Rush’s Alex Lifeson Explains Why He’s Not Interested in Guitar Solos Anymore

When Rush officially ended back in 2018, plenty of prog rock fans secretly wished for (at least) one more tour. Unfortunately, in early 2020, drum legend Neil Peart has passed away, ending all potential plans for a reunion. Nonetheless, their music is still as relevant as ever.

And not only that. Guitarist Alex Lifeson is now back with his new band, Envy of None. While talking with Guitar World magazine, Lifeson explained that he kept writing music the moment Rush were done with their touring back in 2015. He said:

“After the last Rush tour in 2015, I made sure I started writing immediately. I didn’t want to lose it; I didn’t want to feel like that was the end. So I continued to write, just for my own benefit. A few of those tracks are on my website, some of them are on the Envy of None album.”

Envy Of None - Look Inside (Official Video)

However, things haven’t remained the same. Although one of the things that he’s famous for are his guitar solos, Lifeson revealed that he’s not planning to focus on it as much as he did in the past. We assume that fans of guitar-oriented music may not be happy about this. However, his new artistic direction does make sense. Talking about the issue, he explained:

“I feel like I’ve fully explored the whole area of soloing. I think I have a particular style and character to my solos, [and] there’s lots of variation in my soloing, but I think at this point in my life it’s more about servicing the song. Not being too distracting, or shining a light on any particular thing. It’s just getting into the groove, tapping your foot and feeling connected with the song itself.”

Rush - Freewill - Guitar Solo by Alex Lifeson

Further down the interview, Alex also looked back on selling off his highly-valued gear. One of the guitars that he sent off to an auction was his legendary Gibson ES-335 with a white finish. Since there’s an obvious emotional attachment to this legendary instrument, it was hard for him to let it go. Alex said:

“My god, that was one of the most emotional, difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. I thought it would be easy. I worked it all out in my head, but I was a mess when I did that.”

“The 355 was the last one to go. The case was wrapped in bubble wrap, and I sat in the mudroom in my house just holding it, talking to it, and kissing the bubble wrap – it was pretty pathetic. Then I carried it out to the truck and said goodbye to it.”

Photo: Shipguy (Alex Lifeson4)

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

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