Geddy on Presto, 2112, Setlists, and the Number 40
Of all the albums Rush has made over the years, Geddy says, Presto is the one that deserves to be made over. “The songs are so much stronger than the way they came out,” Geddy says in an interview with Malcolm Dome for the March issue of Metal Hammer. “I’m not blaming anyone in particular, it’s just a statement of fact.”
Geddy says he was tiring of technology and the band wanted to get back to a more basic approach when they made Presto, which is “why it’s more about the vocals than anything else.” But, he added, “the album didn’t turn out the way we hoped.”
Dome’s Metal Hammer article, “Rush and the Weird Rise of Prog Metal,” walks you through an album-by-album summary of the band’s development. There’s not much new in the piece, although in it Geddy says the band doesn’t spend much time thinking about the special role of 2112 in their career. “To us this is just another album on the way, albeit one that made a difference,” he says. “But so many fans and musicians see it as some sort of turning point. All we can do is be grateful for the way it’s continually received.”
Geddy also suggests he and his bandmates were a little worried about attracting neo-Nazi’s to their shows after some in the press ignorantly and irresponsibly labeled them Nazi rock because of their riffing on Ayn Rand’s thematic motifs at the time. “We had to endure a lot of interviews where the journalist was out to prove we were Nazi sympathisers,” Geddy says. “Nothing could be further from the truth, and anyone who took the time to study Neil’s lyrics could never make such a connection. The good thing was that our fan base was expanding, and we saw no signs of Nazis turning up at our gigs.”
Dome does a good job showing the under-appreciated role of A Farewell to Kings in keeping Rush moving forward after the success of 2112. It’s unusual for a band, after releasing a genre-defining classic like 2112, to find a way to build on that without repeating what they just did, but Rush managed to do that with Kings. It’s also interesting to hear Geddy say that, with Kings, the band stopped changing up its setlist on a night-by-night basis while on tour and instead started sticking to the same show each night. “We became boring after that and generally stuck to the same songs for each gig,” he says.
The piece closes with Geddy saying he and the others have nothing planned for their 40th anniversary, although that’s not to say their management doesn’t have something in mind. “We did enough for the 30th,” he says. “So, if anything is being planned, it will be without our involvement. We are still looking forward, not back.”
The magazine identifies the five essential Rush tracks as “By-Tor and the Snow Dog,” from 1975, “2112,” from 1976, “Closer to the Heart,” from 1977,” Tom Sawyer,” from 1981, and “Caravan,” from 2012. (The year relates to when the album was released, not the single.)
The magazine also lists the four essential albums as 2112 (“Breakthrough”), A Farewell to Kings (“Classic”), Grace Under Pressure (“Wild card”), and Clockwork Angels (“Must have”).
~ by rvkeeper on March 24, 2013.