Friday, May 25, 2012

Rush guitarist talks about making new album

June 12th can’t come fast enough for Rush fans as they anxiously await the release of the band’s new album, “Clockwork Angels.”

The thematic project has been billed as following the story of a young man’s quest across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy as he attempts to follow his dreams. The tale features lost cities, pirates, anarchists, an exotic carnival, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.

Rush offered up two tracks – “Caravan” and “BU2B” – in 2010 as a work-in-progres preview of the new project before the group headed out on their extensive Time Machine tour.

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson spoke with Metal Express Radio about looking forward to finally getting "Clockwork Angels" released.

“Yeah, it's been a long project,” began Lifeson. “We released a couple of songs before the last tour, and that's the first time that we've done something like that where we've recorded a couple of songs from a record that hasn't been released yet. It was kind of fun to get those songs out, to work them and play them and have a peek into what the project was going to be. It was great for getting us back into writing, which we did last fall where we got into the bulk of the writing and where the whole story started to come together. That's where we got a sense of where the album was going.”

The album is a mix of past, present, and maybe future, for Rush, displaying elements of the band’s complex arrangements and mood changes while keeping the contemporary feel of the group’s more recent work.

Lifeson was asked if this was the plan when he first started discussing musical ideas with bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee.

“I don't know, really. I'm never sure what the plan is,” said Alex. “We sort of start on the day and it takes its shape and we kind of go with it. I think probably with this record, we really wanted to play and wanted to stretch out a little bit. We wanted to have fun playing and also to strip things down a little. I think ‘Snakes & Arrows’, in retrospect, was a little bit dense, because it was written on acoustic guitar, which played a major role in the production. We layered a lot of acoustics and electrics and I think we got just a little cloudy at times. I really like the record, but with hindsight of living with it for a while, we realized that we kind of overcooked it a bit.”

“We really wanted to strip it down and have more of a three-piece feel to it,” Lifeson continued. “There`s no rhythm guitar during the guitar solos and such, which are things you end up doing as you like the sound of it because you like all the colour, but it`s not always necessary and I think the album comes across as a lot more powerful as a result.”

Read more with Alex Lifeson at Metal Express Radio here.

Rush Rush

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