Rush is a Band

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

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Excerpts from Classic Rock's Prog magazine Rush feature

Thu, May 5, 2011@4:39PM | comments removed/disabled

Issue #16 of Classic Rock's Prog magazine hit newsstands a couple of weeks ago. The issue features Rush on the cover along with a 10-page spread on the band including an extensive interview with Neil Peart. UK reader Henry W sent along some scans of the article and I was able to transcribe a few pieces. The Neil Peart interview is titled The Beat Goes On and starts off with Neil discussing his 2 major activities outside of drumming; motorcycling and writing. He then talks about how he's anxious to get back to work on Rush's upcoming 19th studio album Clockwork Angels:

... "I feel a certain urgency, I really want to get that record made while I'm still able to," he says. "It was hard for me to set the album aside to tour, this really means a lot to me, I intend it to be my highest achievement lyrically and drumming wise, so I really want to get it done while we still can."

"Nick is a very bad influence," Peart continues. "He wants us to be more Rush than we are, it's wonderful, he pushes me in ways I wouldn't dare. In the middle of Caravan there's a ridiculous fill and it was Nick who wanted me to go all the way down the toms and back up again and once I'd done it, my comment was, 'I'm so ashamed!'," he laughs. "He was in the studio outlining his idea to me, and Geddy's sitting down next to us and he looks up over his glasses and says, 'Oh, he wants to make you famous'. I would have never have proposed some of Nick's arrangement ideas to my bandmates, I'm not that brash, we're not that brash ... we're Canadians." ...

He goes on to talk about the band's longevity, Moving Pictures and the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage - which he still hasn't watched yet because of some of the more difficult subject matter involving the untimely death of his daughter and wife in the late 90's that are discussed in the film. He doesn't like to be reminded of those events which were also brought up in an extensive CNN interview with the band last year:

... [the interview] was supposed to be, we thought, a nice light-hearted chat in front of the stage. But even when they've been asked not to, interviewers feel compelled to ask what they think the tough questions are. It's agonizing for me, it's horrible. Why do that? I know they want me to break down on camera because it'll make great footage, but it doesn't make me feel very good. I tried to steer them gracefully away from it as best I could, and I gave them a bit of stick about it later too." ...

Neil then remarks on the band's surge in popularity in the last few years, specifically their appearance in the I Love You Man movie and guest spot on The Colbert Report, where some backstage footage was shot of the band playing (badly) their own song Tom Sawyer on the Rock Band video game:

... "I sucked so bad at that game, it was perfect," says Peart. 'That game was wrong, though, I was playing the right drum part, it had the wrong one, I swear!" ...

There's also a short interview with Geddy Lee titled Oh My God! It Goes On Forever! where Geddy discusses the Moving Pictures 30th anniversary deluxe edition and gives his opinions on the 5.1 format:

... For me, [5.1 is] the complete opposite of downloading a song as an MP3. I don't care what anyone says, those things sound like crap compared to the original. People say that you can't tell the difference, but you're listening on these stupid little ear buds, so what the f**k? It does sound worse. So yeah, 5.1 is the antithesis of all that. The only way to hear it is in a big room with all the right equipment. It's kind of nice to go against the grain like that." ...

Geddy on re-learning the fan-favorite epic track from Moving Pictures - The Camera Eye:

... I was really gritting my teeth before we set out to learn that song. Alex and I were sitting in my studio at home and we were listening to it, saying Oh my god, it goes on forever! What the hell were we thinking? So we very judiciously eliminated a minute and a half of its 12 minutes. But little did we know how difficult it would be to learn a 12-minute song that suddenly became a 10-and-a-half minute song, because the edits were so subtle that they were harder for us to learn. It really would have been easier to just play the whole damn thing! Ha ha!" ...

Rounding out the Rush feature is a very enlightening article/interview with Geddy Lee discussing Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album:

... "We have about six songs finished and waiting to go into preproduction and then be recorded. We've been kind of afraid to go back to them, because we don't want to start f**king around with them, we liked them at the time. We're very obsessive about fiddling with our own music, so we just said Okay, let's leave them in that state until we're ready to get more serious.

"Alex and I tried to do some writing on this break." Geddy continues. "We've had three months, so we thought Okay, so maybe we should get all of the rest of the record finished ... but Neil just had a baby last year and he needed to use that time to be a dad and to be domestic, and he didn't want to uproot and get into this intense writing session, and that was totally cool. So Alex and I have been getting together regularly and jamming, and now we have a lot of good material just lying around in suspended animation." ...

... "We're going in a conceptual direction on this record, for sure," says Lee. "We started with a 10-minute song idea that then turned into a concept and it's feeding off itself. It's like that question that Steven Colbert asked us in the movie. Are your songs so long that by the end you're influencing yourself? I think we're doing that now. We're like a feedback loop, influencing ourselves now. We're spending so much time on this concept. It's been fun, because we haven't gone down that road in a while. Let's see if we can pull it off!" ... "It's not just the fans! We're hoping for another great Rush album ourselves!" ...

For anyone who would like to get a subscription to Prog or purchase the issue, you can do so via this website.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson interview from the Toledo Free Press]
[New Geddy Lee radio interview at the UK's 106.1 Rock Radio]
[Short Rush Clockwork Angels feature in March issue of Mojo]
[New Alex Lifeson interview in Guitarist magazine]
[Rush's Caravan makes Amazon's 100 Bestselling Songs of 2010]
[Alex Lifeson interview with Chile's Radio Futuro]
[New interviews with Geddy and Alex from the Brazilian press]
[New Geddy Lee interview with Brazil's TV UOL]

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