Biographies



Todd Noel (lead vocals)


Todd Noel is best recognized by his theatrical performances including lead roles in Les Miserables, Showboat, and Phantom of the Opera. Todd is also the brainchild behind a successful theatre camp situated in the Canadian 1000 Islands that focuses on theatrical performance, make-up design, props and backstage skills. firefox

Retrophobia is Todd's debut rock album. He recorded his vocals at Dark Island Sound (Belleville Canada), honing a theatrical/pop-rock hybrid style with co-producer Todd Barriage. Rick Noel refers to the pair as ('The Todds') after being ejected from the studio one night for running interference with one of his brother's performances, in reference to an obvious creative bond that they carried throughout the production.

In spite of it all, Rick beams: "I can't say enough about my brother Todd's depth of talent, versatility, passion, and generous giving of self...it's like he came from another world with his unassuming grace under pressure.

I've worked with enough primadonna lead singers to last several lifetimes, and I have to say it was a delight having his full co-operation without too much fuss for the good of the record. Not only would he take what we threw at him into unbelievable directions, he would travel 100 miles by car to each recording session without complaining once. He totaly loves performing. Todd made the record work."

Equipment:
Neumann TLM-103

You can contact Todd Noel [here].


Rick Noel (bass, keyboards, backing vocals)


Rick Noel is a composer, musician, and software writer. He has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists, including The Cliches, Drastic Measures, Neurotica, and Perfect World. Having completed his first paying gig as lead singer of a cover band at age 11, Rick stayed the course and went on to study music at Capilano University in Vancouver, where during this period he signed his first record deal out of Los Angeles. firefox

The Retrophobia album came into being when Rick discovered a multitude of compositions on his brother Dave's computer shortly after his death from a hit-and-run accident, fueling a desire to attempt a (posthumous) collaboration of musical styles and tastes.

Rick explains: "As with my brother Todd, Dave and I were never really able to get together as artists in any meaningful way, mostly due to geographical constraints. It's something we were destined to do eventually, but it's pretty sad that things had to end up amalgamating under these circumstances."

Rick and Dave would often spend hours on the phone long distance discussing music, and the politics of musicianship, but it was during these conversations that Rick would hear of his brother's despair in trying to deal with the unsporting antics being conducted around him, while being helpless to intevene.

"The album concept was born out of anger and frustration from seeing the weak being gamed by the strong. I decided to go back to past experiences and extract painful examples of social strife in order to keep things as edgy as possible.

Equipment:
Fender Jazz 5-string bass
Steinberger XP2 bass
Ampeg SVT
Yamaha S90SX keyboard
Omnisphere Power Synth

You can contact Rick Noel [here].


Todd Barriage (drums, guitars, backing vocals)


Todd is an ambitious, young multi-instrumetalist/producer whose sole passion has been music for as long as he can remember. After producing artists in across all genres (Ten Sleep, Lungless, Chriish Audrey, Vickie Vale and Callow to name a few), Todd had defined his unique sonic footprint at Borland Studio and established his remarkable skill set; a skill set that Rick sought out after coming across a Borland business card. firefox

"Working with The Noel Brothers was a no-brainer," he said, when asked how he became married to the Retrophobia project. "As soon as Rick showed me the songs, I knew that this was an important record. Not just for Rick and Todd (Noel), and not just for me either, but for Canadian music. Something about these songs resonated with me at a personal, cultural level. They thoroughly and existentially mattered to me.

Nobody is writing about the dark side of their youth with as much detail and honesty as these guys. If it's dark, it's about the present or maybe the recent past. Everyone else is afraid to truly dig the skeletons out of their closet and baring their entire life and soul the way Rick and Todd have on this record. To me, that's what the 'retrophobia' means. It's the fear of the past. Whether it's the past repeating itself, or the fear of accepting the past and the struggle in moving forward. It's all pretty scary."

Equipment:
Fender Telecaster (American)
Epiphone Les Paul Jr.
Yamaha FG700S acoustic
Vox AC30
DW drums
Mapex MPX and Armory snare drums

You can contact Todd Barriage [here].