Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rush: Alex Lifeson talks about new album

As a group, Rush have been juggling a few projects lately:

01 – creating a 5.1 surround remix of their 1981 classic, “Moving Pictures”
02 – creating a new remix of 2002’s “Vapor Trails”
03 – gearing up to resume their Time Machine tour as of March 30
04 – working on new material for their next album, “Clockwork Angels”

Beyond that, Neil Peart has a new book coming out in May, and Alex Lifeson is in the midst of launching his new custom guitar, the Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess.

With all this going on, Lifeson took some time out to chat with about a bunch of things, including an update on how the new album is shaping up.

Here’s part of that conversation:

Gibson: When we spoke last year, you had two songs in the can for Clockwork Angels. How far has work on the album progressed?

Alex Lifeson:
Well, you know, we had six songs written. Those two were the two we decided to record just prior to the tour start, around this time last year. Since then, Geddy and I have been writing. We’ve been writing for the last couple of weeks and I think we’ve got the makings of another song. Pretty close. Some other snippets of ideas. Once we get back into the writing full-steam in the next week or so, with all those bits and pieces, I’m sure we’ll be able to get at least another song or maybe two. In which case, I think we’re looking at eight or nine songs as the magic number.

Gibson: Are you starting to get a sense of when the album might come out?

Well, you know, that’s been sort of in flux lately because we decided to go back on the road. We finished the last tour and there was such a movement to keep us out there. (laughs) And we gave in to that. You know, our intention was to get into the studio and record as soon as that brief tour ended, but that didn’t quite happen. So we’re back from this tour in July. We’ll take a short break in the summer, start recording in September and hopefully have the new album out for the start of the next tour, which would be in the spring of 2012.

Gibson: Because the songwriting and recording process of the album has been drawn out, on account of the tour, have you found that the material or the concept has evolved beyond what you originally conceived?

Well, it’s hard to tell because we haven’t really gone back to the old material. Ged and I both really wanted to move forward. You know, if we start listening to the old stuff, we’ll get bogged down with reworking the arrangements. I know exactly what we would end up doing. Instead, we’d rather move forward, continue writing, then look at the whole project and see what needs to be done with it in terms of any other rearrangements or rewriting or anything like that.

Actually, that’s the benefit of looking at this as a long-term project. There’s lots of room and space to update and change things as we go along. In terms of whether it’s deviated from the original concept, it’s a little hard to say. Neil, already, has been talking about rewriting a bunch of lyrics and he has some shifts, I think, in direction maybe in mind, although he hasn’t elaborated on that yet.

Check out the full Alex Lifeson interview at Gibson here.

Rush Rush

Rush – Caravan
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Irvine, CA - August 13, 2010

See also:

Rush: Moving Pictures 5.1 surround due April 5?
Rush producer confirms plans for Vapor Trails remix
Rush working on 5.1 surround sound mix of Moving Pictures
Rush: Neil Peart talks new book and forthcoming DVD
Rush: New limited edition autographed Neil Peart book available