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ALEX LIFESON On Working With GEDDY LEE Again: ‘Without NEIL PEART, It Can Never Be RUSH’

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In a new interview with Greg Prato of Ultimate Guitar, Alex Lifeson was asked about the possibility of working on new music with his RUSH bandmate Geddy Lee in the future. He responded, “Um, I don’t know. Ask him. There’s certainly a lot of interest in us doing something. I think for a lot of RUSH fans, they’ve been hoping for it. Geddy had his book tour, and I went out on a few of those dates with him. I think that’s kind of sparked more interest in us working together.

“Ged’s a very busy guy,” Alex continued. “He’s written a couple of books over the years and has a lot of interests. This is my studio in my apartment. I’ve been working on the ENVY OF NONE stuff as well as a few other projects. So I’ve been playing and recording for all these years.

“When he’s ready, he always says, ‘Come over for a coffee and we’ll go down to the studio and bash around a few notes.’ Yeah, call me. So far he’s been so busy, but I think maybe in the new year — or this is the new year — maybe soon we’ll find the time to sit down and see what happens,” Lifeson added. “Maybe nothing happens. Maybe it’s not there anymore. Maybe it’s gonna be amazing. I don’t know. We’ll see. Honestly, it’s not a priority for us. We’re happy in our lives. So, it’s not like we need to go back to something. And that’s my fear — that would be the expectation, this is like RUSH 2. But by necessity it has to be something different. And it can never be RUSH. Without Neil [Peart, the late RUSH drummer], it can never be RUSH. That’s it. It’s over. But you never know what can happen. So we’ll see.”

For the past couple of decades, Lifeson has been suffering from psoriatic arthritis, a chronic autoimmune form of arthritis that causes joint inflammation and occurs with the skin condition psoriasis. During an appearance on the January 10 episode of SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk,” the now-70-year-old Canadian musician opened up about the severity of his longtime physical ailments, saying, “I would say that’s slowly getting worse, as to be expected. I have psoriatic arthritis, and I’ve been dealing with it for almost 20 years. I’m on two biologics [biologic drugs for the treatment of arthritis], so sort of like a double whammy in dealing with it. And it’s been very, very effective. Despite the side effects and all of that, it’s been a really effective regimen for me, and it’s really helped my hands. I have times where the inflammation has its own mind, and that’s when you’ll see me shaking my hands [while I am playing]. But it is what it is, and I can still get by, and I’m so used to it, I don’t really even think about it that much anymore.”

Lifeson also talked about the possibility of returning to the road, either with Lee or with another project. He said, “After 40 years of touring, I’m not interested in touring anymore. I enjoyed it when we did it. There were lots of ups and downs. The gig is great, the show is great, but for the other 21 hours in a day, you’re just waiting for those three hours. And it gets tiring, especially when you have a family and loved ones at home that you’re estranged from for months at a time. I don’t miss that aspect of it. Do I like playing in front of people? Yeah. I still like that — maybe not to the point where I have to do it. But when [Geddy and I] did the Taylor Hawkins benefits and we did the ‘South Park’ thing in Denver, and I do these Christmas shows with Andy Kim and lots of great musicians that I get to play with, then it’s fun. I really enjoy that, and it’s controlled, and it’s great. To make a big deal and do a tour and get back into that thing, I don’t really have an interest in that. I know Ged would like to play again and he would like to spend some time writing. But beyond that, honestly, we haven’t talked about anything beyond just getting together and having a coffee and bashing out a few notes.”

I'm Emma. I Love rock music, doing guitar reviews, and making food. I love writing works because it is the best way to provide information to people.

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