Former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate discussed Neil Peart's legacy during an appearance last night (Wednesday, January 15) at the Metal Hall Of Fame event at the Marriott Delta Garden Grove in Anaheim, California. The legendary RUSH drummer died on January 7 in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 67 years old.
Asked by The Metal Voice to comment on Neil's passing, Geoff said (see video below): "Neil Peart changed drumming for many people and really exposed to drumming to people who hadn't thought about it before past keeping the beat. He was a musician's musician, an incredible lyricist and an all-around really nice guy. I had the good fortune and opportunity to hang out with him several times in my life and he was always a gentleman and treated everybody around him with respect and dignity. [He was] an exceptional man."
Back in 2009, Tate told VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" that RUSH was "one of those bands that really shaped [QUEENSRŸCHE] when we were first starting out. You know — '2112', 'Caress Of Steel'. Those albums were the thing that we were all about."
Tate elaborated on the influence RUSH's "2112" LP had on him in a separate interview with Prog magazine. He said: "When that album came out, it captured my imagination because it was one of those with lots of sound effects and atmosphere, and that put you in the mood of the stories. Things like 'Xanadu' and 'Cygnus X-1', those tracks were fantastic. They had a lot of interesting audio scenes that they painted, and with this incredibly complex but melodically catchy and precisely played music. It was played well and the production is fantastic. It's a great album to listen to on headphones — it really places you in the scenes that Neil Peart was writing."
Regarding the song "Xanadu", he said: "I absolutely love that track. The type of melodies they were experimenting with, that Middle Eastern influence, I wasn't familiar with that and it really opened my eyes to world music for the first time. Then that becomes a life's journey. RUSH were one of those bands that influenced me the most."
Geoff has spent the last couple of years celebrating the 30th anniversary of QUEENSRŸCHE's "Operation: Mindcrime" album by performing the LP in its entirety on European and U.S. tours. He will perform the QUEENSRŸCHE albums "Rage For Order" and "Empire" in their entirety on the "Empire 30th Anniversary Tour" in 2020.