"Awhile back my friends at Zildjian asked me if I would contribute something to their magazine or website. Being in the middle of the Vapor Trails tour with RUSH at the time, I asked if maybe they could send me a list of questions in an interview format, and I would try to find time to scribble out some answers. I never got past the first question… 'Who was the first drummer who inspired you to take up the instrument? Who were some of your early drum influences?'" - Neil Peart, Zildjian.com. - January 28, 2003
Neil Peart only gave two interviews during the Vapor Trails tour, one for "Modern Drummer", the other for "Cycle World". Neil is interviewed by the magazine's Executive Editor, Brian Catterson, who is also a life long Rush fan. Catterson met up with Neil after the Albuquerque show of the Vapor Trails tour, and rode with him on a "Ghost Rider-esque" motorcycle adventure the following two days en route to Salt Lake City. Catterson writes upon his trepidation of first meeting Peart:
"as I approached the tour bus door, there was only one Rush lyric on my mind...'I can't pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend'. And so it was with more than a little apprhension that I knocked. An anxious few moments passed, and then Neil himself threw open the door and greeted me with a warm handshake and a smile...Not surprisingly the TV in the bus was tuned to the Weather Channel. Looking at the forecast, I noted that it read, 'Ceiling Unlimited'...'Yes, that's where that came from,' Neil said, smiling. 'You're the first person to make that connection.'" Catterson later tells of dining in Moab, "I could feel myself regressing, the inquisitive journalist replaced by the teenage Rush fan I used to be. A teenage Rush fan sitting across the dinner table from Neil friggin' Peart!" After the Salt Lake show, Catterson was backstage to say goodbye to Neil, "he encouraged me to keep in tourch via e-mail, and then, out of the blue, said, 'Aw, give old Neil a hug.' So much for that whole 'stranger' thing..."