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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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New Neil Peart Canadian Press interview

Thu, Mar 25, 2010@5:02PM | comments removed/disabled

[Rush say Canadian songwriters' hall induction means more than Rock hall snub]

This coming Sunday, March 28th Rush will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Hall's 6th annual Gala at the George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts. They will be recognized for their songs Limelight, Closer to the Heart, The Spirit of Radio, Tom Sawyer and Subdivisions. On Tuesday, the CBC posted a nearly hour-long video interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson where they discuss the upcoming induction with Laurie Brown. The two reveal that the band has been writing new material and Geddy excitedly says the following at one point:

... Just about a month and a half ago we had no songs. And now we've been writing and now we've got about 6 songs that we just love...

Today the Canadian Press published an article (thanks glortiz) where they speak with Neil Peart regarding his thoughts on the induction and he also reveals some information regarding the band's new material:

... While their induction has to do with songs that Rush wrote more than a quarter-century ago, Peart is excited about their current output, too.

In fact, he says the band plans to do pre-production on two new songs in the coming weeks, with a tour possibly following.

"We're going to put those (songs) together and if they turn out well, we'll maybe even release them (on their own)," he said. "We're saying, what if we do a little songwriting and then a little touring to play those songs, and then get back to the songwriting again? It would be an interesting way to shake up our usual way.

"There's nothing I can confirm yet ... these things are immensely complicated and so much involved, all I can say is that we're considering that." ...

So it looks like they may not be recording all 6 of the songs mentioned in the CBC interview; at least not initially. This jibes with something I'd picked up from a source recently who informed me that the band was getting together in April in Nashville to record 2 songs with Nick Raskulinecz. Neil's comments seem to confirm this for the most part. They still couldn't squeeze a tour confirmation out of him though! Neil also relays his thoughts on Rush's exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

... "No ... you know who it matters to, is the fans," ... "It would matter a lot to our fans for us to have that validation. It doesn't matter to me. I've got the success and respect that we've had, and the opportunity to do exactly what we wanted for 35 years, do we need them to make us feel better? No, not at all."

"Being in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, that's 10 times - 100 times - more (important) than being in some critics' list." ...

The performers at the gala will include Canadian hardcore rockers Alexisonfire who will be performing Tom Sawyer. Drummer Jordan Hastings was recently interviewed for an article in the Hamilton Spectator (thanks RushFanForever) and discusses Alexisonfire's connections with Rush and how honored they are to perform:

... "When I was a kid I had a drum teacher who used to like playing bass with his drum students," says Hastings, 28, who still lives in Burlington. "The only bass lines he knew were Rush bass lines so he'd teach me how to play the drums and we'd jam out. That was when I was about 12 or 13, maybe.

"I've been a Rush fan for a long time. My dad's a Rush fan. Every single drum teacher I've had has been a Rush fan. It's one of those things, if you're a drummer, you really respect Neil's work. This guy really knows what he's doing."

There's also this other connection between Rush and Alexisonfire. Peart was born in Hamilton, as were three of the five members of Alexisonfire, including Hastings.

Peart then grew up in Port Dalhousie, near St. Catharines. ... where Alexisonfire came together, eight years ago.

"Our bass player and guitar player lived in a house in Port Dalhousie for quite some time," Hastings explains. "That's another reason why we think (Rush) may have come to us."

Either way, the entire band considers it an honour to be playing at Rush's Hall of Fame induction. They're expecting Peart, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee to be in the audience. Alexisonfire knows they have to be sharp. They've been practicing Tom Sawyer while on their current tour with Billy Talent.

"We've made a little tweak here and there," Hastings said. "But we haven't really strayed from the song at all." ...

Primus frontman Les Claypool will be playing a version of The Spirit of Radio and had the following to say in the same Canadian Press article mentioned above:

... "I can tell you it's a bitch to play," ... "Playing it's not nearly as difficult as singing it. I don't think I'll be going into the dolphin spectrum that Geddy (Lee) goes into. I might be bringing it down an octave."

Claypool says he's been a Rush fan since he was 13 or 14 years old. It was then that he went to see the band perform live, his first-ever concert.

"I drank three beers and threw up in the parking lot," he recalled.

"I had a great time." ...

Also performing will be Canadian folk singer/songwriter Jacob Moon who will be doing his rendition of Subdivisions.

Tickets are available for the Gala and can be purchased via ticketmaster at this link. There is a special offer for Rush fans; simply enter the pass code SONGS when requesting tickets and get a 20% discount. The ceremony will air on radio the day after the Gala on March 29th at 7PM on CBC Radio 2 as a special presentation of Canada Live and at 4PM on Espace Musique.

Related posts:
[New CBC video interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson]
[Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala tickets special offer]
[Alexisonfire, Les Claypool, Jacob Moon to honor Rush at Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala]
[Rush to be inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame]

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