From : <a href="http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/2006/10/19/2069578-cp.html" target="_new">JAM! Music</a>
TORONTO (CP) - Canadian rock icons Rush are working on a collection of new songs based on Neil Peart's reflections on faith, the drummer said Thursday from his home in Los Angeles.
Peart said he, high-pitched singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson spent much of this year crafting the power trio's first slate of new material since 2004's "Vapor Trails" and expect to begin recording in November for an album release early next year.
Peart revealed few details about the record, except to say that reflections on faith emerged as a clear theme from the very beginning.
"I tried hard to look at it as a subject - what's good about it - and tried to balance that against what I saw as not being a good thing," said Peart, noting his experience as a Canadian living in the United States for the past six years has given him a unique perspective on world events.
"All we're seeing, especially in the world today, is a very malevolent kind of faith, in fundamentalism of all kinds, on both sides. One of the lines I use in the new songs equates Middle East and Middle West, because this stuff is going on in both localities, although both would probably be insulted by the comparison."
Peart said much of the new material was hashed out long distance, with him exchanging lyrics from Los Angeles for the song sketches of Lee and Lifeson, who both live in Toronto.
His musings on religion emerged during a motorcycle road trip he took across the United States in 2004, the year the band celebrated their 30th anniversary with a tour.
He turned the experience into a book of anecdotes and stories, "Roadshow: Landscape With Drums: A Concert Tour By Motorcycle." "I don't need it in my life, is the way I would put it," Peart said of faith. "But I see other people who do and other people for whom it's definitely a positive sort of reinforcement of a kind of solace and those are all good things."
Still, he says he's not shy about tackling an issue that is often considered taboo.
Peart said a teacher once told him to never judge people by things they can't change. Therefore, religion is fair game, he says.
"To me, those are things they can change, so I feel entitled to look at them in that light," he says.
The band's last album was "Feedback", including eight cover songs released in 2004 to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Rush album, "Rush."