“I know Rush fans are a unique bunch, and I love them,” the rocker said after revealing he and Geddy Lee remain the best of pals. “It was a really good two-way relationship. But I think, really, Rush ended in 2015. There’s no way Rush will ever exist again because Neil’s not here to be a part of it. And that’s not to say that we can’t do other things and we can’t do things that benefit our communities and all of that. I have lots of plans for that sort of thing that don’t necessarily include Geddy.”
Lifeson was referencing the passing of Rush drummer Neil Peart, who died in January 2020 at the age of 67 following a battle with brain cancer.
“I get asked this all the time — are we gonna do this, or are we gonna do that?” he added. “Who knows? All I know is we still love each other and we’re still very, very good friends, and we always will be.”
For the Canadian musician, nothing could top Rush’s final R40 tour, which concluded back on August 1, 2015 with a show at the Forum in Los Angeles. “We were in our early 60s when that tour ended,” he reflected. “After the number of dates that we did do, which was about half of what we would normally do, we were all starting to feel the fatigue, as you normally would. And had it been a normal tour, we would have gone out for probably another month and then taken a month off, or maybe a couple of months off, and then picked it up for another three or four months.
“I think personally, and I think the same for Ged, we were really excited about the show, the presentation of the show, the whole concept of going back through our history. I thought we were all playing really, really well, and I probably could have continued to do another 30 shows, and I think Geddy felt the same way,” Lifeson continued. “But it was becoming really difficult for Neil to play at that level, and unless he could play a hundred percent at that level, he really didn’t wanna do any more shows, and he didn’t wanna be that person that should have taken it. And it was hard for him — a three-hour show playing the way he played. It’s a miracle that he was even able to play.”
In June, the guitarist released two new solo songs — “Kabul Blues” and “Spy House” — while unveiling his new signature model Epiphone Le Paul electric guitar. After sharing that he didn’t feel “inspired or motivated” to play music in the immediate wake of Peart’s death, Lifeson revealed this February that he and Lee were “eager to get back together” to start working on new music. Before then, though, he plans to drop a 10-track album with former Coney Hatch bassist Andy Curran and vocalist Maiah Wayne. That record will be released under the name Envy of None later this year.
Meanwhile, Primus is slated to kick off their Rush tribute tour, which will feature a performance of the band’s 1977 album A Farewell to Kings in full, next month.