Alex Lifeson’s new band Envy of None are releasing their debut self-titled album on April 8, and they recently rolled out their new single “Liar.” The group is fronted by vocalist Mariah Wynne.
“Mariah became my muse,” Lifeson said in a statement. “She was able to bring this whole new ethereal thing through her sense of melody on tracks like ‘Liar’ and ‘Look Inside.’ After hearing her vocals on ‘Never Said I Love You,’ I felt so excited. I’ve never had that kind of inspiration working with another musician. When we say she’s special, it’s because she’s really fucking special!”
Envy of None is Lifeson’s first major project since Rush dissolved following the death of Neil Peart in January 2020. But by that point, they’d essentially been an inactive band since the conclusion of their R40 Live Tour on Aug. 1, 2015. It was an incredible final ride that featured the trio playing their catalog in reverse chronological order every night, kicking things off with “The Anarchist” from 2012’s Clockwork Angels and wrapping up with “Working Man” from their 1974 debut album.
Here’s fan-shot video of “Roll the Bones” from their May 28, 2015 show in Greensboro, North Carolina. The rap section in the middle is impossible to replicate onstage since it features Geddy Lee’s voice significantly altered, so the original recording is lip-synced by Tom Morello, Les Claypool, Peter Dinklage, Chad Smith, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, and the Trailer Park Boys.
The lyrics to “Roll the Bones” reflect Neil Peart’s belief that much of life is blind chance, and things don’t simply “happen for a reason.” “We go out in the world and take our chances,” he wrote. “Fate is just the weight of circumstances. … Why are we here?/Because we’re here/Roll the bones.”
Six years after the song came out, the drummer’s 19-year-old daughter, Selena, died in a car accident. Months later, his common-law wife Jackie died from cancer. The song came to Peart’s mind quite often while he attempted to piece his life back together in the aftermath of the twin tragedies.
“God, that song,” he told Rolling Stone in our 2015 cover story. “What it came to represent. I mean, ‘Why does it happen?’ When something really shitty happens, of course immediately you look to why. I went all supernatural: ‘Somebody must have put a curse on me, I must have done something really horrible, God must be mad at me.’ I had to sift through all of that shit again looking for meaning.”
The thought of Rush continuing after Peart’s death in 2020 was simply unimaginable for Lifeson and Geddy Lee. But that doesn’t mean they won’t make music under a different name at some point down the line. “We’re not putting any pressure on it or anything,” Lifeson recently told Guitar World. “We had a lot of good years together and we still love each other very much. I talk to Geddy every other day – we’re best friends. … There’s more to our life together than just writing music. So if it happens, it happens. And it’ll happen when it happens.” In other worlds, they’re going to roll the bones.