RUSH bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee has commented on bandmate Alex Lifeson's arrest New Year's Eve on battery charges after a scuffle with deputies.
"He was put in a situation that was not very fair to him," Lee told RockyMountainNews.com. "I can't really talk about it, as it's an ongoing situation, but it was a very shocking and uncomfortable moment.
"It was a very outrageous evening, and the way they were treated was very difficult. It's been a very difficult thing for him to deal with," Lee added.
"He's never been in trouble in his life, and he's the sweetest guy you could ever meet. It was a shocking reality sandwich."
Lee also spoke about RUSH's upcoming EP collection of covers of classics popularized by THE WHO, CREAM, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD and THE YARDBIRDS. Due June 29 via Atlantic, the eight-track "Feedback" marks the first time the group has ever recorded material by other artists.
"Over the last 10 years we've talked about doing a cover song as one of our encore tunes in concert," Lee said. "So the idea wasn't completely foreign. Once we started, everyone said, 'Hey, this is fun.' Everything we tried turned out pretty darn good."
"The criteria was that it had to be something that we could call our own, but at the same time we wanted to pay homage to the people we liked without wrecking the song," Lee said. "That was the No. 1 rule: we couldn't wreck the song."
"We wanted to do a Jimi Hendrix song, because he was so influential. But you can't touch Jimi, man. He's untouchable.
"We put together a rough version of 'Manic Depression', which is just an awesome song. But you put my voice on that, and it just sounds all wrong. You put this skinny little white guy from Canada on there, and it's just not the same vibe.
"I found the same thing with ZEPPELIN songs. It's so much about the people playing them.
"But we could have done an entire album of nothing but WHO songs. We could have done an album of nothing but YARDBIRDS songs." Read more.