Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson has recently spoken out about his reluctance to incorporate guitar solos in his music, saying has already “fully explored the whole area”. In the interview, the musician also claimed that while he will never give up on music, he has, however, closed the chapter on touring.
In the interview with Guitar World, the ex-Rush guitarist spoke primarily about his latest project, the self-titled debut album from his new band, Envy Of None. It was here where the musician reflected on his career and explained why he has become increasingly disinterested in incorporating guitar solos into his work.
“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,” he stated. “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.”
This new ideology toward songwriting is already overtly seen in Lifeson’s latest release, with the Envy Of None debut emphasising a more nuanced and subtle approach to guitar playing. Here, the guitarist’s atmospheric soundscapes seek to blend in alongside the other instruments and create a cinematic sound, rather than showcase his technical abilities.
Discussing how he made the transition away into a more subtle way of playing, Lifeson commented on how one track on the album, Spy House, saw him almost subconsciously embedding guitar solos into his writing.
Speaking on the track, Lifeson said:
“That was the first song I wrote at the end of the Rush tour. It has a solo because it was a natural thing for me to go into [at the time] – it’s the only solo on the record,” he says. “It was written from that point of view, [so] it is more guitar-centric. I mean, I love having those contrasts of spacey, dreamy stuff happening and a few moments [like] that.”
Although Lifeson’s new approach to playing seems to subvert some expectations from fans, it is his later comments on touring that come as the most disheartening announcement.
Appearing determined to draw an end to his time on the road, the musician confessed that he is finished with extensive touring. That being said, Lifeson hasn’t fully ruled out live performances, stating that he does want to see Envy Of None go on tour – albeit as an act of solidarity of the band’s 25-year-old frontwoman, Maiah Wynne.
“My touring days are over, but we would certainly put together a group of musicians that could go on the road with Maiah [Wynne, Envy of None vocalist] and present a really cool show,” he says, looking forward. “I would maybe do a couple of dates here and there [but] I’m certainly not going to go on the road for 200 days a year on a tour bus. Been there, done it.”
The full interview with Alex Lifeson can be found on Guitar World.