Classic Rock Revisited
recently conducted an interview with guitarist Alex Lifeson
of Canadian rock legends RUSH
. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On "Clockwork Angels"
's return to a concept album:Lifeson
: "We did a number of strictly concept pieces, but a long time ago we decided that we'd run that format through. We moved away from that in the late 1970s. At the same time, all of our records are all thematic and loosely connected; sometimes it is broader and sometimes it is narrower. Nick
, producer] was really pushing for something like that; not specifically a concept, but a story."
On the songwriting and recording process for "Clockwork Angels"
: "We spread this one out over a couple of years and it ended up being a very nice way to work. It gave us a bit of breathing space, as we wrote in groups of songs. I think that always helps to get a little bit of variety. When you get into the studio and you record everything together, then it brings that consistency through it. I think we really achieved an interesting dynamic. We have a lot of songs that are different from each other. I think a lot of the songs are very cinematic and part of the story. The first batch we did consisted of five songs that we wrote several years ago. When I think of the songs on the album I think of them in the little groups that we wrote them in."
On how RUSH
in 2012 is different to the band it was in 1976:Lifeson
: "Youth is a very volatile thing. When we were younger we thought differently about our songwriting and our playing. We set a very high standard for ourselves and we always wanted to reach our goals. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we worked very fast. We, generally, had very little time to work on our records because we were touring so much. Everything that we ended up doing had this really giant ball of energy attached to it. Today, we feel a very relaxed confidence about our music and our songwriting and also about our playing. We absolutely respect and trust each other now, more than we ever have. I think that is a very important aspect working the way we work and how we put records together. You have to be able to trust each other and not hold your own ideas as the most precious. We all try to do the best work we can do as a band. There is no one person more important than the whole. We've learned over forty years that this is the key to our success and our integrity."
Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revisited