UPDATE - 3/28@10:02AM: Here's an interview with Geddy Lee in today's Toronto Star where he discusses the induction (thanks katskahnne).
We've been treated to a whirlwind of Rush interviews over the past few days in the run-up to the band's induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame tomorrow evening. This after a couple of months of radio silence from the trio. On Tuesday the CBC posted a nearly hour-long video interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson where the two divulged that the band has been writing new material and have 6 new songs written already. Then on Thursday the Canadian Press published an article/interview with Neil Peart regarding his thoughts on the induction and revealed even more information regarding the band's new material, saying they would be recording 2 of the new songs for possible release. Then yesterday we hit the jackpot when a new Alex Lifeson interview was published in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Lerxst outlined the band's plans well into 2011, including details regarding their next album:
... We were off for a year and a half, and now it's just pouring. Everything is totally crazy and there's not a minute left in the day. We've got these half-dozen songs, and we'll probably go in the studio and work on a couple of them and see how it goes, perhaps release something – and I say perhaps – and then we plan on being on the road in the middle of June. Ideally, we'd like to showcase a couple of these songs on the tour, come off tour in mid-October, go back in the studio and continue writing, then record through late this year and early next year, and then release the album in the spring of 2011 on a slightly more substantial tour. This [year's] tour will probably be about 45 dates. Most likely summer, 2011, would be more like 70. ...
... the band is about five songs into the record with co-producer Nick Raskulinecz, from 2007's Snakes and Arrows, but won't talk about the sound or how or when the tunes will be released or subsequent tour plans. "I stopped in Toronto a couple of weeks back and went over to Geddy's house and listened to what they've been working on from my lyrics and it's very exciting, we've got probably five very good songs there," ... "So we were saying, 'Well, I kind of just want to keep working on this and finish the record.' But on the other hand we were thinking, 'Well, something we haven't done since the '80s is write new songs and go out and play them.' It's interesting to be so deeply involved in songwriting right now with this honour coming up. It kind of puts a fresh observation on it for me." ...
Peart also had a lot to say about their upcoming induction, particularly involving Subdivisions; one of the five songs Rush is being honored for and the song he is most pleased with being chosen.
... “It’s a very unusual song construction lyrically and musically that we managed to make work,” he said. “It was written at a time when we weren’t working, so to speak. We were mixing a live album and we just started playing around and wrote a song for fun. Although it’s very serious in it’s musical structure, one of the most complicated actually that we’ve had in terms of arrangement drum part alone, it’s a really intricate drum part to play and consequently I still love playing it almost 30 years later and that’s a good testament.”
Peart is also stoked that YouTube sensation Jacob Moon, who plays Subdivisions entirely by himself on a Hamilton building rooftop, is among three artists paying tribute to Rush Sunday night.
“We all shared Jacob Moon’s performance of Subdivisions quite a long time ago and sent it to each other, 'Hey have you seen this?' because it’s such a beautiful cover. The imaginative way that he uses the little cassette player to get my voice in there. It’s superb. And it is that kind of song. It’s a singer-songwriter’s song. I loved to see his version of it and I loved the idea that song has endured to his generation.” ...
So Peart offhandedly seems to resolve an age-old debate among Rush fans regarding who does the Subdivisions voice-over in the chorus to the song. Apparently it's Peart and not Mark Dailey, as some have claimed.
Peart also reveals that he'll write and deliver the band's acceptance speech tomorrow night. In addition to Moon doing his rendition of Subdivisions, Primus frontman Les Claypool will be playing The Spirit of Radio and Canadian hardcore rockers Alexisonfire will be performing Tom Sawyer. The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame 6th annual Gala will take place tomorrow night at the George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts. Tickets are still available for the Gala and can be purchased via ticketmaster at this link. There is a special offer for Rush fans; simply enter the pass code SONGS when requesting tickets and get a 20% discount. The ceremony will air on radio the Monday after the Gala on at 7PM on CBC Radio 2 as a special presentation of Canada Live and at 4PM on Espace Musique.
[New Neil Peart Canadian Press interview]
[New CBC video interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson]
[Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala tickets special offer]
[Alexisonfire, Les Claypool, Jacob Moon to honor Rush at Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala]
[Rush to be inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame]