January 08, 2016

Geddy Lee on the state of Rush

Geddy Lee talked to Paste. He sheds some light on the state of Rush. After they wrapped up the R40 tour rumours started flying that the band is finished, because drummer Neil Peart has said that won't he hitting the road again.

Its intention was not a farewell tour; its intention was a look back and a celebration of 40 years of music. We happen to find ourselves in a very differing state of mind in terms of doing major tours. Neil is not up for the kind of work that it takes for him to be ready to put out a three-hour show the way we have for the last 20-odd years. So his interest in this kind of touring has dwindled. And that’s sort of where we’re at. It doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t do another record together, and it doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t play another concert together — it just means that for the moment we cannot agree on doing a big tour.

Rush is well respected band these days, revered by musos and a huge fanbase. Things could have been quite differrent. The 40th anniversary of 2112 album is coming up. At the time of release it was a make-or-break album after the critics panned its predecessor Caress of Steel and the subsequent tour was a shambles. Lee:

Well I think 2112 was such strange time, because we’d just finished up a tour that was an absolute disaster for us, and we’d finished an album that was reviled by the record company, and didn’t sell very well. People were starting to look at us as a bad return on their investment. So we were pretty disheartened, I would say—the quality of our gigs was going south, not north. So when we put [2112] together it was kind of a way of saying to each other, “Look, if we’re gonna go down, let’s go down doing what we want to do, what we believe we’re meant to do.” So, rather than abandon the concept album, which is the pressure everyone was giving us after Caress of Steel, we decided to just do another one. And, fortunately, we were much better at it [laughs]. I think some of our desperation and some of our passion came through on that record; it was more streamlined and had a clearer focus. And I think it was part of the learning process, but also very much a reaction to the pressure we were under to commercialize.

» rush.com

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