Johnny O’Neil released third album “Brand New Day”. Following on the heels of 2021’s Truth Or Dare, O’Neil’s ambitious debut solo album featuring hard rock tunes that showcase his impeccable songwriting abilities, and the five-song EP, LIVE at the Southern Theater (released in 2022), Brand New Day looks at the world through a slightly different lens. Following the tumultuous events of 2020-21 including the global COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd in O’Neil’s hometown of Minneapolis that sparked the largest racial justice protests in the United States since the Civil Rights Movement, and the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, O’Neil wanted to create an album that sparks rejuvenation and celebrates the fact that we made it through alive, looking ahead optimistically – but without rose-colored glasses – to what comes next.
There aren’t many musicians who cut their teeth as a founding member of a rock band that performed five nights a week, 50 weeks a year, for 11 straight years, often for an audience of thousands, just as there aren’t many musicians who hold a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. But Johnny O’Neil is a rare artist who combines expert musicianship with astute observations of the human condition gleaned as a therapist and forensic psychologist, all brought to bear on his third solo album, Brand New Day.
“Following such difficult times, I thought it was important to put out a record that rejuvenated people,” O’Neil says. “Although we’re still struggling in many ways, I wanted to say that it’s time to move on and look forward to a better day. Some rock can be really dark, but there’s already a lot of pain and suffering in this world – singing angry songs doesn’t seem to be the way to deal with that. We try to reflect positivity and hope.”
O’Neil’s third solo effort, Brand New Day, covers broad musical territory, taking elements from the past and adding a decidedly modern twist, combining guitar-driven hard rock and R&B with hooky choruses that get stuck in your head for days. Recruiting the talents of John Funk on lead guitar, Benny Craig on bass, and Joachim Baecker on drums, as well as engineer/co-producer Brian Bart – O’Neil’s former bandmate in Dare Force – O’Neil and his full band spent months writing and rehearsing before hunkering down to record with Bart atWinterland Studios in Minneapolis, as well as the legendary Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minn., where Nirvana famously recorded In Utero.
It was a great pleasure to have Johnny O’Neil on the Interview to talk on the awesome record Brand New Day and much more from the band. Check out the complete coverage on the below YouTube video.
1. BRAND NEW DAY (J. O’Neil)
2. TAKE ME DOWN (J. O’Neil, J. Funk)
3. MY MONA (J. O’Neil, J. Funk)
4. IT’S TOO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE (R. Hogan)*
5. WHEN JANIE MOVED INTO TOWN (J. O’Neil)
6. IN SEARCH OF (J. O’Neil)
7. COMIN’ DOWN LIKE A MOUNTAIN (J. O’Neil)
8. HANDS UP (J. O’Neil, J. Funk)
9. DON’T BELIEVE A WORD (P. Lynott)**
10. TELL ME YOUR STORY (J. O’Neil)