<a href="http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Lowdown/2006/ ... 24-ca.html" target="_new">Article</a>
Canadian rock legends Rush will be co-producing their new studio album for Anthem Records with Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters). The American producer will be flying up to Toronto next week to meet with the band, which is in the demo phase right now.
"It's early stages. We have nine songs written so far," says guitarist Alex Lifeson. "We're going to continue until we have about 12 songs and finish up preproduction at the end of October, so we'll be really well prepared and then go in the studio in November and start recording."
That way of working is a little different for Lifeson, singer/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart, who usually write in the studio and record at the same time.
"This time around, we wanted to write, we wanted to rehearse the material, we wanted to get really inside it before we actually recorded it," explains Lifeson. "We're not spending a lot of time on sound or getting too involved in the recording."
Lifeson and Lee started working "very casually" together through the early part of this year, and Peart sent some lyrics to them. In May, they spent a month in a downtown studio "building things, doing some more writing, doing some pre-production, getting Neil involved, drumming, and then we just went back in about a week and a half ago."
This will be Rush's 18th original album since the trio formed in 1968 and released its self-titled debut in 1974. The band has since sold more than 36 million albums worldwide and continues to be one of the top-grossing international touring acts.
The last time Rush was in the studio to record original material was for 2002's "Vapor Trails," which scanned just under 40,000 units in Canada, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Rush's last studio album was 2004's "Feedback," a fun recording for which they covered songs by The Yardbirds, The Who, Buffalo Springfield, and others. "R30," a live 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD and CD set, was released last November. Both releases scanned 33,000 units each in Canada.
Asked how the new songs are developing and Lifeson enthuses, "It's awesome, but I say that about all our records at this point. With every new record, it's the most exciting thing you've ever done.
"But there's a quality about this record that's very expansive and musically lyrical. It's very melodic. I've written almost exclusively on acoustic guitar. When Geddy and I write, I'm playing acoustic and he's playing bass, so there's a different character to the way the writing is developing.
"To me, it seems so apparent immediately whether a piece of music works or not when it's written on acoustic. You're not fooled by some distorted sound or some effect you put on guitar or something like that. This is pure in its essence and you know right away whether this chorus works or whether this verse works.
"So I'm really excited about the way this is going to develop once we start recording it."