Rush Drummer Neil Peart Talks About the Making of 'Clockwork Angels'

Last year, Geddy Lee promised we'd see the new Rush album, Clockwork Angels, sometime in the first half of 2012, and a ccording to a new post on his official website, drummer Neil Peart has revealed that the band are now in the mixing phase of the process, with recording complete.

"As we prepare to start mixing in the New Year, it is too early to say anything about the results," said Peart, adding: "I once described mixing as 'the end of waiting,' while Geddy calls it, 'the death of hope.')

Talking more about the recording process for Clockwork Angels, Peart wrote: "In recent years I have been working deliberately to become more improvisational on the drums, and these sessions were an opportunity to attempt that approach in the studio. I played through each song just a few times on my own, checking out patterns and fills that might work, then called in Booujzhe. He stood in the room with me, facing my drums, with a music stand and a single drumstick—he was my conductor, and I was his orchestra. (I later replaced that stick with a real baton.)

"Rush songs tend to have complicated arrangements, with odd numbers of beats, bars, and measures all over the place, and our latest songs are no different (maybe worse—or better, depending). In the past, much of my preparation time would be spent just learning all that. I don’t like to count those parts, but rather play them enough that I begin to feel the changes in a musical way. Playing it through again and again, those elements became 'the song.'

"This time I handed that job over to Booujzhe. (And he loved it!) I would attack the drums, responding to his enthusiasm, and his suggestions between takes, and together we would hammer out the basic architecture of the part. His baton would conduct me into choruses, half-time bridges, and double-time outros and so on—so I didn’t have to worry about their durations. No counting, and no endless repetition. What a revelation! What a relief!"

You can read more here.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.