Rush promises surprises on summer tour
EmptyRush fans can expect some different songs and "surprises" when the Canadian trio hits the road on April 11 -- but guitarist Alex Lifeson says, "I'm gonna keep those a secret until then, I think."
Lifeson tells Billboard.com that since the next segment of Rush's Snakes & Arrows World Tour -- which kicks off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and runs through July 20 -- visits a number of cities the group hasn't played in quite some time, "we thought we should maybe revisit some older songs we're not playing currently or haven't been in the last little while. So we changed out a few songs in the set. We're gonna keep it loose and maybe kind of bounce back and forth."
Lifeson says the group frequently gets fan requests for specific material. "We see 'Camera Eye' come up quite often, 'Jacob's Ladder' and some of the longer songs like that from our mid-period," he says. Last year's Snakes & Ladders dates featured rarities such as "Circumstances" and "Entre Nous," which Rush has never performed live, and are captured on the upcoming "Snakes & Arrows Live," due April 15.
Lifeson says Rush is also starting to tuck into the video material from the same show last October at Ahoy Rotterdam arena in the Netherlands for a DVD the guitarist says will be out in the late summer or early fall.
"We shot it in HD, and I hear it looks really dramatic," says Lifeson, who supervised the stereo mix for the CD. The group decided to put the CD out first, he says, because "we wanted to kind of bridge the two halves of the tour with a release so there's something there, and then we'll follow up with the live DVD."
Lifeson says that he and bandmates Geddy Lee and Neil Peart are also thinking a bit about Rush's next studio album -- mostly likely with "Snakes & Arrows" co-producer Nick Raskulinecz -- but suspects that will come later rather than sooner.
"I'm guessing that we're probably going to take a little bit of the break at the end of this tour," says Lifeson, who's been updating his Web site with a number of new features he hopes to roll out soon. "I don't see us really doing much in the way of any new material probably until the spring of next year, and then we'll see where we go. We generally prefer to just start on that first day and sit down and start jamming; it's such an exciting moment, and it becomes it's own living thing. We seem to be much more balanced and a lot happier working that way."
Gary Graff is a contributor to Billboard. (Detroit)