Rush’s Alex Lifeson on 40 Years of ‘2112’: ‘It Was Our Protest Album’
Does the tour for 2112 stand out to you as a special one?
It was definitely a turning point. That was the time where we felt that we had arrived at a Rush sound, where we sounded like us.
You’ve said that the live record you made on that tour, All the World’s a Stage, was the end of the first chapter of Rush.
Yep, we did that often back then. We finished each period with a live record as kind of a bookend for that particular chapter.
A lot of people consider 2112 a touchstone for prog rock. Do you feel that way?
Well, I don’t know if we ever considered ourselves a prog band, in the sense of King Crimson or early Genesis, although we’ve found those bands very influential. We always considered ourselves a hard-rock band. We pushed ourselves to make things difficult so they’ll be hard to play and keep us up to a certain standard, so in the literal sense of the word “prog,” yes, I think we were quite progressive, and we’d like to think us as being such. But in terms of a genre, I don’t know if we ever thought of ourselves as a progressive-rock band.
Where do you place 2112 in Rush’s legacy?
I think it’s one of the most important pieces of work that we’ve done. I think the influence that it had on a lot of listeners, just judging from the comments I read in the mail and even comments from other bands that have been influenced by us, that’s really a signature record for all of them. And that’s a wonderful thing. If you’re going to leave something as your legacy, having something that is so influential on other people that it has improved their lives or just made them more understanding of something, I think that is the ultimate.
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