In a brand new interview with the Montreal Gazette, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee of Canadian rock legends RUSH spoke about the possibility of the band continuing to record new music and perform live beyond their current 40th-anniversary tour — the aptly named "R40 Live" — which kicked off in early May.
"I can certainly see us writing together and putting a musical project together," he said. "I cannot really tell you how that would present itself in a live situation. I don't know that there is the will from my two partners [drummer Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson] to do any kind of tour. But I wouldn't exclude the possibility of doing a set of dates, or some one-off things. I don't mean to be evasive, but I can't really answer the question about any future touring, because I don't really know. And the other guys — it's an ongoing conversation, and I would say that it's a decision that's in flux."
Geddy also talked about the factors that led to RUSH's decision to make "R40 Live" possibly the band's last "tour of this magnitude." He said: "It's a complicated subject, but there are a couple of issues at stake here. Neil has a young daughter, and he doesn't feel 100 percent comfortable leaving her so much right now. This is kind of a second kick at the can for him, having a family. And rightfully so, he takes his responsibility as a dad very seriously. So that's an influence. Alex has had numerous health issues, but the overriding one seems to be that he has arthritis, as he's said in interviews now. And he's not sure how that's going to affect his ability to play at the top of his game. And it is in his hands, and that's every musician's nightmare. So those are two factors that I would say are the critical factors in whether we are able to continue to tour or not."
Lifeson echoed Lee's sentiments in a new interview with NiagaraFallsReview.ca, explaining: "This [recent] time off was revealing. We all really enjoyed it. And I think in view of the amount of physical work it takes, particularly for Neil, it's a very athletic endeavour for three or four months, so I think we're all starting to feel a little sorer. So we'll see how it goes. It wouldn't surprise me if we sort of slow down and look at this tour as maybe the last major tour."
He continued: "I don't see us breaking up or hanging it up, but certainly this kind of touring has become much more difficult. So maybe in the future we'd look at more special-event kind of things. We've always talked about doing, say, five days at Radio City, five days at Massey Hall, those sorts of runs instead of five, six, seven months."
Lifeson added: "It's a lot tougher [to tour for long periods of time] at 61 than it was at 21. And we're all feeling the aches and pains of our advancing years. I have had arthritis for a long time and it's just a little more in the forefront, in terms of my hands. And, you know, Neil's had this chronic tendonitis in his arm and his shoulders are starting to feel it. You know, he plays so hard, so it only stands to reason that you need to warm up, you need to get in shape. We all go to the gym four or five times a week. It's not just sitting around and eating chips and smoking pot. I mean, that's fine, but to prep for a tour, it's a really serious endeavor."
Out now is "R40", a RUSH video box set on six Blu-ray discs or 10 DVDs. The collection includes live footage from all four decades of the band's career, including over two hours of previously unreleased material, a rare performance of "2112" in its entirety, three previously unreleased tracks from 1974, and more.