Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rush: Neil Peart talks new album and tour

Rush are getting set to launch their “Clockwork Angels” tour, which kicks off in Manchester, NH. on September 7.

In a new interview with Canada’s Maclean’s magazine, Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart shares some thoughts on the upcoming tour and talks about the concept of the new album.

“This started as a simple [idea]—the steampunk image and aesthetic I liked, I suggested to the guys as the basis for some kind of extended work,” explains Peart. “It built up to [the album] piece by piece by organic expansion. All the music was created by [bassist] Geddy [Lee] and [guitarist] Alex [Lifeson] jamming in the studio, and many of the lyrics were just extemporized over email.”

“There’s so much life experience in this story—it’s not just a far-blown fantasy,”
he continues. ‘Wish Them Well’ [offers] a very mature response to the world that it took me a long time to learn. In a lot of our early stuff, my lyrical inspiration was anger, for sure. [laughs] There’s still a lot I’m angry about, a lot of human behaviour that’s appalling and despicable, but you choose what you can fight against. I always thought if I could just put something in words perfectly enough, people would get the idea and it would change things. That’s a harmless conceit. With people too, you constantly think, 'If I’m nice to people and treat them well, they’ll appreciate it and behave better.' They won’t, but it’s still not a bad way to live.”

Asked if there is a link between writing about a land that’s meant to function like clockwork and Neil’s goal to become a more spontaneous drummer, he says “It’s absolutely coincidental. I have been on that campaign for four or five years. [In the past], my ambition was not a humble one, to try to play with superhuman perfection in the studio and then reproduce that every night. Once I had defined myself as a compositional drummer, I thought, 'Well, I want to be an improvisational drummer.' I think in the recorded drum parts on this album, you can sense the excitement and danger: 'This guy never played that before, and he just barely made it.' I’m going to cut myself completely loose this tour; I’d always composed and choreographed a tour solo and then improvised within that framework, and this time, I’m throwing that out.”

“The old stuff will remain,” says Peart. “A song like ‘Tom Sawyer’ I don’t need to change. It’s always hard; it’s always satisfying. Why mess with it? And I play some of those songs now so much better than I did then, because I was approximating a style and a feel that now I understand.”

Read the full Neil Peart session with Maclean's here.

Rush Rush

See also:

Rush: Clockwork Angels book launch events announced
Rush to be inducted into Guitar Center’s Rock Walk
Rush: Special editions of Clockwork Angels novel announced
VIDEO: Rush’s Geddy Lee on singing Neil Peart’s lyrics
Rush bassist awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal
Rush: Clockwork Angels debuts at #1 in Canada
Rush debut on US album charts
Rush bringing string ensemble on tour
Rush guitarist discusses Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame snub
Rush guitarist discusses setlist for Clockwork Angels tour
Rush tops the hennemusic Hot 10
Rush on track for highest US chart debut in 20 years
Rush: Neil Peart talks Clockwork Angels
VIDEO: Rush’s Geddy Lee interviewed on Canada’s national newscast
AUDIO: Rush – The Garden
AUDIO: Rush – Wish Them Well
AUDIO: Rush – BU2B2
AUDIO: Rush – The Wreckers
AUDIO: Rush – Seven Cities Of Gold
AUDIO: Rush – Halo Effect
AUDIO: Rush – CarniesAUDIO: Rush – The Anarchist
AUDIO: Rush – Clockwork Angels