This interview is in honor of the 300th issue of Classic Rock magazine, which launched in 1998. Anniversary issue available for purchase onlineand also interviewed Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Rick Nielsen, Slash, and more.
It is important to look forward, not backward, Geddy Lee Over the past few years, he has experienced some kind of introspection.since hurry Retiring in 2015, their former singer and bassist has kept himself busy, starting with his acclaimed Geddy Lee’s Beautiful Big Bass Bookand then write his memoir, expected in the spring of 2023.
There’s also the issue of his former band’s new beer, and the ongoing re-release campaign for their old catalog.However, in 1998, as classic rock Coming into this world with a scream, Rush is in a very different place and is about to become a completely different band.
In 1998, following the death of the daughter of Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart the year before, many believed that Rush as a band was over..
It was a shocking and terrifying moment.Neil is destroyed so all we care about is being around him [his wife] jackie. I think the band is done? My gut tells him that it’s unlikely he wants to go back to his old life. But of course you’re not sure.so alex [Lifeson, guitarist] I just decided we won’t talk about it until Neil is ready, while evaluating and figuring out how we should handle ourselves individually.
Is that the reason for your first and only solo album to date, 2000’s My Favorite Headache?
Many of them are Ben Mink [violinist on Rush’s Losing It]. We used to improvise at my house and we started writing together just to see what would happen. Then tragedy happened to Neil, who flew to London because he really couldn’t stand being surrounded by all the memories of his daughter in Toronto.
During that time, I started thinking about making a solo record. I think it’s best to put your heart and soul into your work. It was a really weird time because on the one hand I was breaking new ground in doing my own thing, but there were also some really rushed moments on that record.
You finally re-formed a band in 2001 to work on the future Vapor Trajectory. It must be a relief to be together again, right?
Oh great. Within minutes, we were laughing. Whenever we meet, it’s like yesterday. Within five minutes, we passed each other, laughing and chasing. Everyone has been through a lot. There is no one more than Neil. But it’s like going back to the bike.
Has it changed you as a band?
Absolutely. As the band’s first tour, a different world. We took a different approach on that trip; we were more open and grateful for the opportunity. Five years later, there is a lot of cynicism in our behavior. When we played for the first time after so many years and were greeted so warmly, I think everyone was taken aback: “Wow, these people are waiting for us.”
Changed tone: It’s hard to imagine old Rush sipping cocktails on album covers with cartoon dragons like you used to rush into rio.
No, Rush 2.0 is another animal.
this give back Have the same fun with the EP you recorded for the R30 tour.
We wanted to bring something new to that tour, but after fourteen months of production Vapor Trajectory – and it was very difficult to make – the thought of going back to the studio, we couldn’t stand it. The idea of doing a cover for the band that inspired us was perfect. We didn’t think too much — if there was any band that could think too much, it was Rush.
compared to making Vapor Trajectory2007 S meetingsnake and arrow album made easy.
That’s our introduction to producer Nick Raskulinecz, who is such a supplement. Such good energy, so much fun. We were in this huge, rambling place near Woodstock, just doing the drum part there, but we had so much fun, we just left the whole album. snake and arrow and Clockwork Angel Probably the two most fulfilling recording experiences we’ve ever had.This is the happiest period the band has had since permanent wave .
Although this was never the intention of the band, Clockwork Angel is a great record.
Al and I were just talking about this the other night, and judging from the vibe of personal chemistry writing, it was the happiest collaboration we’ve had since we were kids. From a songwriter’s perspective, this is probably the most accomplished work we’ve done in our entire history.
You’ve partnered with Hendersons Brewing to make beer.
I mean, Rush fans love beer. The Hendersons approached us during the pandemic and said if you were interested, we would send you and Alex 15 beers that you could taste and give us your notes. They came back with this golden beer and we said, “Fuck, we love it!” You know the phrase “drinking beer is better than hitting your head with a hammer” can’t be put on a beer can? Neither do I. But that doesn’t work. We did ask.
I’m guessing this is Alex’s suggestion. You two are still so close, aren’t you?
We went out to dinner recently and it was just the two of us and we sat down and looked at each other and we played a high five. It’s like I’m sixteen again, driving my mom’s car with Al next to me. We laughed in seconds. I don’t have another friend like this in my life. That will never change.
Rush’s Moving Pictures Deluxe Edition Now Available.