Rush News

Rush ICON Enhanced 2CD Now Available

The "enhanced" version of Rush ICON is also now available.  Hitting shelves July 19th, ICON is now a 2CD set, the first disc is the same as last year's ICON release, and a second disk has been added to include live versions of various songs culled from All The World's A Stage, Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure Live and A Show of HandsBuy now!
  • Disc 1: Working Man; Fly Be Night; The Necromancer; The Twilight Zone; Closer To the Heart; Circumstances; Freewill; Limelight; The Analog Kid; Red Sector A; Marathon; Force Ten
  • Disc 2: Bastille Day Live; 2112 Live; The Spirit of Radio Live; Tom Sawyer Live; La Villa Strangiato Live; Closer To the Heart Live; New World Man Live; Vital Signs Live; The Big Money Live; Mystic Rhythms Live; Time Stand Still Live
"In August 2010, as part of the launch of its successful ICON Series, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) released the single disc, 12-song collection Rush ICON featuring tracks from their first 12 Mercury studio albums. With songs including "Working Man" off their 1974 debut, the title track of 1975's Fly By Night, "Closer To The Heart" from 1977's A Farewell To Kings, "Freewill" from 1980's Permanent Waves, the hit "Limelight" from 1981's quadruple platinum-selling album Moving Pictures and "Red Sector A" from their 1984 release Grace Under, Rush ICON is now available as part of this specially priced, two-disc set. Disc 2 of Rush: Icon 2 is the first-ever compilation of highlights from the band's four Mercury live albums. Kicking off disc two is the hard-hitting classic "Bastille Day" and their opus "2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx" from the 1976 platinum-selling All The World's A Stage which marked their first Top 40 album in the U.S.  Also included are live recordings of the No. 4 hit single "The Spirit Of The Radio," "La Villa Strangiato" and the Top 10 hit "Tom Sawyer," taken from 1981's Exit…Stage Left which reached Top 10 on the Billboard 200.   Also included are live versions of the No. 4 hit "The Big Money," "Mystic Rhythms" and "Time Stands Still," taken from 1989's Top 50 live album A Show of Hands, and "Closer To The Heart," "New World Man" and "Vital Signs" taken from Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984." - Rush: Icon 2 Compilation to Include Highlights From Their Four Mercury Live Albums, PRNewswire.com, July 18, 2011

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - July 2011

Neil Peart has updated his website with the July 2011 edition of News, Weather and Sports.  In "The Frying Pan and the Freezer", Neil recounts biking through Big Bend National Park in Texas on the hottest ride he had ever taken, 112 degrees, making a "Civil Rights" tour through Alabama, looping down the Mississippi, then west to the coast and then north into the Pacific Northwest for the final show of the Time Machine Tour at The Gorge:
"Added to the forty-four shows and more than 23,000 miles of motorcycling from summer 2010, my bandmates and I had now performed a total of eighty-one shows, before almost one million people. With riding partners Michael and Brutus, I had ridden 36,729 motorcycle miles, covering North America, South America, and Europe."
In conclusion, Neil thanks the roadcrew, their families back home, and briefly touches on the thrill of a sublime performance:
"...these days an exceptional night is often apparent in our improvised sections-Geddy on his bass in the outro of 'Leave That Thing Alone,' Alex in the frenetic solo section of 'Working Man,' and for me, the first half of my solo. When the three of us are at the top of our individual games, we are able to elevate the whole to a sublime synergy."

"Limelight" makes Guitar World's "100 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs"

The August 2011 issue of Guitar World includes their list of the 100 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs of All Time", "complete with stories from the bands that made them". Coming in at #25 is:
"Limelight"
Artist: Rush (Moving Pictures, 1980 [sic])
Recorded: Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec: October-November 1980
Guitarist: Alex Lifeson
Gear: Stratocaster with Bill Lawrence L-5000 in the bridge and a Floyd Rose vibrato, Marshall 4140 Club & Country Combo
Background: "'Limelight' is about being under the microscopic scrutiny of the public, and the need for privacy-trying to separate the two and not always being successful at it," guitarist Alex Lifeson says. "Because we've never been a high-profile band, we've managed to retain a lot of our privacy. But we've had to work at it."  For the recording, Lifeson used a modified Strat with a heavier and denser body. "We set up a couple of amps outside of the studio as well as inside," he recalls, "so we got a nice long repeat from the sound echoing in the surrounding mountains. The approach on that solo was tro try to make it as fluid as possible. There was a lot of bending with lots of long delay repeats and reverb, so notes falling off would overlap with notes coming up. I spent a fair amount of time on that to get the character, but once we locked in on the sound, it came easily." Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Space Shuttle Songs: The Music Astronauts Wake Up To

Marking the final launch of NASA's historic Shuttle Program, Spinner Canada counts down their top ten wake-up songs. Coming in at #1 is "Countdown":
"Canada brought more to the Shuttle Program than the Canadarm, and it came in the form of a Rush song. The iconic Canuck prog-rockers' 1982 single 'Countdown' was wholly inspired by Columbia's first trip in 1981, the first of the Shuttle Program. The song even samples audio from this launch and was played to wake up the crew on Columbia's 27th flight in 2002, on the day the shuttle landed back on Earth for the last time. So it's a pretty perfect pick to complete our wake-up song countdown as NASA's space shuttle program enters T-Minus Zero." - Spinner.ca, June 8, 2011 Thanks to Rushfanforever for the headsup!

Rush Makes The Guinness Book of World Records

Rush is included in the 2011 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's Edition for the "Longest Song Featured In A Rhythm Game:
Holder: "2112" (Rush, 1976)
The prize for the longest commercially released song to be featured in a rhythm game goes to veteran Canadian rockers Rush, whose 20-min 23-sec 1976 track "2112" features as the final number in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (Activision, 2010). - Thanks To RushIsABand for the headsup!

Alex Lifeson To Record With Andrew Cole

Toronto born musician Andrew Cole is currently working on his follow-up to last year's Why We Wonder.  Cole is working with Tom Cochrane on two new songs slated for release this fall, which will include a guest appearance by Alex Lifeson, as well as members of Jane's Addiction and Paul McCartney's band:
"Nobody knows about that, it's the first time I've said it. We wanted to get it out for the summer, but they're all on tour; it was really hard to get everyone," said Cole. "To have all these people on one song is strange because you don't know how it’s going to work out. It could be absolutely brilliant or could be a disaster." - InsideHalton.com, June 30, 2011

Chill Magazine's 144 reasons to be a proud Canadian

Celebrating Canada Day on July 1st, the latest issue of Canada's Chill magazine includes 144 reasons to be a proud Canadian.  Coming in at #21 is Rush:
"This Canadian rock and roll trio is known for its complex compositions, its lyrical mastership and being on the cover of issue 43 of Chill Magazine." - Chill, July/August 2011 Thanks to Frank Panacci for the headsup!

"Fly By Night" one of Toronto's Top 50 Rock Songs Of All Time

Toronto's Post City has scoured the archives to come up with their list of the top 50 rock songs in Toronto history. The only limitation is one song per artist or band.  Included in the list is "Fly By Night":
"Fly by Night” - "it all began with the hiring of legendary drummer Neil Peart, who replaced John Rutsey for the band’s second album and helped take the Willowdale group to dizzying heights of musical complexity."
In addition to the above article, two additional articles were included in today's issue written by the Rheostatic's Dave Bidini, regarding the influence of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson on today's music. - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Neil Peart on CBC's "Strombo" Now Online

Neil Peart appeared on CBC's Strombo with host George Stroumboulopoulos this past Friday night.  The episode is now online here

In addition, on Thursday Rush tweeted an excerpt of the interview, where Neil discusses...drumming:
"The drummer and lyricist for Rush on how his relationship with drumming has changed over the years - and the evolution of his monster drum solo. 'I get lost in it ... and I do challenge myself,' he says of his largely improvised solo. 'There are no consequences. There's no mistake. If I do something weird, play it twice and it's a new part.'" - "Neil Peart on Drumming", Strombo, June 16, 2011
Previously Strombo posted "Moving Pictures, track-by-track":
"The Rush drummer breaks down the band's classic album Moving Pictures, track-by- track...'That was an important time musically and a great time for the three of us in terms of having a good time and sharing our goals and making music,' he says about the recording of the album, originally released in 1981. 'There was nothing self-indulgent or so-called pretentious about it. It was true boyish enthusiasm that was involved in creating all those things. We were progressing and learning and developing taste at the same time...We still like to play these songs,' says Peart, 'and we're still proud of them.'" - "Neil Peart On 'Moving Pictures': Track-By-Track", Strombo, June 3, 2011
Neil Peart's appearance on Strombo was filmed Monday March 21st.

Rush Fan Amy Poehler

In this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly, comedienne Amy Poehler discusses her first album: Signals:
"I grew up with classic rock: Blue Oyster Cult, Boston, Led Zeppelin. That was cool music. With Signals, I just have been 10 or 11. The Grease double album may have been earlier, but I was one of those girls who actually like Rush. Still am." - Amy Poehler, Entertainment Weekly, June 24 2011 issue Thanks to Stephen Humphries and James Dagel for the headsup!

Rush Voted The #1 Greatest Live Act In The World

The readers of MusicRadar.com have voted The 30 Greatest Live Acts In The World Today; guess who comes in at #1?
"RUSH: So there we have it. The greatest live act in the world today is a Canadian trio who have been taking their hugely popular brand of progressive rock on the road for nigh-on four decades.  Rush are still selling out arenas across the globe and anyone who attended the recent Time Machine shows in the UK will confirm that they were nothing short of captivating for three and a half hours. Geddy, Alex and Neil, we salute you." - MusicRadar.com, June 16, 2011 Thanks to Mark Rosenthal for the headsup!

Neil Peart On the Late Show with David Letterman

Neil Peart appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman last night as part of "Drum Solos Week".  Neil performed a scaled down version of his Time Machine tour solo, coming in at just over four minutes.  The complete episode is available at CBS.com.

Before making his appearance on the Late Show, Neil Peart sat down with MusicRadar to talk about the art of the drum solo - his own, those of his heroes, and improvisation, as well as performing on the Late Show:
"Peart admits that when he was approached to be part of Drum Solos Week, his initial reaction was, 'I don't know...it's not really my thing. But then I thought, Hey, a drum solo on TV - sounds great! I'd be very honored to be the ambassador to drum solos.'  Only now there's the TV time factor, and it's got Peart's fertile mind running in circles. The show's producers have asked the renowned sticksman to keep the razzle-dazzle down to 'three, maybe four minutes,' says Peart.  'My regular live drum solo is about eight and a half minutes, so I decided I'd have to do a mental edit, accelerate the changes and minimize the improvisational parts and so on. At the rehearsal, during my first attempt, I had it down to about four minutes and 50 seconds, and the producers were giving me these worrisome looks.' Peart's second run-through was more acceptable: 'I got it down to about four minutes and two seconds...So all I have to do tonight is play that four-minute-and-two-second version of the solo, settle down and play the tempo and the end properly, and I'll be happy.'" - MusicRadar.com, June 7, 2011 Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!
Last night's (June 9th) episode was filmed the afternoon of Monday, June 6th.  Long time fan Bill Banasiewicz (B-man) was in attendance, and reported after the audience left the theater, he could hear the drum solo being performed a second time, perhaps for close up camera shots without obstructing the audience's view, etc.

Modern Rock Review's Feature On Rush

The Modern Rock Review has published an extensive feature on Rush.   Included are two multi-part articles, two editorial articles, and a discography. - Thanks to Ric Albano at Modern Rock Review for the headsup!

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - June 2011

Neil Peart has updated his website with the June edition of News, Weather and Sports.  Titled "Singletrack Minds in the Sceptered Isle" Neil recounts riding the single lane roads of Britain during the UK leg of the Time Machine Tour.  Neil gives commentary on the roads, the riders, the foliage, the history, and a glimpse of shows:
"After the initial shows in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Malmo, Sweden, we played that first-ever show in Ireland, in Dublin, and that was a thrill. (In the comic movie that opens our Time Machine shows, I have a minor role as an Irish cop named O'Malley, and I was delighted when the audience cheered when O'Malley said, 'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—sounds like the damned howling in Hades,' and they cheered again when Alex’s 'Slobovich' mentioned the name 'O'Malley.') Then came some good shows in Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, and finally London. Rotterdam and Frankfurt would follow, and I always explain that every show is important to a dedicated professional, but somehow London, like Toronto, is always 'a big one' for me—a kind of home-town show." - Neil Peart, "News Weather and Sports", June 2011

Crawdaddy's Look at the Music Biz for 2011

Crawdaddy! Magazine has posted a short feature on their website taking a look at the music business in 2011.  Included is a nice paragraph on Rush:
"Meanwhile, Rush is quietly packing amphitheatres for another go-around of their very successful Time Machine Tour. They’re getting very little PR from their label, because they don’t really need it. Rush, in spite of recent mainstream success, remains at their core a cult band. Besides, we Rush fans probably know what they’re doing before their label does. At least it feels that way. In spite of the show being exactly the same as the one from last year, they are still selling them out, or nearly so. Rush’s 2010 Time Machine Tour grossed almost 19 million dollars and sold over a quarter of a million tickets, making it number one on Billboard’s Hot Tours for 2010, right behind my arch-nemesis Toby Marie Keith (yep, his middle name is Marie. Also, Pinkie Pie is his favorite My Little Pony)." - Crawdaddy.com, June 3, 2011 Thanks to Kevin Rossi for the headsup!

Les Claypool discusses performing for Rush's Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction

In a new story discussing Primus' first studio album in 11 years, Les Claypool discusses performing during Rush's Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction ceremony early last year:
"And it’s funny, because I don’t get nervous really. The things I get nervous about are strange things, like hanging out at my kid’s school with all the parents. But that Rush thing I was really nervous about — we played 'Spirit Of Radio' with cello, vibraphone and marimba, and I said a little speech, and I actually kinda croaked a bit during the speech. And that’s just not like me. But it was certainly strange playing in front of what looked like a society crowd. And the Rush guys! It was like everyone was wearing a monocle or something!" - Les Claypool, San Francisco Examiner, June 6, 2011

Alex Lifeson To Appear In "Ecstasy"

Toronto independent filmmaker Rob Heydon has shot a feature adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. The film, Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, which wrapped production in January in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, includes the popular up and coming actor and sometimes guitarist, Alex Lifeson. Lifeson plays Dr. Figg, who works in a mental hospital and commits Billy Boyd's character for a breakdown after consuming too much Ecstasy; click here for a video clip.

With a budget of $5 million, Heydon started shooting about a month ago and is aiming to debut the project at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. - Yahoo News Canada, December 31, 2010
"News out of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is that the latest Irvine Welsh film adaptation should be a treat for music fans. Based on a story by the Trainspotting author, Ecstasy is being helmed by director Rob Heydon and shot in the Canadian city. The Sault Star reports that the film has several musical connections. Chief among those connections is a killer soundtrack, featuring Arcade Fire, Brian Eno, Paul Oakenfold, Aphex Twin, Deadmau5 and Primal Scream. According to Heydon, Welsh’s prior success helped pave the way to some of the music rights. 'I think based on the success of Trainspotting it was easier to get the music than the average Canadian film,' he said. 'It'll surprise a lot of people.' Sharp-eyed viewers will also catch a glimpse of a Canadian musical legend in the film’s cast. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson reportedly plays an 'unconventional physician' in the movie." - "Ecstasy to Feature All-Star Soundtrack, Rush Cameo", Gibson.com, June 6, 2011

Gibson.com's "Top 10 Rock Drummers of All Time"

Gibson.com has added a new feature to their website giving their take on "The Top 10 Rock Drummers of All Time".  Coming in at #2 is Rush's Neil Peart, second only to Led Zeppelin's John Bonham:
"Drummer and lyricist for Rush, Neal [sic] Peart is hailed in many circles as the quintessential rock drummer. He’s known for his ingenious drum parts and intense solos with lead passages that rock hard and prove the drums, indeed, can be a lead instrument. No Rush concert is complete without Peart’s sparking, obligatory drum solo, and his syncopated drumming style certainly has its own distinct sound and aura. You can always tell when it’s Peart playing." - Gibson.com, May 31, 2011 Thanks to B-man for the headsup!

Gothenburg Sweden's "2112" Restaurant

While in Sweden two weeks ago, Rush could have enjoyed dinner at 2112, a new restaurant in Gothenburg with an obvious Rush influence.  Two members of the Swedish metal band In Flames, Peter Iwers (bass) and Bj√∂rn Gelotte (guitar), are partners in the new restaurant which opened April 21st.  Check out the restaurant's website or Facebook page. Thanks to Jonas Scherman and Frank Ray for the headsup!
"2112 is inspired by Rush, and was released in 76, and is one of the best records in the prog genre...so we chose 2112". - co-owner Peter Iwers, Metal Hammer magazine

Neil Peart Interview with Jeff Woods Now Online

Q107 Toronto's Jeff Woods interviewed Neil Peart on April 19th in Hamilton, Ontario, to discuss Neil's new book, Far and Away – A Prize Every Time.   The interview is now available at Exploremusic.com with the following introduction:
They’re Canada’s #1 musical export to the world, and so not surprisingly, guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart, have been so busy touring over the past year, that they haven’t had a chance to finish what they started: recording their 20th studio album; "Clockwork Angels". While recording is scheduled to resume fall 2011, in the meantime, RUSH’s stock has never been so valuable, with thanks in part, to the acclaimed film, that tells the story of RUSH Beyond the Lighted Stage.  It seems everyone has seen it, everyone that is, except their drummer.  How could THAT BE?   You will find out how, and much more, from this revealing conversation with Neil Peart, who set aside a half hour, back stage, to talk to me about all things RUSH, including the evolution of his drumming, the nature of his lyrics, his latest boo Far And Away – A Prize Every Time, performing live, and just why RUSH have keep doing what they do.  And as Neil Peart is about to tell you, he only tours one way …. Enjoy, Jeff - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!