Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Thu, Apr 25, 2024

Neil Peart site update: new album news, a side project and the West Coast Kit

Tue, Jun 27, 2006@10:18AM | comments removed/disabled

[ NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS - June 17, 2006]

UPDATE: 8/30@11:29AM: The producer for the new album has been named.

Neil Peart has updated the News section of his website once again. In his last update from late April, Neil discussed a February meeting with Alex and Geddy where they tossed around some song ideas and revealed that the band would be in the studio in May. He now gives some details about the studio work:

... My bandmates and I had decided to spend May working together in a Toronto studio, to refine some of the songs we had worked on long-distance over the winter, and hopefully to write some new ones. The small studio was located in an old waterfront area, just a block or so from Lake Ontario, a remote little corner sidelined by more modern dock facilities elsewhere. ... One afternoon the three of us and a couple of our crew members gathered by the glass doors to watch a thunderstorm loom in across that skyline, magnesium flares of lightning and simultaneous shockwaves of thunder. ... When we weren't busy watching thunderstorms, or eating lunch, we did a lot of work. I had a little room in a corner of the building where I could tinker with lyrics; Alex and Geddy were set up in the control room with guitars, computers, and vocal mic, and my drums were in the recording room. When I had had enough of struggling to put lyrical words together, I could escape to the drums and play along with rough versions of the songs when the guys were ready to hand them over. As I mentioned in the last report, I have been very enthusiastic about drumming lately, and I did find myself exploring new ways to put drum parts together, and new approaches to playing them. (Not really "new," of course, but "new to me.")

By the end of May, we had eight songs that we all liked, and I had worked out drum parts for six of them. So the work had gone well, but it had not been easy. ... at the end of our month together, I was driving from Toronto to Quebec for a few days' rest, and I was able to listen to the songs we had been working on in the familiar, pleasurable space of a car cruising down the long, straight highway.

The next day I wrote to Alex and Geddy,

"On the drive back yesterday, I did have the opportunity to listen to the new songs with some objectivity, in my favorite listening environment, and I wanted to tell you I think they are great! The freshest stuff we have done since - well, ever!

As I intuited when I first heard your song sketches, there is something very different about the character of these songs, and I'm really pleased by that.

I mean to say - at our ages!"

In addition, Neil mentions that the band will "reconvene in September" though doesn't give details.

Also, not to be outdone by all of Alex Lifeson's side projects, Neil revealed a side project of his own; with his friend and member of Vertical Horizon, Matt Scannell:

... As told in Traveling Music, Matt and I became friends a few years ago by a fairly remarkable set of circumstances, ignited by my admiration for Matt's work with Vertical Horizon. Since we were both immigrants to Los Angeles (Matt grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts), and shared an interest in music, fine watches, fast cars, silly humor, and each other's lives and work, he and I often got together for a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, or a burger at Broadway Deli. ... Late in 2005, Matt and I started working on a song together, with lyrics I wrote especially for Matt's voice - literal and metaphorical. Matt suggested I might like to play drums on that song, and when I agreed to that, he started sending me demos of other songs he thought I might like to play on. (Trickster!) ... on June 14, 2006, at Capitol Records Studio B in Hollywood (Hollywood and Vine, in fact), I recorded three songs for Matt's upcoming Vertical Horizon album. Even the drumset I played that day has a rich back-story, starting about two months earlier. ...

... which seques into the next bit of news.

... While considering the logistics of getting my drums from Toronto to Los Angeles and back, I was talking with my friends at Drum Workshop, and they pointed out that some busy drummers have a different drumset for each coast, stored and ready when they need it. Since I lived on the West Coast now, maybe I should have a "West Coast kit." ... Lorne and I had decided on a "tobacco sunburst" finish, like a classic guitar, but when John chose "curly maple" for the base of it, and master painter Louie applied his artistry, they looked way better than I had imagined. And once I started playing them, John's painstaking design of their acoustic properties paid off, too - people coming in from outside the showroom remarked on how good they sounded even from outside. ...

And of course, the sports news:

... One day while we were working in Toronto, Pegi at the office sent an e-mail to the three of us. She said she had received an urgent call from the CBC about using "Closer to the Heart" in that night's broadcast of "Hockey Night in Canada." Pegi had gone ahead and given permission on our behalf, guessing we wouldn't object. ... I happened to watch the beginning of the game that night, which opened with a montage of historic hockey moments set to an edited version of "Closer to the Heart." Over the line, "You can be the captain," they flashed a shot of a team captain's jersey, with the big "C" on it.

Then they cut live to the darkened arena, dramatic synthesizer chords swelling as the players circled the ice, swept by colored spotlights. Ron McLean's first words were, "Everybody loves a rush - except the goaltender."

We had become a hockey reference!

You really cannot beat that.

Wow. These updates are absolutely amazing. I'm already anxiously awaiting the next one.

Related Posts:
[Geddy Lee hopes for new album and tour in early 2007]
[New album news from!]
[Close encounters of the Alex Lifeson kind ... and new album news]
[New album, tour and book: News Update!]

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