Rush bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee was interviewed by recently about the band's forthcoming album Clockwork Angels (available everywhere June 12). Unlike previous side-long narrative pieces on albums like 2112, Caress of Steel, A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, Clockwork Angels takes an entire album to tell a single story. Naturally, this required a great degree of collaboration between drummer Neil Peart, who writes the lyrics, and Lee, who's got to sing them.

Says Lee, "The one thing that I wanted to avoid on this record was being a slave to the libretto. I didn't want the details of the story to start weighing down the individuality of any one song. I wanted the songs to be a collection that could stand on their own, outside of context of the whole story...I think at one point, Neil was a little frustrated with my determination to keep the story-line minimal in a sense."

He continues, "It's really important for me to be clear with him. I have to write a vocal melody and I have to mean it, you know? So I have to be on the same page with him. Or at least in the same chapter of the book!"

Lee also discusses the band's composing process for Clockwork Angels, and the way many songs arose out of improvisation designed to keep them functioning as a three-piece band, rather than overdubbing additional sounds. It's a fascinating interview; read the whole thing!

Clockwork Angels will be available everywhere June 12; you can pre-order it now, on CD or deluxe double vinyl, at the Roadrunner webstore! (European fans click here.) Rush tour dates have also been announced.