Alex Lifeson: "I'm not interested in going back on tour"

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee: “We're like a Rush tribute band”

In 2022 the two surviving members of Rush, singer and bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, returned to play together on stage at the Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts in London (here is our story from Wembley) and in Los Angeles. This hadn't happened for the two musicians since the historic Canadian lineup's last show in 2015, and the death of drummer Neil Peart in January 2020 marked the end of the glorious trio. After having opened up to the possibility of returning to activity permanently as a duo and having discussed the possibility of

back on tour with a replacement for Peart, who was not only Rush's drum man but also their main lyricist, Alex Lifeson recently explained that he occasionally gets together with Geddy Lee and revisits the band's catalogue.

In a new interview with “Ultimate Classic Rock,” Lifeson opened up about his recovery following stomach surgery and revealed he gets together “one day a week” with Lee to play.

“We decided that we would play some Rush songs. Because we hadn't played many of those songs in 10 years,” the guitarist pointed out: “We started a couple of weeks ago. We meet up one day a week at his house. We chose some Rush songs and we started playing them and we sound like a really, really bad Rush tribute band.”

Explaining that he felt a little rusty at first and had to get used to it again, Lifeson later confessed: “When we play I try to understand the songs and say to myself: 'Why did we write this piece so difficult? Why is it so difficult to play?'. After about three repetitions of all these songs, muscle memory kicks in and your hand goes where it needs to go. You kind of get out of the way and play and say, 'Thank God, I did that. Simpler than it seemed'”. As if it were needed, the musician then added: “By the way, Rush songs are difficult! Then our fingers loosen up and our calluses return.”

While Lifeson and Lee are having a blast playing their catalog, fans shouldn't expect anything. In addition to being busy on Envy of None's second album (“We have 11 or 12 songs and I think some are already in an advanced state”), for the guitarist playing Rush songs serves the sole purpose of having fun. This, therefore, does not mean that the duo will tour the Canadian band's songs.

“I'm 70 years old. It's not that easy to get my fingers to do what my brain tells me to do,” Lifeson said:

“They're a lot lazier than before and have a poor memory. Doing this really helps a lot and it's fun. That's all. At first it was just fun. There's no real rhyme or reason to do it. We don't plan on going back on tour, finding a new drummer or something. It's just fun to do.”

Asked what the “most daunting” Rush song to play now is, Alex Lifeson pointed to “Freewill” and said, laughing, “There are a lot of notes. The solo is crazy, the mid bass section is crazy and everything just finds the right place. So it was a real challenge to play. But we're getting there. We're starting to sound like a mediocre Rush tribute band now.”