RUSH Drummer: New Album Recordings 'Far Ahead Of Schedule'

RUSH drummer Neil Peart has posted a lengthy new update on his official web site. An excerpt follows:

"Exactly one year ago (to recap a story begun in earlier reports), my bandmates and I started talking about working on some new songs. Alex and Geddy got together in Geddy's home studio in Toronto and simply played, letting the new ideas flow out unguided and unedited, while 3000 miles away in California, I began drafting some lyrics and sending them up.

"In March, the three of us met at my house in Quebec, and Alex and Geddy played me the six songs they had been working on. All of us felt very positive about their direction, and agreed that we needed to spend some time working together. In May we moved into a small Toronto studio, and started refining those songs and writing a few others.

"As previously reported, in June I recorded three songs in Los Angeles with my friend Matt Scannell, and for me as a drummer, that was a challenging and inspiring experience. Also, the new set of purpose-built 'recording' drums that my friends at Drum Workshop put together for me, which were intended to be used on Matt's project and become my 'West Coast kit,' sounded so good that I had them sent straight east, to use on the new RUSH album.

"Later that month, I also fulfilled a longtime challenge as a motorcyclist, doing a 'Thousand-in-One' — 1000 miles in one day — in the course of riding my R1200GS from Los Angeles to Quebec, 3000 miles, in four days. (Yes, I was in a hurry!)

"Though obviously no leisure tour, it was still a powerful traveling experience, giving me what felt like a 'snapshot panorama' of a wide swath of North America — California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and Quebec — in such a brief time.

"And even on that express route, mainly keeping to the 'mileage disposal units' of the interstates, and even in the fierce heat of early summer in the desert Southwest, there were still hours of sublime beauty: the Mojave Desert (always), I-70 through Utah and Colorado (perhaps the most scenic stretch of interstate in the country), and even the Great Plains. Unlike some travelers, I never find that part of the country boring. The highways are flat and straight, sure, but those endless green farmlands all around make a nice kind of 'intermission' in a transcontinental roadshow, opening with the deserts and mountains of the West, and closing with the forests and rocky bluffs of upper Michigan and northern Ontario. On a journey like that, the prairies were a welcome pastoral interlude."

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