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John Wesley Guitar Player feature with Alex Lifeson sidebar interview now available online

Mon, Feb 2, 2015@8:44AM | comments

Guitarist John Wesley's latest album Disconnect released back in April of last year and Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance, playing a guitar solo on the track Once a Warrior. Wesley is best known to Rush fans as the touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree. A live video of Wesley and his band performing Once a Warrior - including Wesley's tackling of Lifeson's solo - can be viewed on YouTube at this location. Wesley was the subject of an extensive interview feature by Anil Prasad in the October, 2014 issue of Guitar Player magazine last year. The feature included a short sidebar interview with Alex Lifeson where Alex talks about his involvement with Disconnect. The entire article feature, including Alex's sidebar, was recently made available online in expanded format on the Innerviews website here. Wesley talks about how Lifeson became involved with the project:

... He played on the Porcupine Tree track "Anesthetize" and I would cover his solo live. During the 2007 tour, we learned Alex was going to attend the Toronto show. So many of my formative guitar influences came from Rush records. I remember warming up before the show thinking "Oh my God, he's going to watch me play and know I stole everything from him." [laughs] But he was a lot of fun, gracious and we became friends. Once, at a subsequent Rush gig, he asked me what I was up to and I said "I'm finishing up Disconnect." He said "Got any space left for me?" I looked at him and said "Why, yes I do." [laughs] Dean and I then went back and created solo space in the track that would really allow Alex to breathe and do what he wants while still serving the song. I sent the piece to Alex with no instructions other than "Just play." Two weeks later, he sent it back and I thought "Wow." It was such an appropriate solo. He really listened to the song and you can hear its melodies reflected in his solo. He didn't just blast something out over the chord changes. He created something that really fit. ...

And in Alex Lifeson's sidebar interview Alex explains why he wanted to contribute to the album:

... I could tell that John and I shared the same discipline in our guitar playing in terms of context and content; that's evident throughout Wes' songs on the album. The dynamics employed in his songwriting, and the strong vocal and guitar performances on every track make Disconnect cohesive and meaty. It was a privilege to be a part of it. ...

Wesley also discusses his friendship with Neil Peart and how that came about. You can read the entire piece online here and learn more about John Wesley by visiting his website or following him on Facebook.