Alex Lifeson Reveals Why Rush Didn’t Improvise During Shows Early On
During a chat with Canada's Long & McQuade, the guitarist simply explained that the band wanted to keep the sound of their live performances as close to the recorded version as possible. However, as time went on, they became a little more casual and gave themselves room to experiment on stage.
"I think traditionally we always tried to recreate what our albums were. So, certainly in the earlier days, what you heard on the record was what you were gonna hear live except that it's amplified and it's live," he said. "As things progressed, we became more complicated in our arrangements and our music, but we always tried to recreate what we did on a record live."
Lifeson noted that when Rush did choose to improvise a song for the first time, they would pick a designated section to do it, and then repeated it the same way each time going forward.
"We were very anal about being pretty accurate in whatever we did," he admitted. "We loosened up in the later years. But I think it was always more important to try to recreate something that people had been listening to and were used to."
The guitarist added that he feels it's especially important to keep solos as close to the original version as possible so as not to disappoint people.
"If you play a song pretty faithfully and then you come to the solo, which can be a high point of the song, and it's not really related to the actual solo you've been listening to a million times, it's very, very disappointing, I think. So I always tried to be as close as I could to the solos that I originally did," he said.
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Rush's Alex Lifeson Interview - Long & McQuade
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