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GEDDY LEE Names RUSH's Most "Accomplished Piece Of Work," Discusses Happiest Periods Of The Band

A very modern album.

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Rush certainly enjoyed their share of highs and lows, even before the sad passing of iconic drummer Neil Peart. In an interview with Classic Rock, bassist Geddy Lee spoke about life in Rush circa 2001, when they returned to the studio after a lengthy hiatus to record Vapor Tails (2002), the follow up to Test for Echo (1996).

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"Within minutes [we were] laughing and gabbing," said Lee. "Whenever we saw each other, it was like yesterday. Within five minutes we're razzing each other and laughing and catching up. Everybody had been through a lot. No one more than Neil [Peart, drummer]. But it was just like getting back on the bike."

Lee added that the band's first tour back was also really cathartic. "That first tour back as a band, different world. We took a different attitude on that tour; we were much more open and appreciative of the opportunity.

"Five years away from it took a lot of cynicism out of our behavior. When we did our first gig after all those years, and were welcomed back so strongly, I think everyone was taken aback: "Wow, these people waited for us."

In 1997, Peart's daughter passed away, and the following year, so did his wife. The status of Rush was left indefinite as Peart worked through his grief. Between 1997 and 1998, Rush released several album collections, including the hugely successful Retrospective I & II compilations, and the equally popular live album, Different Stages.

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After Vapor Tails, Rush would go on to release two more studio albums: 2007's Snakes & Arrows, and their final offering, Clockwork Angels in 2012. It was on Snakes & Arrows where the band worked with producer Nick Raskulinecz.

"That was our introduction to producer Nick Raskulinecz, and he was such a tonic. Such good energy, so funny. We were in this huge, rambling place near Woodstock and were only there to do the drum parts, but we were having so much fun we just stayed for the entire album.

"Snakes & Arrows and Clockwork Angels were probably the two most fulfilling recording experiences we'd ever had. It was the happiest period for the band since Permanent Waves (1980)."

About Clockwork Angels, Lee remarked, "Al [Lifeson, guitar] and I were just talking about this the other night, how, from personal chemistry writing vibe, it was the happiest collaboration we'd had since we were kids. From a songwriter's point of view, it's probably the most accomplished piece of work we did in our entire history."

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Rush recently released the 40th Anniversary edition of their 1982 classic, Moving Pictures. A newly-produced video for the track "YYZ" was released to mark the occasion.

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