Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

The official new Rush album and Tour thread. Part II

Old 04-28-02, 12:54 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
The official new Rush album (Vapor Trails) and Tour thread. Part II

Here is what we have so far:


Part one of this thread is located here

Artist: Rush
Album Title: Vapor Trails
Release Date: May 14, 2002 (US & Canada)

Tracklisting:
1. "One Little Victory" 5:07
2. "Peaceable Kingdom" 5:22
3. "Ghost Rider" 5:39
4. "Ceiling Unlimited" 5:26
5. "The Stars Look Down" 4:28
6. "How It Is" 4:03
7. "Vapor Trail" 4:55
8. "Out Of The Cradle" 5:03
9. "Earthshine" 5:33
10. "Sweet Miracle" 3:40
11. "Nocturne" 4:49
12. "Freeze (Part IV of "Fear")" 6:16
13. "Secret Touch" 6:33

Everything you need is here

Listen up!!!!! You need to sign up at: www.rush.com to get first dibs on Rush tickets. My guess you have to be a member to get advanced ticket information, they did not do this for the first round of concerts.

Tour dates and when they are going on sale:

An Evening with RUSH: Tour Dates 2002

JUNE/JULY
June 28: Hartford, Conn. (ctnow.com Meadows Music Centre)
June 29: Scranton, Pa. (Montage Mountain Amphitheatre)
July 1: Charlotte, N.C. (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
July 3: Virginia Beach, Va. (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) ----------- May 2, 10am
July 4: Raleigh, N.C. (Alltel Pavilion @ Walnut Creek)
July 6: Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Saratoga Performing Arts Center)
July 7: Darien Center, N.Y. (Darien Lake Performing Arts Center)
July 9: Bristow, Va. (Nissan Pavilion)
July 11: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)
July 12: Mansfield, Mass. (Tweeter Center)
July 14: Camden, N.J. (Tweeter Center)
July 15: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
July 17: Toronto (Molson Amphitheatre)
July 19: Milwaukee (Marcus Amphitheatre)
July 20: Chicago, Ill. (Tweeter Center) ----------- May 2, 10am
AUGUST
Aug. 1: Bonner Springs, Kan. (Sandstone Amphitheatre)
Aug. 2: Maryland Heights, Mo. (UMB Bank Pavilion)
Aug. 4: Cincinnati (Riverbend Music Center) ---------- May 18, 10am
Aug. 6: Burgettstown, Pa. (Post-Gazette Pavilion) ----------- May 11, 10am
Aug. 8: Columbus, Ohio (Polaris Amphitheatre) ----------- May 11, 10am
Aug. 9: Noblesville, Ind. (Verizon Wireless Music Center)
Aug. 11: Clarkston, Mich. (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
Aug. 14: Nashville, Tenn. (AmSouth Amphitheatre) ---------- May 18, 10am
Aug. 16: The Woodlands, Texas (C.W. Mitchell Pavilion) ---------- May 11, 10am
Aug. 17: San Antonio, Texas (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
Aug. 19: Dallas (Reunion Arena) ---------- May 11, 10am
Aug. 21: Albuquerque, N.M. (Journal Pavilion) ---------- May 18, 10am
Aug. 23: Salt Lake City, Utah (Delta Center)
Aug. 24: Englewood. Co (Fiddler's Green Amph) ---------- May 13, 10am
SEPTEMBER
Sep 14: Seattle WA The Gorge
Sep 15: Portland OR Rose Garden
Sep 17: Concord CA Chronicle Pavilion ------------May 2, 10am
Sep 18: Sacramento CA Autowest Amphitheater ------------ May 2, 10am
Sep 20: San Francisco CA Shoreline Amphitheatre -------------- May 2, 10am
Sep 21: Las Vegas NV MGM Grand
Sep 23: Los Angeles CA Staples Center Arena
Sep 25: San Diego CA Coors Amphitheater
Sep 27: Phoenix AZ Cricket Pavilion
Sep 28: Irvine CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
OCTOBER
Oct 10: Miami FL National Car Rental Center
Oct 11: Tampa FL Ice Palace
Oct 13: Atlanta GA Phillips Arena
Oct 15: Cleveland OH Gund Arena
Oct 16: Rochester NY Blue Cross Arena
Oct 18: Toronto ON Molson Amphitheater
Oct 19: Quebec City QC Colisee Pepsi Arena
Oct 22: Toronto ON Air Canada Centre
Oct 24: New York NY Madison Square Garden
Oct 25: Hershey PA Giant Arena
Oct 27: Philadelphia PA First Union Center
Oct 28: Boston MA Fleet Center
Oct 30: Chicago IL The United Center
NOVEMBER
Nov 1: Ames IA Hilton Coliseum
Nov 2: Minneapolis MN Target Center

Lots of good forums and tour news here

Rush will be on Rockline May 13th AND 15th.

Some interesting tour news thanks to Hannibal:

The tour is being planned still with the venues out west,Canada, and the southeast. The schedule is leaving TBA's all over the place in spots around Michigan, L.A., Phoenix, and NYC. This leaving the likelihood that the band is setting up for 2 night stands in these areas. The 2nd leg will be announced in 3-4 weeks more than likely 3 weeks when all is locked up.

Tickets will go on sale for the 2nd leg the first week of June and the tour is scheduled to end in North America in November.

The band is leaving the option of 1 week to tour in South America in Dec/Jan and then 3-4 weeks in Jan-Feb with the tour ending then in early 2003. This is all pending on the success of the tour in North America and the response to the album sales worldwide. Hawaii and Alaska have been also on the table as well as a possible tour of Japan for the first time since 1984.

They plan to tour 2 weeks then take 1 week off through the entire cycle. Also there is talking going on that Neil will do select signings of Ghost Rider in NYC,Chicago, Toronto, Seattle, and L.A. on certain dates through the tour. This is still in discussion as Neil has hired a personal agent to handle his affairs for the first time outside of SRO.

Spoiler:
Also I was told that the tour will bring back all of the Fear chapters in a special epic presentation for the shows including a screen show that will take your breath away and a special new state of the art system by Vari-Lite will be unveiled as well.


Color Kinetics and Targetti are also on board for the design of the show to bring something completely differnet than what has been seen at a Rush show being described to me so far as "On computer and paper this looks like Cirque du Soleil meets a rave."

Neil has still not ordered a new drum kit as of yet so the red sparkle drums remain so far and for the first time since 1984 he is considering dropping the electronics/ ddrums all together from his drumkit.He is also working on a new presentation for a drum solo as well.

This info comes way of a road crew member who worked on the TFE tour and will be working on the upcoming tour as well. I have known him for over 20+ years and his word is solid.


I will keep this thread open through out the pre-release hype and on till the tour is over.

If anybody has any news on Rush please feel free to post here.

Last edited by Lateralus; 04-29-02 at 03:53 PM.
Lateralus is offline  
Old 04-28-02, 01:47 PM
  #2  
Mod Emeritus
 
benedict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Outside of the U.S.A.
Posts: 10,674
benedict is offline  
Old 04-28-02, 01:59 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: A suburbČ of Miami
Posts: 5,943
The codefor advanced online ticket sales for a couple of shows was "victory." Whether they change it or not for upcoming shows is anybody's guess.
Aghama is offline  
Old 04-29-02, 01:18 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 298
Will they have a Pre-Sale for before tickets go on sale this saturday May 4th like they did last week.I need tickets for VA Beach
blaineo is offline  
Old 04-29-02, 03:39 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
Originally posted by blaineo
Will they have a Pre-Sale for before tickets go on sale this saturday May 4th like they did last week.I need tickets for VA Beach
See this site: www.rush.com If they do have presale, the schedule will let you know.

Yes there is going to be a presale! Your tickets will go on sale May 2nd at 10:00 AM

The password is "victory"

Last edited by Lateralus; 04-29-02 at 03:54 PM.
Lateralus is offline  
Old 04-29-02, 03:39 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
Hannibal... how is that????
Lateralus is offline  
Old 04-29-02, 08:37 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 557
Thanx man.
Hannibal is offline  
Old 05-07-02, 10:48 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 557
The Progressive Rock Radio Network "PRRN" with the support of Atlantic Records, is proud to announce:

Rush: Chase The Vapor Trails Contest
http://www.progradio.net/cgi-prograd...gi?l=nprrnrush



(3) Grand Prize winners will receive:
Limited Edition Lithograph of the Vapor Trails Artwork
Autographed Poster
Autographed copy of Vapor Trails

(5) Runner-Up winners will receive:
Autographed Poster

All entries must be received by midnight EDT June 30, 2002, winners will be
chosen and notified on July 5th, 2002.

Good Luck !
Hannibal is offline  
Old 05-07-02, 03:35 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
Originally posted by Hannibal
The Progressive Rock Radio Network "PRRN" with the support of Atlantic Records, is proud to announce:

Rush: Chase The Vapor Trails Contest
http://www.progradio.net/cgi-prograd...gi?l=nprrnrush



(3) Grand Prize winners will receive:
Limited Edition Lithograph of the Vapor Trails Artwork
Autographed Poster
Autographed copy of Vapor Trails

(5) Runner-Up winners will receive:
Autographed Poster

All entries must be received by midnight EDT June 30, 2002, winners will be
chosen and notified on July 5th, 2002.

Good Luck !

Great find, you think we should post the answers here?
Lateralus is offline  
Old 05-07-02, 03:59 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
Album Bio:

By Neil Peart

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire."

I found those words on the wall of a bar in Montana, attributed to somebody named Reggie Leach. It seemed an unlikely place to find inspiration, but I carried it away with me, and thought of it more than once during the making of this latest Rush album.

On a cold Monday morning in January of 2001, Geddy, Alex, and I gathered at a small studio in Toronto to start work again. It had been almost five years since Test For Echo, but after twenty-seven years and sixteen studio albums together, we were hopeful that the chemistry among us could be awakened once more, the fire rekindled. Deep down we were a little apprehensive-would we really be able to put together enough songs that we liked to fill a new album?

Always a burning question, and more so this time, when so much life had flowed beneath our bridges. Also, in the past few years both Geddy and Alex had produced their own projects, for themselves and for others, and each of them was used to being the Supreme Boss of Everything. For many reasons, the process of meshing again had to be gradual, exploratory, and careful.

We laid out no parameters, no goals, no limitations, only that we would take a relaxed, civilized approach to this project. No hurry, no pressure, no marathon stints in the studio (at first anyway); we would simply keep working, day after day, trying to strike sparks from each other and feed the slow-burning fire of collaboration and mutual inspiration.

Per our usual pattern, Geddy and Alex started working together on musical ideas in the studio's control room, while I retreated into another little room with pen, paper, and computer to start trying to assemble lyrics. I began by going through my "scrapyard" of jotted notes and phrases I had collected, looking for connections to stitch together, while Geddy and Alex began by simply playing, setting up a rhythm machine and jamming along with guitar and bass.

After a couple of weeks I had put down a few lyrics to pass over to them, but it seemed they weren't ready to get serious yet-they just wanted to "play." Sometimes I would take a break from wordsmithing and go down the hall to have a bash at my drums in the main recording room, and I would pass the control room where the two of them were working. Usually I heard them riffing away, exploring some interesting directions and recording everything, but there weren't any songs yet.

We would talk at the beginning or end of the day, and I knew the two of them were starting to get excited about their explorations, but didn't want to stop for the relatively tedious job of listening through all those raw ideas and choosing the best ones to assemble into a coherent structure.

For myself, once I had a half dozen lyrics finished I began to feel a little unsure how to proceed. I wanted to know which ones might be "working" for them, to receive some feedback, and some influence, from where they were going musically. So I stopped lyric-writing for awhile, and started writing a book instead. (As one does.)

Eventually Geddy began to sift through the vast number of jams they had created, finding a verse here, a chorus there, and piecing them together. Often a pattern had only ever been played once in passing, but through the use of computer tools it could be repeated or reworked into a part. Since all the writing, arranging, and recording was done on computer, a lot of time was spent staring at monitors, but most of the time technology was our friend, and helped us to combine spontaneity and craftwork. Talk was the necessary interface, of course, and once Geddy and Alex had agreed on basic structures, Geddy would go through the lyrics to see what might suit the music and "sing well," then come to me to discuss any improvements, additions, or deletions I could make from my end.

Gradually the songs began to come together, "Out Of The Cradle" among the first, along with "Vapor Trail," "The Stars Look Down," and "Earthshine." That last is notable for being the only Rush song I can recall that was later completely rewritten, keeping the same lyrics but replacing every single musical part. "Cradle" also underwent some serious surgery as time passed, and that was the kind of relaxed approach we were taking, allowing us to reexamine songs with the luxury of perspective, and repair or replace any parts that didn't survive that test of time. Sometimes a developing song seemed to lose momentum, or our faith (the critical force), and was abandoned, but that had always been our version of "natural selection."

Once I had the reassurance of knowing that some of the lyrics were working, and had a feel for the musical context, I carried on with the lyric writing. And switching to my "drummer" hat, now that I had some song sketches to work on I started spending a few nights a week creating and refining drum parts, playing along to the still-evolving arrangements of music and vocals as my guide. Alex was my personal producer and recording engineer, as he had been for this phase of many past albums.

More songs came together too, like "Secret Touch," "Sweet Miracle," and "How It Is," and as often happens, once we had a few songs finished that we liked, the newer ones started to get weirder. Daring grows out of confidence (or what the ancient Greeks called "hubris," I guess), and from this combination came "One Little Victory," "Ceiling Unlimited," and "Nocturne."

By that time we had been working on our own for about six months, and felt we had enough material to benefit from an "objective ear," a coproducer. Paul Northfield had worked with us as recording engineer on albums going back to Moving Pictures and Signals in the early eighties, and on several live records over the years (as well as my Buddy Rich tributes), but this was the first time we had worked with him in a more creative capacity. We wanted someone who knew us and our music well enough to make a shortcut straight into the composing and arranging area, for there were still more songs to be written and organized, and make a transition from there straight to recording.

That was an important difference in the way we made this record, compared to any in the past. We used to spend a period of time working on the songwriting, arranging, and our individual parts, then do some last-minute preproduction work with a coproducer before moving to a big-time studio to start the "official" recording. The pressure this imposed on us could be productive, and in particular I found that it could often drive me to a level of performance I hadn't reached before, but this time we wanted to do it differently-more gradually, with more time for revision and renovations.

Some of the songs had been worked on over a period of months by that time, and were ready to record, while others were still under development, and a few hadn't even been written yet. So for the first time we were able to simultaneously work on writing new songs, arranging older ones, and recording finished performances on the ones we were "satisfied" with. Geddy had been able to record the vocals on his own, and Alex the guitars, experimenting and layering to their hearts' content, and some of those performances would remain irreplaceably right. In each case we were "leap-frogging" ahead, improving our individual parts and discussing changes, then responding to the work the others had done on their own. After so many years of playing together we intuitively understood each other musically, and even if we worked in isolation, we were working together.

Paul's influence was strong through this phase, for he could help us judge the performances as "finished" or "not yet," and he saw possibilities that sometimes escaped us (urging "Ghost Rider" from the verge of abandonment to its glorious realization, for example). He also encouraged our "eccentricities" in the later-emerging songs like "Freeze" and "Peaceable Kingdom."

By then certain common musical themes had emerged, like a "veiled complexity" in the parts and arrangements (the drum parts for "Freeze" and "Peaceable Kingdom" took me days to work out and refine, for example). Alex's particular agenda steered us away from the use of keyboards or guitar solos, and Geddy experimented with multi-tracked backing vocals as textural alternatives. Lyrically, no overall concept emerged, but I can trace some interesting sources for particular lines, like Walt Whitman in "Out Of The Cradle" and Thomas Wolfe in "How It Is" ("foot upon the stair, shoulder to the wheel") and "Ceiling Unlimited" (Wolfe's title Of Time And The River and looking at a map of the Mississippi Delta suggested the "winding like an ancient river" lines). "Ceiling Unlimited" also offers a playful take on Oscar Wilde's reversal of the Victorian lament, "drink is the curse of the working class," while Joseph Conrad's Victory gave the "secret touch on the heart" line. "There is never love without pain" echoed from my own experience and the novel Sister Of My Heart, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and W.H. Auden and Edward Abbey (Black Sun) influenced certain lines in "Vapor Trail."

An article in the magazine "Utne Reader" called "What Do Dreams Want?" contributed to my ideas in "Nocturne" (as well as the enigmatic mantra, "the way out is the way in," for "Secret Touch"), and I was also struck by a psychologist's approach to analysis and dream interpretation, "without memory or desire."

The nineteenth-century Quaker folk artist, Edward Hicks, painted no less than sixty versions of the same biblical scene, "Peaceable Kingdom," and the tarot card "The Tower" seemed a chilling reflection of the events of September 11, 2001. A series of works by Canadian painter Paterson Ewen helped to inspire "Earthshine," and the title of a novel by A. J. Cronin, The Stars Look Down (which I've yet to read), seemed to express a fitting view of an uncaring universe.

In the self-contained universe of our work, everything had been going very smoothly, and it was only when we moved into the final mixing stage that we got bogged down. It seemed that all of us, Paul included, had become too deeply immersed in the material, and we could no longer step back and hear the songs whole. After a few unsatisfying attempts, we called in a specialist, David Leonard, and he was able to sift through the parts and make them bright and new again, to find the hidden dynamics and textures and bring out the subtleties of the music and the performances.

And so it was that we suddenly found we had been working on this project for over a year. It was not because we had any special difficulties, or because it was at all "overwrought," for many of the final takes of the songs had been captured fresh and spontaneous, more than they had ever been in the past. Far from being stale or over-rehearsed, often they had only been played that way once. The difference this time was that instead of working to schedules and deadlines, we simply carried on writing songs and recording them until we felt the collection of music was complete. (Someone wise once said, "no work of art is ever finished, it is only abandoned.")

While putting so much time and care into every detail of the content and performance of the songs, we hadn't paid any attention to their length, and now we began to worry if all thirteen songs would even fit on a CD, which can only hold 74 minutes. There was some talk of saving a couple of songs for a compilation or something, but Rush has never left any "previously unreleased tracks" for anybody to capitalize on, and we weren't about to start now. All of these songs had taken a lot of time and effort, and we simply couldn't imagine leaving any of them behind. Fortunately they added up to just under 67 minutes, so we were spared any painful choices.

Then there was the album title-never an easy decision. A unifying theme sometimes appears in the collected songs and suggests an overall title, like Counterparts or Power Windows; other times a particular song seems emblematic, like "Test For Echo" or "Roll The Bones." Neither approach seemed right this time, so we went with the song title we liked the best, "Vapor Trail," and made it plural to refer to all the songs. Then I went to work on cover ideas with our longtime art director, Hugh Syme.

The last big challenge we faced, as always, was the running order of the songs, and we fiddled with that right up until the last minute. However, we never doubted which song would open the album, for "One Little Victory" made such an uncompromising announcement, "They're ba-a-a-ack!"

Knowing that our music is nothing if not idiosyncratic, and doesn't really cater to popular "taste," we also envisioned advertising slogans along the lines of, "If you hated them before, you'll really hate them now!" Or, "And now-more of everything you always hated about Rush!"

But of course, like everyone, we do hope people will enjoy our work, and that our shared enthusiasm, energy, and love for what we do communicates itself to the listener. When you set yourself on fire and aim for the sky, you hope to leave behind some sparks of heat and light.

Like a vapor trail

This little album bio by Neil reminds me why I love Rush
Lateralus is offline  
Old 05-07-02, 04:39 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 2,998
<-----still upset about being out of town and missing a Rush concert for the first time in 8 tours

My train doesn't leave till 9:30pm. so I've been thinking about catching about an hour of their show and making light speed to the train station to depart to California!!!
SmackDaddy is offline  
Old 05-08-02, 10:49 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 557
Great new Alex Lifeson interview:
http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusicRush/may7_rush-can.html

TORONTO -- Rush's ordeal creating their new record "Vapor Trails" extended right through the music-making process to the album's final mastering.

Guitarist Alex Lifeson told JAM! Music that even after 14 months of touch-and-go writing and recording the 13 songs that make up "Vapor Trails" (the group's first album since 1996's "Test For Echo"), there were serious technical problems late in the process.

The protracted writing process got off to a rough start, but after an early break, guitarist Lifeson, bassist Geddy Lee, and drummer Neil Peart hit their stride. The new album's more streamlined, harder-edged sound came together quickly.

"Once we got over the three-month hump, this record took on a life of its own, and we were along for the ride," Lifeson explains in a basement meeting room at his manager's downtown Toronto office.

But in rock 'n' roll, it ain't over till it's over. And even after the trio went their separate ways at the conclusion of the album, there were more challenges.

"Geddy went away to do the mastering. I went away on a golfing trip as soon as we finished (last February)," Lifeson says.

"It had been 14 months (making the record), and in the past, we spent four to six months making a record ... I just had to go. I felt badly, because everything was dumped on Geddy, to do the mastering and make all those decisions."

Even as he was hitting the links, Lifeson was on the phone four or five times a day with Lee, who was forced to deal with unexpected glitches that didn't emerge until late in the recording process.

"We found problems that we didn't hear in mixing that were apparent in mastering. To get the kind of levels (we wanted), we had digital distortion. We remixed a couple of songs half-way through the mastering, through the remix, back to mastering," says Lifeson.

"The poor guy (Lee) was doing this on his own. It really shook him up."

Still, Lifeson took a final, mixed-and-mastered version of "Vapor Trails" with him to Hawaii for a holiday with his wife. And even then, he couldn't bring himself to listen to the finished product until late in the two-week vacation, when he settled onto the beach, slid the finished disc into his Discman, and pressed play.

"I was really thrilled by the fact that I heard the songs and I really liked the songs a lot. I was really proud of the work we did. It all unfolded for me," he says with obvious satisfaction.

"When I got back, I called him and said, 'Ged! The album is great! We did a great job! We got through it, we stuck to everything we believed in and we did it!'

"He said: 'I don't know what to think. I think it's awful.' I said, please do me a favour. Just don't put it on for a couple of weeks. Be relaxed and open'."

Lifeson said he's still not sure Lee is at a point where he has separated himself from the trauma of finishing the album, to where he can listen to it as a whole. But given how intense an experience creating "Vapor Trails" was, that's not surprising.

"Honestly, we had no life for 14 months. That was our life," the guitarist says.

"It is one thing to go into the studio and have easy hours and take weekends off and a week off every four weeks. But you never stop thinking about it. When you get down to the crunch of mixing, it becomes an unruly beast."

Fans will be able to assess the "unruly beast" for themselves on Tuesday (May 14), when "Vapor Trails" arrives in stores. After Lee and Lifeson complete press duties, they'll hook back up with drummer-lyricist Peart to complete preparations for their first live dates since 1997.

The tour will likely take Rush through Christmas, and then Lifeson anticipates a lengthy vacation. But he won't rule out the possibility of more new music coming from Rush.

"I think one of the lessons we learned in the last five years is it is not prudent to make plans. Things can change in a flash," he says.

"We should all take a break. We had a great time making this record. Geddy and I love working together on music. I wouldn't be surprised if we started working together on another record some time next year."

During a wide-ranging conversation, Lifeson spoke to JAM! Music about the making of "Vapor Trails," the impact of Sept. 11 on their new record, the absence of synthesizers on the album, the group's burgeoning status as a hip influence on contemporary bands, plans for the upcoming tour, and the second-annual Rush fan convention in Toronto. Here's how it went.

Q: How different was the methodology in making "Vapor Trails" from earlier Rush albums?

A: We are very much into routines and scheduling. In the past, we always allotted six weeks for writing. Write two songs a week. Finish all the writing. Two weeks for pre-production and re-arranging and any of that stuff. And then go into the studio and start recording.

With this record, we decided no deadlines. It would take as long as it would take. We would not push ourselves in that sense. And we made a point of getting good sounds from the beginning, so everything we recorded was useable.

Consequently, a lot of the record is from those early jam sessions. Geddy and I would jam for a couple of days and then sift through and cull the best bits. And then we would start song construction after that.

We spent the first two weeks just communicating. Talking. Getting to be comfortable with each other again. We didn't play much in that time. Exploring some sounds. But we just talked a lot. Then we started writing after that two weeks.

A couple of months after that, we took a break. And when we came back to it, everything was clear to us. In that initial period, we wrote a lot of crap. We wrote a lot of junk on disc. It was important for us to play and get stuff out of our system. A lot of stuff we were writing was boring, predictable, unoriginal.

There were a few gems in there, but most of it was garbage. When we got back to it, we could clearly see where we needed to go with it.

Q: So you worked independently from Neil Peart?

A: He is there, in his own space, working on lyrics. He had his kit set up in the live room at Reaction (Studios), so he could go in and rehearse whenever he wanted to, without interfering with us.

I know he walked by that control room many, many times and wanted to come in and get something going. But Ged and I like to get deep involved into it before we give him anything. We are always getting lyrics from him, but we wait until we have a few songs, so that he can get a sense of direction, where it is going.

Working out his drum arrangements comes later. But it is important that he bases what he is doing on more than one song. It was frustrating for him, because it took us a while. It took us a few months before we felt we had material we felt was indicative of this record.

Q: So the music went off in a different direction after you started. How would you characterize the direction you went with?

A: For me, the writing took on a real interesting dissonance that we never had. It is very passionate. Quite intense for a Rush record. It is probably the heaviest record we have made in some time.

There are no keyboards, so it is a very organic record. I was so hoping that we wouldn't include any keyboards on this record. I always have a fight with them; keyboards occupy the same frequency range as guitars, primarily. They are flat. There is nothing deep or dimensional. They are samples. We have used them in the past, and I had issues then. But that is the direction we took.

This was an opportunity for me to write guitar parts that keyboards would have taken in the past -- shading and colour and background stuff, atmospheric things. But it is more organic. It has feel to it. It comes from the movement of this hand, rather than pushing a key.

Geddy was really open to it. He understood my frustration in that area. I think I proved to him we could go to a whole other area with the guitar, and then he took his voice to a whole other area, using it as an instrument, creating all those things we created in the past.

The record is more organic. It really represents the three of us.

Q: Rhythmically, it is a much more direct style than some of your older material. There isn't all the weird, changing time signatures.

A: Geddy and I have been listening to a lot of our old stuff. Going through all our records, for the setlist for our next tour. It is a really interesting process. We have not listened to "Fly By Night" or "Caress Of Steel" or "Hemispheres" in decades. We only ever played one or two songs, and maybe nothing from some records.

I could see how we wrote back then. We always challenged ourselves. All these funny time signatures. Movements. Things were very abrupt and slotted in. I can hear that now.

With ("Vapor Trails"), we tried to be more subtle and fluid with time changes. In "Freeze," there are movements and changes, but they happen in subtle ways. The guitar will overlap with the drums, or the bass will follow a pattern. They will shift that way, rather than everyone shifting at once.

I think we are a little more mature. We look for a different thing now than we did back then. It was the power and intensity. The complication is a little subtler. For me, I love hearing music that sounds very complex and complicated. Until you play it, and you go: Oh my god! This is so easy. That is an art to take a simple chordal pattern and twist it enough to make it sound hard to play.

Q: Do you ever have conversations with Neil about the lyrics and discuss what theme might unify the album? With "Test For Echo," it seemed to be about the problems of communication. Did you ever conclude what underlying theme there was to "Vapor Trails"?

A: I don't know if we ever discuss those things. Neil brings us lyrics. In his mind, he has a theme or a thought that becomes central to what he is thinking. In the old days, it was a lot more apparent with the concept things.

This record, it hasn't been so connected to one theme. There is a sense of recovery and hope. It is a very positive, optimistic record, I think. Which I think is important, given what Neil went through in the last five years and what we all went through. (Peart lost his daughter to a car accident and his wife to cancer).

(The album) is a little more all over the place. It reflects a lot of what happened, and certainly his feelings.

Q: The image of vapor trails, tracing your path suggests reflecting on what one has been through.

A: And it disappears. The important thing is where you are going.

Q: Neil hasn't always been known for the personal nature of his lyrics, so were you surprised how personal this set seemed to be?

A: Well, he had to. In the past, his lyrics were more from an observer's point of view. He never dictated an opinion. But he left things open in his writing, to challenge people to think. That has always been a trademark with us, and that is how we earned our geeky kind of reputation.

But this record was a lot more personal. I don't think I was surprised by it, when he submitted lyrics that were personal. He needed to purge himself of thoughts and feelings. He is a writer. Not just lyrics, he is working on his second published book, and he has been writing travel journals for 15 years now.

He needed to vent. He needed to get a lot of things off his chest. We knew it was important for him. A lot of these things weren't lyrics. They came in the form of lyrics, but he has a way of dealing with being in that position, dealing with those thoughts.

Geddy and Neil both worked closely on the lyrics. If Geddy is going to sing, he needs to feel comfortable with them. If it is too personal, it is a little difficult for him, as you can imagine. They worked closely to make sure they were lyrics that anyone could attach themselves to the emotion.

Q: Neil has been pretty consistent about his privacy. So did you discuss how you were going to deal with this topic when it came up, since he isn't handling press interviews?

A: As we finished the record, we talked about touring. That is a very difficult thing for him. He is not keen on touring, and hasn't been for 10 years. But he understands the importance of it. Put a record out -- you have to tour it. We have got great fans. There is an obligation to them to present your latest work. We share this experience with our fans. Our fans are the greatest fans that any band could imagine.

He indicated it was a big concern to him, how he was going to deal with being on the road. It is a difficult thing for him to think about what happened. He has started on a different course. He has remarried. He is deeply scarred by what he went through, but he is building his strength. He has come a long way in the last year. From when we started the record to now? A long, long way.

As friends, we are thrilled. At the end of the day, all we cared about was his happiness, his recovery.

The band didn't matter at all. Honestly, we had a great run for a long time. We had a lot of success. If this thing tore the band apart, that's the way it goes. We are friends, and we will just carry on and do the best for each other.

Q: So you were prepared to call it a day, if making the record didn't work?

A: We were committed to starting (an album). We were committed to the attempt. But there were no guarantees it would work. We all understood that from the beginning. Even when Neil told us he was ready to go back to work. He said, "I don't know if I can, but I think I am ready to try".

He hadn't played his drums in four years, except for a short, two-week period. This is a guy who is probably the greatest rock drummer in the world, if not the greatest drummer in the world. He practised every single day, because he wanted to, because it was such an important part of his life.

All that joy in playing died in him. So it was a lot of work he had to go through.

He really asked us if it is okay if he just step out of the whole (promo) thing. "Of course", we said, "don't even think about it." Geddy and I will do everything and try to represent it as best we can, and answer questions about him in a way he would feel good about.

Q: Was there any finished material left over from "Vapor Trails"?

A: Our intention was to write 13 songs and pick the best 10 or 11. When you add it all up, that is about an hour's worth of music, which is fine.

We wrote the 13 songs, and we couldn't leave any of them behind. It is about 68 minutes. It is a lot of music, and it is a tough record to put on and listen to. This one, I think requires three or four listens before you figure out what is going on.

Q: Did Geddy's experience making his solo album, "My Favorite Headache," have an impact on the way you worked together?

A: Absolutely. He learned so much from the making of his own record. When I did (Lifeson's side-project) Victor, I did it for personal reasons. I needed a strong kick in the pants. I have a tendency to get lazy, and I needed to push myself. I learned a lot about my abilities and weaknesses. Geddy spent over a year on his record. He came out with such confidence and sense of arrangement and composition. I was really impressed.

I was very proud of the work he did. His record sounds great. I like things a little harder. That is what we bring to the table -- I bring the heavier, harder stuff, and he is the more melodic stuff.

It is well recorded. The songs are good. I just think it made him feel so much better about his strengths. It made everything easier for us to work together.

I knew we would be producing the record. I knew the involvement would be pretty intense. We decided to do it ourselves, although we brought Paul Northfield in, six months into the project. From the beginning, we decided this is something we would do ourselves.

I felt it was important to do some production, so I would know something about diplomacy in the studio. Get to sense ups and downs and how to keep an even keel through the whole thing. We prepared ourselves very well for the beginning of this record.

Q: Earlier in the band's career, there was very little hip cachet in being a Rush fan, and certainly a lot of critics had a field day with you. Lately, it seems to have turned a corner, whether it was Pavement mentioning Geddy in their song "Stereo" or the Beastie Boys opening their last tour with "Tom Sawyer." Is there any sense of vindication?

A: We never really troubled ourselves with that. We just did what we did and keep going and going. Journalists that we felt were unfairly critical, who jumped on the bandwagon to put us down - I don't think any of them are around. But I'm still doing what I do.

We stuck to our guns. If that wasn't cool, I don't particularly think I am a cool guy. We are musicians in a band. We love what we do, and we work very hard. We take it seriously, but we are all easy-going, middle-class guys. A sense of revenge doesn't come into play.

It is nice to know. It is flattering. I guess since the early '90s, this has been something that has come back to us, that we have influenced a lot of bands. That grunge period. It makes sense, we were playing all those cities. We were always a cultish kind of band. Not on the radio a lot. We played hard, but on the muso side. I can see that that was perhaps an influence.

I think the greatest influence we have had on these bands is that we have proven you can do it on your own terms. I don't think they sound like Rush, any of these people. But we have shown if you stick to your guns and persevere, you can do it on your own terms.

Q: You were in the studio on Sept. 11. Did the attacks in New York and Washington have any impact on the music?

A: Everything was already written by that point. The last song that needed to be finished was "Peaceable Kingdom." It was already written and slated to be an instrumental song. Paul (co-producer Northfield) said "You guys are nuts if you make this an instrumental song. You should really come up with some good lyrics for this".

Neil gave it some thought, and what happened on Sept. 11, that was really a direct result of that. I think he wrote the lyrics the following week.

(The lyrics to "Peaceable Kingdom" include these lines: "All this time we're shuffling and laying out all our cards/While a billion other dealers are slipping past our guards/All this time we're hoping and praying we all might learn/While a billion other teachers are teaching them how to burn".)

I'm glad it wasn't an instrumental. It is my favourite song on the record. It has such a weird character to it. Lyrically I think it is great. The chorus, ("a wave toward the clearing sky ..."), it is so powerful and visual. It is such a great contrast from the heaviness of the rest of the song.

Q: Rush fans are organizing the second Rush convention in Toronto this year (July 12-14, three days prior to the band's July 17 performance at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre). How do you feel about that kind of stuff?

A: We are really thankful for it. It is really wonderful that happens, that people have enough interest in the band to undertake that. I hope it is spirited and everybody has a good time. And I hope no one is offended that we are not involved in it.

To me, it is strictly a fan thing. I know they would love to have the band involved in some way. We just feel embarrassed. It is just hard to deal with, the adulation and all that.

Last year, when they had it, they asked if we could donate some things for an auction. Ged and I were working very hard during that period. We were figuring out, should we go down? When should we do it?

Before you know it, we got caught up in work, and we felt very guilty about it afterwards. This year, it is around the time we are on the road, unfortunately. But maybe we can do something for it, somehow.

Q: Rush used to be pretty active in making videos, but that end of the business has changed. Do you plan to do any videos for the album?

A: There is no plan to do a video right now. I was never crazy about them. I don't think anybody wants to see a bunch of 43-year-old guys jumping around pretending to play a song.

There are ways of doing it. Tool is a great example of doing it, as dark as they are. I suppose we could do some kind of art video to music, but we don't see the point. Our name has a certain connotation. It goes to MTV and is immediately sent back. We have had good support from Much over the years.

We have a lot of footage from the last tour, and we will probably have some from this tour. Maybe we will do a nice package, a DVD package, of a show. No plans, because we are so busy in the production of the tour, but it is all there. We know it is all there, and we will get around to it.

Q: What about a live album from this tour?

A: Don't even talk about that anymore. The last one (1998's "Different Stages") was the best one. It has the best packaging of the stuff from Hammersmith Odeon. We included that so you get 20 years. You can see the rawness of those days and the maturity and confidence of the more recent days. We are proud of it, but it is an enormous headache to do a live record.

Q: Weeks before it was due for release, "Vapor Trails" somehow leaked out on the Internet. How does that make you feel?

A: We spent 14 months working so hard on this record. We spent a lot of money making this record. We spent a lot of money on the packaging, making it the best record we could. A lot of time and energy went into it.

To have it on the Internet and download a crappy file is heartbreaking for us. Unfortunately, that is the way it is now. True Rush fans will go get the record, because they want to have that connection, and the lyrics.

We don't hire someone to do these things. We do it. We work with great people, but our involvement is total, in every aspect of everything we do. It is an extension of us. It is really important that that is connected in your hands.

It is a sad state of affairs that it is like that. Some people ... I see the advantages of that, a great forum for people who want to share music with people.

But to say music is free is not true. Music costs millions of dollars, to make this record or a Korn record. There is a lot of money involved. If you say record companies are greedy or uncaring, you keep doing stuff like this, downloading files and taking money out of the system, it is affecting bands that don't get a chance anymore, to sign a deal.

It is affecting the band that gets a one-record deal, instead of a five-record deal. So they can learn their trade on the first two albums and hopefully that third or fourth album is the one. That doesn't happen anymore.

Last edited by Hannibal; 05-08-02 at 11:06 AM.
Hannibal is offline  
Old 05-08-02, 11:10 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 557
Lateralus,
Do you have all the answers to the contest written down?
Hannibal is offline  
Old 05-08-02, 12:05 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
Originally posted by Hannibal
Lateralus,
Do you have all the answers to the contest written down?
Not yet, but I'll do it this evening. I only got home from work after 9PM yesterday and the last thing I wanted to do last night was to search the web and look for Rush lyrics..
Lateralus is offline  
Old 05-09-02, 10:42 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 14,341
Just got 8th row for Houston in the presale. Woo hoo.
cdollaz is online now  
Old 05-09-02, 06:24 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 57,311
I just ordered mine for STAPLES center in LA. I got floor seats in the 23 row which kicks ass. These will allow us to take the whole show in.
Giantrobo is online now  
Old 05-10-02, 07:36 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 557
Some very cool video interviews:
http://www.getmusic.com/alist/rush.html
Hannibal is offline  
Old 05-11-02, 10:09 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lower Gum Curve
Posts: 19,038
Pittsburgh Internet presale sucked! I was on it right at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday and the first three sections in the front were not available at all. The only thing coming up was the middle sections, and those were Row P, Row Q, etc.

I know front row is too much to hope for, but somewhere in the first 20 rows should have been available. I even tried getting a single ticket, and was still too far back.

ticketmaster!
Jason is offline  
Old 05-13-02, 08:32 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 14,341
It's not about when you get in anymore. First into TicketBastard doesn't mean best seats. It is a random pull from what is in their system. We got 8th row in the presale, but that was after we had already pulled and released much worse reserved and even lawn tickets. Gone are the days where the earlier you get in, the better seats you get. Really stupid system they have now.
cdollaz is online now  
Old 05-13-02, 03:34 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,865
A Quick heads up to everyone looking for the best price on the new album. It's gonna be 11.99 at Best Buy. I've yet to see any other place have as good or better price than Best Buy. Even though I try to avoid Best Buy, that price is to good to miss.
Cardiff Giant11 is offline  
Old 05-13-02, 03:43 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 14,341
Target's ad shows Vapor Trails for $11.88
cdollaz is online now  
Old 05-13-02, 04:27 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,865
Originally posted by cdollaz
Target's ad shows Vapor Trails for $11.88
I completely missed that when I was scanning the Target ad. Great price on a hopefully great cd.
Cardiff Giant11 is offline  
Old 05-13-02, 06:40 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,569
I ordered my copy from the backstage club. I get a free sticker and a chance for a autographed copy, i did this to add to my order of a couple Rush T-shirts. I sure hope I get my order soon.
Lateralus is offline  
Old 05-15-02, 08:31 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 14,341
One of my old roommates just won front row tickets to the Houston show. I can't wait.
cdollaz is online now  
Old 05-15-02, 09:28 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Chicago
Posts: 557
Managed to score some 10th row seats for the Milwaukee show. I had to do some major bloodletting dollar wise. Depending on how my buddy handles it, there will be two pairs (section 5 and 6))to this show and two or three pairs (second pavilion) to the next night at Chicago available soon.

Last edited by Hannibal; 05-15-02 at 09:35 PM.
Hannibal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.