Here at rushonrock we’ll be bringing you a full review of the band’s new arena production.
And to get you in the mood here’s the second part of our exclusive interview with Alex Lifeson…
rushonrock: Are Rush in rude health music-wise in 2011?
AL: I feel very confident about where we are in terms of playing. We’re playing some of the best music we’ve ever played. There’s a consistency night after night that wasn’t necessarily there in the early days. On the last tour we played really, really well night after night with some outstanding performances. It’s funny but it’s just so enjoyable to play right now. I’m not bored of a single song we’ve written over the years and I look forward to playing every one of them. We’re on a roll as a band.
rushonrock: Would you ever leave the UK off your touring schedule now?
AL: We’re looking forward to hitting the UK again. After being away for 12 years or so we just love to keep coming back time and time again. We did think that maybe we should give the UK and Europe a break this time. But then the tour’s been so popular elsewhere and with the Moving Pictures idea taking off we thought it would be unfair to leave the UK out of the loop. There was always quite a lot of interest in us coming back and it’s a no-brainer for the band. We just love the UK. Geddy has a flat in London and he plans on spending more time there in the future.
rushonrock: Is the new album still on course to be released next year?
AL: We’ve been writing new songs this year and we plan to enter the studio in September with plans for a record release in the spring of 2012. We haven’t changed the songwriting process too much over the years – we jam, we see how the lyrics fit. Essentially it’s always been the same. These days it does feel far more comfortable writing a new Rush record though.
rushonrock: Why is that?
AL: We delegate a lot more to each other – in the past we’ve been a bit more precious about who does what and how they do it. We’re very supportive of each other these days and it’s a very positive and pleasant working environment. When you’re younger it’s very easy to get your back up and get all protective about your ideas and how other people approach them. It’s a difficult balancing act. Sometimes conflict can be a good thing but we prefer the harmony we have now.
rushonrock: Rush are, of course, movie stars following the success of Beyond The Lighted Stage but was that film good or bad for the band?
AL: Going by the respect I get on the street, from what I’ve seen of the reviews and the renewed interest in the band I’d have to say that the Beyond The Lighted Stage film has been a huge positive for Rush. A lot has changed since that film was released. The demographic of our audience has changed significantly – there’s a lot more women at our shows! I think wives and girlfriends of Rush fans have seen a different side to the band thanks to the film. They have seen us as family people and they have seen what we hold dear in this life. Something in that film resonates with far more people than we ever imagined. Before BTLS we were well known and now we’re a little more famous!
rushonrock: So is there any downside to your life story being told on the big screen?
AL: We don’t really like the intrusion into our private lives. There’s something to be said for being an underground band or a cult act. At the same time we’re reaching so many more people with music we’re very proud of.
rushonrock: Do you feel anything could have been handled differently?
AL: We had nothing to do with the film other than to be the subject of it. We made it very clear that we didn’t want any editing rights or approval rights. But the filmmakers did want us to come in and see the film as a rough edit. We didn’t volunteer any kind of cuts though. It’s very symbiotic. To see your life before you over a 40-year period is very weird. But I see the ‘story’ now. I could never see it before and didn’t really think there was a story there. You realise that it’s very unusual and unconventional for a band to stay together for the period of time we have been together.