Rush’s Alex Lifeson: ‘We Just Can’t Stop Writing and Playing Music Together’
What does the future hold for Rush? That remains to be seen, but while there has been speculation that the band have played their final tour, guitarist Alex Lifeson kept hope alive that there may be more music in the future.
Lifeson and bassist Geddy Lee were in Toronto over the weekend to receive the key to the city and also had a park in Willowdale named after them. During a portion of the festivities, the two Rush rockers spoke with Canadian radio and TV personality George Stroumboulopoulos (as seen in the video above) and addressed their thoughts on where things are at with the band.
When Stroumboulopoulos asked if the band had played their final tour, Lee stated, "Probably," as the host asked about the adjustment period over the past year. Lifeson stated, "It's been an adjustment, this past year. We've been following up on some other interests that we both have, and we've been learning to get used to the idea, and it's taken a while. But I feel very confident about a lot of things, and music is definitely still one of them. And I'm sure that we'll do something in the future. We can't just stop playing and writing music together."
Lee added, "I play almost every day that I'm around the house. I've been traveling a lot with my wife. We're very big into seeing the world and taking advantage of this break in my career, whatever it may be. But I love playing, and I play a lot. And sooner or later, the right thing will happen."
Back in December of 2015, drummer Neil Peart added to speculation that the band had played their final shows when he suggested in an interview that he was "a retired drummer." He added, "Like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song 'Losing It,' 'Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it.'” Peart has admitted to suffering from chronic tendonitis in his arms, something that has made his nimble and dextrous mastery of the kit harder to keep up as he's gotten older.
In March of this year, Lifeson stated that the band didn't have any plans, but also warned that they also spent a year-and-a-half after their Clockwork Angels tour before deciding to move forward. He added, “I know Geddy and I love writing together; we’ve been doing it since we were young teenagers. And I’d like to think that we’ll do it until we’re very old men instead of just mostly old men.”
Lee stated of Peart, “I think for Neil it’s become too hard. And that’s a phrase he likes to use. To play for three hours, to play the way we feel is being Rush, the way Rush plays is a three-hour show that’s very complicated. And that has taken its physical toll on his body. During the course of any of the last few tours, he’s gone through periods that he’s having problems — whether it’s tendonitis or whether it’s some other thing.” With that being said, the frontman conceded, “So I think for him it’s enough; he can’t go through all that again. So that’s gonna dictate, obviously, what performing live is gonna mean for Rush. And whether that happens or not, I can’t really say at this point.” But for all three members, they've been in a period of enjoying life off the road and reconnecting with family.
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