Monday, February 4, 2013

Triumph's Rik Emmett praises Alex Lifeson in new Glide interview
10:11AM EST | comments (16) |

Rik Emmett and Alex LifesonCanadian 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.



Page 1 of 2 - 1 2
10 items per page (20 50 ), Sorting by newest first (oldest first)
#16 - Posted 2/28/13 @11:59PM by BoltFromTheBlue [contact]

Misheard Lyrics Just Outside of Guelph?

Spelling error i guess.

#15 - Posted 2/6/13 @3:43AM by freewilly [contact]

#13 michinman, Interesting take on Rush and the stylistical changes they went through, I feel you hit the mark.
I'm very glad Rush expanded their sound early eighties, and am a bit concerned that the last two albums are a bit more 'backwards' in some aspects, I feel. Like now they DO try to fit in some "Rush Mold" (a mold being recreated by Nick R), although I like the intensity of CA (and it's adventurous style/content) better than the sometimes dragging S&A.

Still the greatest band to me, anyway.
#14 - Posted 2/5/13 @1:32AM by michinman [contact]

Come to think of it, Lerxt still and always has gotten 1/3 the net profits of the bands earnings so I'm sure he would be just as happy to play the tambourine. Haha. Just joking Alex, if you're reading....
#13 - Posted 2/5/13 @12:43AM by michinman [contact]

I have a lot of respect for Rik too. I used to listen to Triumph in my teens. Not so much a fan now, but I always thought they had something to offer.

Regarding the Rush changes through the years... I wonder how much of that was a perceived necessity to adapt to the times (synth era for example) and how much of it was a sincere attempt to push the boudaries. Guess we'll never know. Probably a combination of both. That may sound sacrilegious to some of you, but I doubt Rush were that brave and audacious to completely go against the trends of the day. The difference is, I think, that Rush has had the luxury to experiment (hence the Reggae/Police influence in Perm. Waves; the rap bit on Roll The Bones) without turning into another monster. The synth era though was probably a more concerted effort to change the framework of the band. But even with the synth era, Rik is right in that Rush is a rhythm heavy band (bass and especially drums) and Alex probably many times had to bite the bullet and take a back seat, as awful as that may seem given his talent.
#12 - Posted 2/4/13 @8:14PM by jaeger [contact]

#11 Very true. Nonetheless, the more "out" Rush goes the more "out" is the albums with the majority. Even the Rush fan base should try harder to "deviate from the norm," IMHO...
#11 - Posted 2/4/13 @7:24PM by CheeseCorn [contact]

9 & 10 - I'm with both of you.

Rush have said themselves that there is no such thing as "This is what Rush is/isn't." What Rush is changes. About the only constant is their desire to push themselves musically. Rush wouldn't still be relevant today if they didn't adapt or push themselves. Instead of a tour playing critically acclaimed new music, they'd be doing greatest hits at state fairs and in backwater casinos.

That said, fans like what fans like. Some don't like HYF, others do. Some looked forward to a string section on tour, others didn't. I remember the first time I heard Roll The Bones and my reaction when Geddy started rapping. My mouth was literally agape in the stupidist "that was so awesome
1" grin whereas I recall a large backlash at the time of "fans" saying "This sucks. This isn't Rush."

It's usually the listeners who are declaring what is and isn't Rush. Me? I'd rather hear something new than the same ol' same ol'. Stretch. Explore. You never know what you might find.
#10 - Posted 2/4/13 @6:13PM by jaeger [contact]

#9 I agree that Al should do as he pleases, but based on what I often read here, for example, I don't think Rik is really far too from the mark. People don't like HYF (IMHO as much as they should) because it is out of the "Rush mold" more than almost everything else they've done.
#9 - Posted 2/4/13 @2:58PM by Taurus Pedal Boy

The only thing I don't care for is Rik presuming to know what Rush fans think and feel in regards to RUSH and ALEX. This part:

"...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."

Personally, I want Alex to do whatever it is he wants to do and step outside any box he wishes to step out of, thank you very much.
#8 - Posted 2/4/13 @1:14PM by jaeger [contact]

#3 They forgot to mention the "upside down" part (just kidding, I think...)
#7 - Posted 2/4/13 @1:07PM by NSRUSHFAN [contact]

I was at Guitar Workshop Plus in July 2006 when this picture was taken at Appelby College in Oakville. Alex and Rik played together for the 150 or so people present that evening and even had a couple of the students come up and jam Working Man with them which was a big thrill for them.

That year I was in the Prog Rock Seminar Class with about 25 people in it. Alex and Rik were special guests for our class during the day and we got to meet them. Rik spent the morning with us in the classroom and when Alex arrived for the afternoon Rik stayed and we got to spend the entire afternoon with both of them. Both super nice gentleman and incredible talents. You could tell there was a great deal of mutual respect between them. They had recorded about 1/2 the songs on Snakes and Arrows by then and Alex gave us a little preview by playing Hope on his Garrison Acoustic. He also had his black PRS electric with him as in the photo.One of the funniest things during the afternoon was when someone asked Alex about the intro to a particular Rush song. He drew a blank and asked one of the teenager's in the front row, "How does that go anyway?" The kid then started playing it!

Back to top of comments | Back to top of page

Page 1 of 2 - 1 2
10 items per page (20 50 ), Sorting by newest first (oldest first)


Rush is a Band is maintained by Ed Stenger/rushisaband
All Rush-related content is © 2002-2014 Anthem Entertainment unless otherwise noted.
Rush is a Band is in no way associated with nor endorsed by Rush and/or Atlantic Records, Mercury Records, Roadrunner Records and/or Anthem Entertainment; their parents or their affiliates.
Rush et al and any/all related names, marks and/or insignias
are trademarks of Atlantic, Mercury and/or Roadrunner Records.
For promotional & private use only. It is strictly prohibited to republish,
reproduce, redistribute, or profit from the content found herein.

... of Salesmen

Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence

Far and Near: Days Like These by Neil Peart

Rush Presto SACD

Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue 3

Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue 2

Clockwork Angels graphic novel issue 1

Rush Rediscovered LP box set

12x12 RUSH 2015 16 Month Calendar

Rush: The Rise Of Kings

Rush FAQ

Clockwork Angels: The Novel paperback edition

Clockwork Angels Tour Blu-ray

Clockwork Angels Tour DVD

Rush Clockwork Angels Tour 3-CD set

Vapor Trails Remix

The Studio Albums 1989-2007

Vapor Trails 2 LP remix 180 gram

Receive a FREE
[RUSH IS A BAND bumper sticker]
with any donation
of $3 or more.

Random Sample...

... hold the one you need [go >]