This past week we learned of 2 separate musical side projects that Alex Lifeson has been involved with recently including a guest guitar solo on guitarist John Wesley's upcoming Disconnect album, along with executive producing and playing some guitar on Keram Malicki-Sanchez's new album Come to Life. Disconnect will release on April 1st in the US and Wesley revealed via his Facebook page yesterday that Alex Lifeson performs a mind-blowing guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Wesley is probably best known to Rush fans as the touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree. Alex Lifeson played a guest guitar solo on Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet on the track Anesthetize back in 2007.
Alex's other side project involves Canadian-born actor and musician Keram Malicki-Sanchez's new album Come to Life. Malicki-Sanchez recently launched an online campaign via IndieGogo to raise the funds he needs to finish the album that he has spent seven years creating along with 20 other renowned artists, one of whom is Alex Lifeson. Malicki-Sanchez met Lifeson while working on the film Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, where Lifeson played the role of Dr. Figg. In addition to playing guitar on the album, Lifeson was executive producer and also recruited the help of Rush's mixing engineer Rich Chycki and mastering engineer Andy Vandette. You can find out all the details including how to secure your own copy of Come to Life on the IndieGogo page here. There's also this YouTube video where Malicki-Sanchez discusses the project. He talks about Alex's contributions at about the 2:35 mark.
Earlier this week Comic Book Resources posted a new interview with Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson where they discuss the upcoming graphic novel treatment of the Clockwork Angels novel. The article also included a preview of 3 pages from issue #1 of the comic which is due to for release on March 19th. Here's Peart discussing his personal history with comics:
... "When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, comic books were a very important part of my life. I devoured hundreds of them, I realize now -- all of the superheroes, and everything else from Archie and Veronica to 'Classics Illustrated,'" ... "On a family car trip, I might be allowed to select two new comic books from a drugstore rack, and that was about as thrilling as could be for a suburban Canadian boy. Over the years, I shared all the typical flashlight-under-the-blankets experiences. Comic books entertained me, delighted me, inspired me, and definitely taught me a few things, too," ... "In Grade 8 I won a public-speaking medal for a speech about General Douglas McArthur that was 'researched' in one of the World War II comics that were also popular in that era."... "It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me," ... "The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that 'Clockwork Angels' will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe -- a phenomenon I call 'artificial reality' -- and it is exciting to be a part of it." ...
You can read the entire article/interview and check out the previews at this location. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six issues beginning on March 19th. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will also be available on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.
Author and photographer David Phillips launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday to help fund the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2010 coffee table book A Drummer's Perspective. The second book - slated for release later this spring - is titled From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II and will include stunning, behind-the-kit photographs of more than 100 drummers. Neil Peart appears on the book's cover and has also written the foreword. For more information and to learn how to secure your copy of the book along with many other extra perks, just visit the KickStarter project page at this location.
This past weekend RushFanForever dug up an old interview from back in late 2012 with Canadian photographer Deborah Samuel. Samuel worked with Hugh Syme on some of Rush's most iconic album covers, namely Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit Stage Left and Signals. In the interview Samuel describes her role in photographing these covers and offers up a number of interesting tidbits and pieces of trivia about the photo sessions. You can check out excerpts from the interview in this post and read the entire thing here.
Yesterday we learned about a Rush 2112 reference in the 2012 independent scifi/comedy film The History of Future Folk (the film was released on DVD this past summer). The film tells the exaggerated and hilarious origin story of the real life alien bluegrass duo, Future Folk. In a scene towards the beginning of the film one of the protagonists is chased into a parking garage and runs by a sign displaying the rate for overnight parking - $21.12. You can check out a screenshot here and also watch the film on Netflix (the reference comes in at about the 9:35 mark).
Earlier this week MacRumors.com posted a review of the new features available in the fifth developer beta release of iOS 7.1. One of the new features is a Buy Album button now included with iTunes Radio. In their example screenshot for the new iTunes Radio feature they use Rush's The Spirit of Radio Greatest Hits as seen here.
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently sat down with Guitar Center for an interview at their San Francisco store. At one point he talks about hanging out with Alex Lifeson after a Rush show:
There was another time when I found myself thinking, "Holy sh*t. I'm living my high school fantasy". And that was when I had gone to see Rush and then after the show I was hanging out with Alex Lifeson. We were just hanging out, drinking wine, talking about guitars and I thought, "Yeah - I really made it. I'm really here, right now, hanging out with Alex Lifeson backstage drinking wine." It doesn't get much better than that.
You can check out the full interview on YouTube below or at this link; the Rush part comes in at about the 6:25 mark.
That's all for this week. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!