Geddy Lee Discusses the Secret of Rush’s Success
Geddy Lee discussed what he believed was the secret to the success of Rush, saying their attitude to experimentation was behind their greatest achievements.
The prog-rock icons split after a final tour in 2015, leaving him to look back on how he’d like the trio to be remembered in the future. Last year he said 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,” Lee told Premier Guitar in a new interview. “Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves and even Clockwork Angels to a large degree are those kinds of albums.
“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 accepted that his experimentation with his bass guitar settings wasn’t always successful. “I was always fucking around with my sound in one way or another,” he said. “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 remains unsure of the form it might take, he predicted 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,” he reflected. “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.”