Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee were interviewed by Premier Guitar recently. During the lengthy conversation, they discussed various aspects of the recording of their latest album, Clockwork Angels, their gear, and much more.
Says Geddy about how the band has evolved in the five years between their last album and Clockwork Angels, "having the benefit of touring quite a bit from the time we made [2007's Snakes & Arrows], and to play some of the new material that we’d written on tour, we learned a lot about ourselves. I think the live experience has informed our writing over the last few years. This album is a direct result of that."
Alex describes the recording process for Clockwork Angels as follows: "Typically, Ged and I will work in [Apple] Logic with a drum machine or samples, and then we’ll give that to Neil [Peart] and he’ll work on his drum arrangements, and then we’ll develop it from there. But with this record, we gave him the music and there ended up being a lot of changes in the lyrics as we went along. When it came to actually recording, Nick [Raskulinecz, co-producer] wanted to record off the floor from the first day forward—which was really unusual and a big surprise for Neil, but he embraced it and ended up loving it. His playing is just a lot wilder and less thought out. It’s more reactive to music that, in a lot of ways, he’s hearing for the first time. Nick really prodded him to take different approaches—so it was really quite a palette. Consequently, when he’d get drum tracks done at the end of the day, we’d import them back into Logic, and then redo our parts to what he’d done, and we’d bounce back and forth like that a couple of times … sometimes four or five versions. And then, once those drum parts were established, we’d go in and redo all our parts."
Rush are on tour in support of Clockwork Angels right now; find a show near you!