Costco Connection: You’re RUSH‘s main vocalist and bass player, but you also play keyboards, control sequences and work bass pedals with your feet. Given the technical mastery all those duties require and the sheer difficulty of it all, have you ever thought about bringing in other musicians to share some of your workload?
Geddy Lee: Oh, yeah. [laughs] I used to bring it up at the beginning of every tour because there were times when it felt quite daunting to have to deal with all the electronic apparatus when I really just wanted to sing and play bass. So, yeah, I’ve had to wrestle with that question quite often. But, in the end, we’re quite a tight unit, the three of us. And we just kind of figure that our fans would rather see us up there with our technology rather than see us fill up the stage with sidemen. We opted to go the difficult route. But I did get them [guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart] to share some of the sequencing responsibilities. So that helps a bit.
Costco Connection: Even just singing and playing bass is very difficult for most musicians. Was that a trick for you in the beginning?
Geddy Lee: Yeah, especially on some of our songs. Sometimes you write a song that has a really cool riff, and then you write the melody later, and record it separately. Then when you go to rehearse it, you go, “How do I do this?” because one part has very little in common with the other part. It’s hard to get your brain synchronized … you kind of split your brain in two, and, if you practice it enough, it starts to come naturally. Sometimes you have to compromise a bass part a tiny bit to let it fit more comfortably into your brain pattern, but generally I’ve found it’s like Malcolm Gladwell‘s 10,000-hour rule [author Malcolm Gladwell says that the best way to achieve success in any field is to spend 10,000 hours honing your craft]. Just keep playing it, [and you will] eventually get it.
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