Rush fans were ecstatic when the group returned from a six-year hiatus with their 2002 LP, Vapor Trails, but some noticed that the record didn’t quite sound right. “We overcooked it,” bassist/singer Geddy Lee tells Rolling Stone now. “The mixes were really loud and brash. The mastering job was harsh and distorted.”
Lee came to this realization not long after the record came out, but there was little he could do to fix the situation. “It’s a terrible feeling that, due to lack of objectivity, you let an imperfect piece of work get out there,” he says. “But the songs are very strong and people really responded to the record and people were welcoming us back. The sonic defects of it got lost in the excitement of the band’s return to functionality. It’s always been a bee in my bonnet.”
Eleven years after the album came out, Rush fixed the situation by hiring producer David Bottrill to remix the album. “He understood what it should sound like,” he says, “so I’m very pleased with the end result. I think he’s finally brought some completion and some justice to some of those songs we’d put so much of our heart and soul into.”
The remixed version of Vapor Trails hits shelves on September 30th, but you can hear a stream of it here first.