passed it up along to me and said ‘There’s something really special about this person, you got to hear this.'”
They started developing songs and continued writing until they have completed a full album. Lifeson added:
“In our minds, it’s not a band, this is not a new band that we’re starting or that I’ve become part of. This is a project of four songwriters getting together trying to make some great music.”
When asked about the connection he has with Maiah and why he described her as his “muse” in a previous interview, Lifeson explained:
“There was something compelling in her vocal treatment. The sensibilities that she has in the way she constructs her vocals, the ideas that… The creative output she has is really remarkable.”
Lifeson said that Maiah would send her 20 tracks of vocals to use on their projects. He added:
“It was just so rich in material that I often would listen to those sort of more extraneous vocal ideas that she had and get so much inspiration from that and I would write very specifically to what I was hearing from her voice and then it would go back to her and she would update because she could sense that I was working around her and she would sort of tweak it to work around me and every time I got a file from her, it was like this she was so inspiring to me.
“We seem to connect on a really strong musical level and we are separated by quite a few years and experience, but there was something old world about her and I may have known her in another life, it was that sort of relationship.”
When asked about the difference of his new band and Rush, Lifeson said:
“Rush was quite an established band, I mean, we toured for 41 years, we had many many albums, It was an incredible experience, you know we were a unit, we had a great love for each other, we really enjoyed working together, we laughed a lot, and we were a success in so many ways for that reason that we just got along so well. I think maybe part of it is the fact we’re all Canadians and that’s something that’s in our nature to get along with each other, you know at least then.
“With this project, after the end of Rush, you know I wasn’t quite ready to retire. I still felt we could have worked some more and I think Geddy [Lee] felt the same way, but for Neil [Peart], it was difficult, he had the toughest job of all of us and the way he played, you know for three hours a night full on was unbelievable actually and we all could understand that he’d had enough physically.”
Following the band’s farewell, Lifeson distracted himself doing other things like golf, but wasn’t getting fulfilled, until the new project came along. He continued:
“I just felt so, I don’t know, excited about working on something that I know how to do, I’ve done this for so long and I thought, ‘the hell am I thinking? Why aren’t I doing this all the time? This is what I’ve always done,’ so once I got into this groove and working here at home, and the pandemic forced us into this kind of situation. I just realized that it’s to shed myself of a bunch of things in my life and look forward more clearly and in a deeper, longer distance. And that’s what’s really happened.”
Lifeson also shared that along with starting a whole new direction in his life, he sold his house in the country, and gave his 63 guitars in the auction that will be held in May.
As per working with Geddy for a possible project and if there would be another album for Envy of None or just a solo material from him, Lifeson said:
“You know I still have a few other projects that I’m working on personally for other people and friends. [For] Envy of None, I have a folder here on my monitor that’s got ‘Envy of None two’ titled on it so we have some ideas that we’re throwing around even now we really enjoyed working together and it was a very very healthy relationship, musical relationship of the four of us working together so I think we’d probably pursue doing some more stuff together.
“As far as Getty and I are concerned, like, we’re best friends. He’s working on his book… We try to see each other whenever we can. We still laugh a lot together and love being together. Whether that leads to something musical, well, we’ll see. There’s no pressure, our friendship comes before anything so we’ll see.”
Watch the full interview below.