RUSH frontman Geddy Lee says that he was surprised to see the strong online reaction to his recent comment that drummer Neil Peart is retired — and not just from the band, but from drumming all together.
"I notice that people seem to glom on to certain phrases that come out of our mouths and make a lot of it," Geddy said during an appearance earlier today (Wednesday, January 9) on Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM show. "But I thought that was understood from the day that Neil left the band. He wasn't leaving the band to pursue other musical instruments; he was retiring because the rigors of the job were too much for him. And now he's not playing at the moment and he's spending more time teaching his daughter how to play than anything. So, yeah, it really wasn't a big clarification to me, and I think people have sort of over-exaggerated the reaction to that, 'cause that's sort of how it's been."
Lee added that Peart's nine-year-old daughter has really "taken to the instrument" and joked: "God forbid there'll be another drummer in that family."
RUSH has been completely inactive since completing its "R40 Live" tour three years ago. Peart was battling enormous physical pain through much of the trek, including a foot infection that made it agonizing for him to even walk.
When pressed about any new music coming from him, Geddy, who has been promoting his new book "Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass", admitted: "I really can't predict what I'm gonna do next musically. Invariably, I think I will find myself in my studio. It's really about, now that the book is done, I need to get back in touch with the musical side of myself and see if there's something that's motivating me to… Do I have something to say? And we'll see how it goes. But I don't wanna make any guarantees that I'll do something again musically. But I would say that having those basses staring at me is a good motivation to get back on the horse."
Asked if there is any part of him that would like to continue making music with RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson, Geddy said: "Well, I certainly wouldn't count it out. I joke that he's my BFF, but he pretty much is. I mean, we talk all the time, and we're still as close as we ever were. I'm sure there'll come a moment where we'll at least jam, if nothing else. So, who knows? I wish I could tell you for sure, but I can't."
A few years ago, Lifeson told Rolling Stone that he receives injections for psoriatic arthritis. He was previously hospitalized for anemia from bleeding ulcers and suffered breathing problems.
Lifeson and Lee have repeatedly said that RUSH will never do a show unless all three musicians agree to take part. They haven't performed as RUSH without Peart since he joined the band in 1974.
For first six years of RUSH's existence, John Rutsey was behind the kit and he played on the band's self-titled debut LP.