Alex Lifeson’s Envy of None Album Will Include Neil Peart Tribute
Alex Lifeson will close out his upcoming Envy of None album with a "highly emotive" song honoring his former Rush bandmate, Neil Peart.
"Western Sunset" is the final track on Envy of None, due out April 8 via Kscope. Lifeson said the song will not only pay tribute to his friend and legendary drummer, but it will unify an eclectic record that incorporates elements of alternative, experimental and synth-rock.
Peart died on Jan. 7, 2020 after a three-year battle with brain cancer. The drummer never went public with his diagnosis and swore his bandmates to secrecy, breaking the news to them via email. "He basically blurted it out," Geddy Lee recalled. "'I have a brain tumor. I’m not joking.'" Upon seeing the message while on the golf course, Lifeson said he "started crying right there." The musicians vowed at that point to spend as much time with Peart as possible.
Lifeson expressed gratitude that he was able to spend time with his bandmate of 52 years in his last days. “I visited Neil when he was ill,” he said in a statement. “I was on his balcony watching the sunset and found inspiration. There’s a finality about a sunset that kinda stayed with me throughout the whole process. It had meaning. It was the perfect mood to decompress after all these different textures … a nice way to close the book.”
The guitarist put together his new band with Coney Hatch founding bassist Andy Curran, singer-songwriter Maiah Wynne and producer and engineer Alfio Annibalini. The group released the evocative, industrial single “Liar” this week.
Listen to Envy of None's 'Liar'
Lifeson told Eddie Trunk last year that there was "no way Rush will ever exist again, because Neil’s not here to be a part of it," and ruled out playing with Lee under the Rush name. "That’s not to say that we can’t do other things, and we can’t do things that benefit our communities and all of that," he added. "I have lots of plans for that sort of thing that don’t necessarily include Geddy."
Envy of None is now available to preorder and will be released in several different formats, including digital, vinyl and CD.