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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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New Neil Peart interview up at billboard.com

Tue, Sep 12, 2006@12:00AM | comments removed/disabled

[Rush Wrestling With Faith On New Album]

UPDATE - 9/15@3:15PM: The entire interview is now up on Billboard.com here.

On this day in 1952, the greatest drummer of all time, Neil Ellwood Peart was born. Happy 54th birthday Neil! Neil seems to be celebrating this birthday by conducting a flurry of interviews to make up for the last 9 years or so. He recently spoke with Jim Ladd of Los Angeles's KLOS, he will be interviewed for VH1 Classic by Eddie Trunk sometime this week and an interview he did for billboard.com appeared online yesterday. We already know that Neil's new book, Roadshow, will be released at the end of this month; that Rush had about 8 songs put together for the new album already; and that Rush will get together to finish up pre-production on the new album next week, finally heading into the studio with Nick Raskulinecz in November. But Neil divulged some very interesting details about the new songs and expanded on his description of them being "spiritual" which he made back in his last website update. From the billboard.com article:

... his lyrics for the as-yet-untitled set were greatly influenced by his motorcycle journeys throughout the United States, chronicled in the new book "Roadshow: Landscape With Drums."

Peart says he was struck by the ubiquity of religious billboards that have sprung up on America's highways, which got him thinking about some weighty topics. "Just seeing the power of evangelical Christianity and contrasting that with the power of fundamentalist religion all over the world in its different forms had a big effect on me," he says.

"You try to put your own way of seeing the world into some kind of congruence with other peoples, and that's difficult for me," he admits. "I mean, I see the world in what I think to be a perfectly obvious and rational way, but when you go out into it and see the way other people think and behave, and express themselves on church signs, you realize, 'Well, I'm not really part of this club.'"

"I looked for the good side of faith," Peart says. "To me it ought to be your armor, something to protect you and something to console you in dark times. But it's more often being turned into a sword, and that's one big theme I'm messing with."

Musically, the new album is continuing in much the same vein as 2002's "Vapor Trails," which returned Rush to a more guitar/bass/drums-driven sound. But Peart is quick to add that the music is "remarkably organic in a way that I haven't heard [from Rush] before. We spent a month together in May working on those songs and developing our individual instrument parts for them. It's early to characterize it, but it's definitely fresh and different and that's certainly satisfying."...

And he says this regarding his thoughts about another Rush tour:

... Peart, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson will regroup next month to finish pre-production and will begin recording in November. However, as Peart writes at the conclusion of "Roadshow," he is ambivalent about putting himself through yet another massive world tour.

"It is true that in 1989 I announced that I wasn't going to tour anymore, and have said that every time since and have gone back and decided [to do it] for all good reasons," he says. "One of the main ones to me is that a band plays live, so if I want to consider our band as a living, working thing then that's the case. I haven't in my own mind committed to [another tour] yet, but of course I haven't ruled it out, either." ...

I wouldn't worry too much about this. Like he said himself, he's been saying this since 1989 and Rush always ends up touring.

Related Posts:
[Neil Peart interview report with new album news]
[Nick Raskulinecz to produce new Rush album]
[Neil Peart site update: new album news, a side project and the West Coast Kit]
[Geddy Lee hopes for new album and tour in early 2007]
[New album news from NeilPeart.net!]
[Close encounters of the Alex Lifeson kind ... and new album news]
[New album, tour and book: NeilPeart.net News Update!]

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