Friday, March 1, 2024

Alex Lifeson on New Today Was Yesterday Release

Today Was Yesterday, featuring drummer, percussionist and programmer Ty Dennis and lead vocalist, primary songwriter, bassist, guitarist, pianist and programmer Angelo Barbera, will see the duo’s debut album released on 23rd February via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. This collection of recordings, will also feature two legendary guitarists, Robby Krieger of The Doors and Alex Lifeson of Rush, contributing to several performances.

Out now is the band’s new single, ‘A Louder Silence’, their second from the album and likewise to feature Alex Lifeson, alongside a video that you can check out here at RAMzine.

’A Louder Silence’ is my favourite track off the record,” said Today Was Yesterday‘s drummer Dennis. “For me, this song is a great representation of our sound as a band. Like all great songs, this track has an impact that has the listener taking the journey with us through delicate intros, through melodic verses and powerful choruses, and it’s rounded out by an incredible, out of this world guitar performance from Alex Lifeson.”

His partner, Barbera said, “’A Louder Silence’ deals in today’s mindsets of opinion narratives over facts in politics, medical, romance, or any topic via social media. The shaping of minds to be fooled by opinion narratives and not facts; your basically saying words without saying anything that’s factual.”

On a mission to create timeless music that transcends genres and generations, Today Was Yesterday’s  debut is an imaginative, ten song collection of prime modern classic rock. “We come from the days when pop musicians weren’t afraid to be good players,” said LA-based Dennis. “Ty and I’ve played together as sidemen for 25 years, and we’ve always wanted to work together on original music. Today Was Yesterday is a dream come true for us,” remarked Chicago-based Barbera.
Today Was Yesterday write adventurous and smart pop-rock that listeners will find is spiritually aligned with NIN, Japan and David Sylvian, Genesis and Peter Gabriel, Tears For Fears, Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, and Rush. The debut album features intricate but catchy compositions replete with thrilling virtuosic musical passages, art-rock soundscapes, and meticulous production. Lyrically and conceptually, Today Was Yesterday specialise in the type of metaphorical and poetic lyrics favoured by artists such as Genesis, Peter Gabriel, and Rush.
The duo first met in 1997. They are longtime veterans of the rock n’ roll scene with a telepathic musical connection. Barbera has worked with The Motels featuring Martha Davis, Red Square Black, Lita Ford, and, most notably, The Robby Krieger Band and The Doors of the 21st Century. Dennis previously played in The Motels featuring Martha Davis, where the pair met, and he later replaced the Police’s Stewart Copeland in The Doors of the 21st Century.
Prior to his successful hired gun career, Barbera was a band guy, and he has remained an active songwriter even as his bass playing earned him world-class gigs. His song sketches became the basis of Today Was Yesterday’s debut album, though they evolved considerably when Dennis added his musicianship and artistic vision.
Initially, Today Was Yesterday was going to have a more conventional lineup presentation. “I tried out lead singers, but, at times, it was comical, like a SNL skit—the LSD, lead singer’s disease, was too much for me,” Barbera said laughing. The pair decided to create as a self-contained unit, self-producing and playing all the instruments with Barbera handling all the lead vocals.

As noted, the band is joined on this debut by some very special guests. Over the years, Dennis had been in house bands for all-star concerts that Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson was a part of.  In 2022, he gave Lifeson a lift back to his hotel after a rehearsal, and he played him some early versions of a couple of Today Was Yesterday songs. The Rush guitarist became a fan of what he heard and said he would love to play on some of the tracks. “We’re honoured to have Alex joining us on six of the album’s ten songs.”
Robby Krieger joins the party for the bluesy, ‘If I Fall (Silly Games)’, that features his one-of-a-kind slide guitar playing. “Jim Morrison freaked out when he heard Robby play slide, and wanted him to play it all the time, and I can see why. His slide playing is so emotional—it makes my hair stand up,” Dennis commented.
Today Was Yesterday has been a deeply satisfying creative adventure for the duo. As they gear up to perform live in the summer of 2024, they are looking back on their career thus far and the road ahead with thoughtfulness and gratitude. “I’m normally helping someone else achieve their goals—which I’m always happy to do—but this band gives me a chance to play exactly what I want to play, and I love that,” Dennis said. While Barbera commented: “This music is one hundred percent pure and honest. It doesn’t sound like anything contemporary.  It is truly Today Was Yesterday.”

The self-titled debut album will feature the following tracks: ‘Grace’*, ‘A Louder Silence’*, ‘On My Own’*, ‘I Take All’ featuring Ed Roth, ‘My Dog Is My God’*, ‘Faceless Faraway Song’*, ‘If I Fall (Silly Games)’ featuring Robby Krieger, ‘Rukus’, ‘Borrowed’ and ‘My New Low’*. Tracks denoted * all feature Alex Lifeson.

You can pre-order the album here.

At the tail-end of last year, they released ‘Grace’, as a single and video release, that you can also check out here at RAMzine. The lead track from the forthcoming album, it also features guitarist Alex Lifeson, in a moody and imaginatively-arranged rocker that evokes both 1970s prog-rock and Physical Graffitiera Led Zeppelin. Lyrically, the song is about the fentanyl epidemic, and features emotionally direct lyric from Angelo, not least: “Swallowed addictions paid in souls/Timeless crimes that go raging by.”

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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