Talk of Rush reactivating in some regard has begun. Frontman Geddy Lee has made it known that Rush isn't staging a full-on reunion, but has noted that he'd love to get back into the studio with guitarist Alex Lifeson and make some new music (and maybe play some shows).
So let's say hypothetically Rush makes one last album or even just plays some tribute shows to the great, irreplaceable Neil Peart. Who would they choose to sit behind the kit? We've got a few picks.
Mike Mangini is the most obvious choice. The man just parted ways with Dream Theater right in time for Rush to start considering maybe doing new music or even live shows. Mangini's résumé is nothing short of insane, including everyone from Dream Theater to Steve Vai and Annihilator (and the G3 tours, and doing clinics, etc.), to being a faculty member at Berklee College of Music.
Would Mike Portnoy join Rush right now? Probably not – dude just rejoined Dream Theater and the hype for that is off the charts. But Portnoy is still plenty qualified to step in with Rush in either a live or studio setting, given his (rightful) status as one of the most legendary modern progressive metal drummers.
It's no secret that The Police had a massive influence on Rush, especially in their '80s material. So who better to step in for the mighty Neil Peart than one of his biggest influences? Plus if there's anyone that can tackle those reggae rhythms in some of Rush's music, it's Stewart Copeland. Dude is a beast.
Danny Carey is definitely one of the top choices for Rush. If there's anyone that's well versed in having to keep a rock-solid, head-bobbing groove atop a flurry of insane time signature changes, it's Carey and his work in Tool. It also helps that Carey can clearly multi-task drums and loads of electronics without breaking a sweat.
Tim Alexander would be a very cool choice. Alexander is well versed in prog weirdness thanks to his decades with Primus (who even covered all of Rush's Farewell To Kings on tour once) and his time in the Blue Man Group. Plus his work in Attention Deficit with Michael Manring and Alex Skolnick is extremely cool.
Anyone who can play with Frank Zappa's band and get behind guitarist Allan Holdsworth in the same decade is surely insane behind the kit. Bozzio's later work includes backing Dweezil Zappa and weirdly Korn's 2007 Untitled record. Dude is extremely talented and is still pretty active online.
Bobby Jarzombek would fit right in with Rush. Jarzombek has all the insanely technical background of drumming for Spastic Ink and loads progressive metal mastery thanks to drumming for Fates Warning and Arch / Matheos. Plus now that Fates Warning is done making music, is there a better time for Jarzombek?
Marco Minnemann is well-versed in the world of progressive rock. His résumé includes everyone from Steven Wilson and The Aristocrats to a brief supergroup with Tony Levin and Jordan Rudess. Minnemann even tried out for Dream Theater in 2011, and did one hell of a job in his audition.
Why Gavin Harrison should drum for Rush can be summed up in three bands – Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, and The Pineapple Thief. Harrison is a human calculator behind the kit with a unique feel, and who's always done a great job marrying the dizzingly technical with the straightforward crowd-pleasing grooves.
You might not know Craig Blundell's name, but you should. Blundell has drummed for Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, and Lonely Robot, as well as spent quite a bit of time in the English prog band Frost*. Blundell is one hell of a drummer and should at least be in the running.
Brann Dailor would be a very cool choice. Sure, Dailor has progressive metal down pat – Mastodon has only been getting proggier over the years and Dailor constantly crushes it. But it'd be cool to hear how Dailor's high-energy drumming would fit into Rush between all those classic Peart lines.
Thomas Lang's life is drums. Lang has been a revered drum instructor for decades, is constantly in the conversation about every drummer's favorite drummer, and would doubtlessly give 28 hours per day to making whatever Rush did next the best possible version it could be.
Matt Cameron drummed on Geddy Lee's solo album My Favorite Headache, so clearly the two know each other. Cameron has loads of experience in the industry, and is used to time signature weirdness and feel changes thanks to the grunge oddities that were Soundgarden. Matt Cameron would be a cool choice.