Bottrill Started from Scratch on Rush’s Vapor Trails Remixed
“I’ve heard some say it’s like getting a new Rush album,” Bottrill says in an interview with Popdose, a pop culture blog. “That feels like a great compliment and I’m just happy to have helped the band complete this project to their liking.”
The three-time Grammy winning producer of Tool, Muse, Dream Theater, I Mother Earth, and Godsmack, among other bands, says he spent time with Geddy 11 years ago when the band was getting ready to start production on Vapor Trails but they decided to go it alone, and Bottrill thinks that was the right move to make given the circumstances.
“As much as I would have loved to work with them at that time . . . I would not have wanted to be part of the reason that this great band was unable to revitalize,” he says, referring to the challenge the band faced as Neil got back into the swing of things after his string of personal tragedies.
Bottrill says the band left it largely up to him to remix the album as he saw fit, so instead of going back to the original to get a sense of what to preserve, he just started from scratch. “I just worked with the material they gave me,” he says. “I didn’t really check the originals to see what they used or didn’t use.”
One result of that approach is a new lead break by Alex at about the one-minute mark in “Ceiling Unlimited.”
“When a record is made, often times there are things that are recorded that are left out of the final mix,” he says. In the case of that solo, the band left it out of the original recording but he says he liked it so he put it in. ” I had no attachment to the older mixes or what was left in or out,” he says. “I just put in all the mixes what I thought worked the best.”
There has been talk among fans that the original recordings were distorted and new material was recorded for the remix, but nothing like that was done, he says. “The source recordings are top quality and we didn’t add anything new from those early recordings.”
As for the distortion, “at the time this project was done, there were well known ‘volume wars’ going on and this project suffered from that recording and mixing philosophy,” he says. “Mercifully, I think we are beyond that now.”
Bottrill says Rush’s decision to even do the remix is a testament to their desire to put out the best music they can. “It does speak volumes as to how much the band care about their fans and want them to be satisfied.”
Thanks to RushIsABand for the head’s up on the interview.