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Mick Burgess of Metal Express Radio recently conducted an interview with RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Express Radio: In a few weeks' time, your latest album,"Clockwork Angels", will be released. Are you looking forward to finally getting it out?
Alex: Yeah, it's been a long project. We released a couple of songs before the last tour and that's the first time that we've done something like that where we've recorded a couple of songs from a record that hasn't been released yet. It was kind of fun to get those songs out, to work them and play them and have a peek into what the project was going to be. It was great for getting us back into writing, which we did last fall where we got into the bulk of the writing and where the whole story started to come together. That's where we got a sense of where the album was going.
Metal Express Radio: "Clockwork Angels" sees you really spreading your wings. There's elements of vintage RUSH in there with complex arrangements and mood changes while keeping that contemporary feel of your later albums. Was this the plan when you first started discussing ideas with Geddy [Lee, bass/vocals]?
Alex: I don't know, really. I'm never sure what the plan is. We sort of start on the day and it takes its shape and we kind of go with it. I think probably with this record, we really wanted to play and wanted to stretch out a little bit. We wanted to have fun playing and also to strip things down a little. I think "Snakes & Arrows", in retrospect, was a little bit dense, because it was written on acoustic guitar, which played a major role in the production. We layered a lot of acoustics and electrics and I think we got just a little cloudy at times. I really like the record, but with hindsight of living with it for a while, we realized that we kind of overcooked it a bit.