Geddy Lee discusses Rush's 'secret to success'

News 11/03/2019

The lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist of iconic Canadian rock group Rush spoke in a new interview about what he believed was the secret to success for the band - and he thinks their attitude to experimentation was behind their greatest achievements.

Splitting after a final tour in 2015, Lee looks back on how he'd like the band to be remembered in the future, saying last year that their approach to writing albums had been their "biggest hindrance" to mass acclaim, though it had also been their "saving grace".

"Rush was, in many ways, an ongoing experiment, so there were moments where the experiment achieved a kind of synchronicity, and there are some albums that end up being arrival points. Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves and even Clockwork Angels to a large degree are those kinds of albums," Lee said in a new interview with Premier Guitar.

Watch the interview below.

"Someone once said that every artist deserves to be judged by their best work, and I sort of agree with it and would ask that we’re remembered by our best work and really our spirit and that we had a willingness to experiment publicly. When you experiment publicly, you have to be willing to fail publicly and I think that’s an important thing for young musicians to appreciate and understand, and I think it went hand-in-hand with the successes of our career."

He knew his experimentation with the settings on his bass guitar wasn’t always successful: "I was always fucking around with my sound in one way or another. Every time I thought I was plateauing, I would change something about it … which can be good and bad. That’s one of the dangers of being a progressive musician: You move past something you maybe should stick around in a bit longer because you’re busy searching for that next thing, that improvement. ... So always, as a band, the three of us were looking to improve from the last piece of recorded work."

Lee is still considering the possibility of starting a post-Rush musical project, and while he's still unsure of what form it might take, he predicts it wouldn’t be "drastically different" from what he’s done in the past.

"Stylistically speaking, I never felt like I was missing anything in the context of Rush because anything goes in that group. When I jam, I jam all over the place, but whether or not I’m going to follow it any one specific direction in the future, I have no idea. I never had any musical frustrations in Rush. It was a totally fulfilling experience for me."