Monday, February 4, 2013
Triumph's Rik Emmett praises Alex Lifeson in new Glide interview
Canadian guitarist Rik Emmett of Triumph was recently interviewed for Glide Magazine and had plenty of great things to say about Alex Lifeson in reference to this photo that appears on his website. The photo is from the 2006 GuitarWorkshop Plus where Emmett and Lifeson did a workshop together. Here's what he had to say about Alex:
... He's a lovely guy. You know, he's a sweetheart and originally upon meeting Alex and spending time with him, you kind of get the impression that he's almost even a little shy and a little bit reserved but then the more you get to know him the more you realize he's very much like a renaissance man, like he has a tremendous artistic ability. I don't know if you are aware of the fact that he can oil paint and his paintings are really good. And of course he is a connoisseur of wine and he can fly planes. I mean, the guy is unbelievable. He's got all these renaissance man qualities so that if you sit down and you start to get in a conversation with him that has any depth you start to realize he can hold his own in any intellectual kind of thing. You know, that's more impressive than ever because of course everybody just thinks of him as this guitar player guy, gritting his teeth and playing all these heavy duty chords and stuff in Rush.
But yeah, he's a lovely guy and a great player. He really does have a very wide spirit about the making of music and the making of art. Obviously, when you're in a band like Rush, you're going to have a role and there are going to be certain things that over the years people come to expect: this is what Rush is and this is what Rush does. And their fans kind of go, "Hey, hey, don't get too far out of the mold here. We don't want you to step too far outside." But Alex has as many unexpected and unknown kinds of qualities about him as any other progressive musician/guitar player might. It's just they don't necessarily always show up in the Rush thing. Rush is driven a lot by the bass and drums, by the rhythm section, and then the fact that it's probably one of the most interesting and busy rhythm sections on the planet Earth (laughs). So that sort of gives Alex a certain role that he has to kind of play right there. I think another thing too is there was a time when they did solo albums. Alex did a solo record and Geddy did one and I think they kind of realized, yeah, you know if I'm going to make records, the best records I can make are with those other guys; I don't necessarily want to make them on my own. So he didn't really break free of the mold. Like when I left Triumph, I was leaving. The mold, for me, was going to break. There was no question about it. But I think in his case, he's in a band where he's very, very comfortable in that mold and it's been a very, very successful one. So I think that alters things a little bit. ...
You can read the entire interview online at this location.