“People won’t make a connection between Rush and Napalm Death, but we’ve included some of their more odd timings into our music”: Shane Embury, prog fan

Rush and Shane Embury
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I got into Rush as a kid through 2112. I loved the epicness of having a whole side of a record dedicated to just one story. I’ve always loved fantasy and escapism, so it was perfect for me. Musically, too, it was amazing.

“I loved Geddy Lee’s bass even before I started playing bass myself, but the three of them just gelled – everything was so seamless. It always seemed like they were unafraid to try different things, right down to the fact that every album had a different logo.

“It felt like there was a connection between A Farewell To Kings and Hemispheres, but then you get to Permanent Waves and you hear The Spirit Of Radio: ‘What’s going on with this reggae bit? This is insane!’ And then, of course, Moving Pictures is something else. Red Barchetta is my favourite track – the harmonics on guitar, the harmonious bass. And it’s about a car!

“I like the 80s synth stuff too – Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire. It was like they were conscious of not standing still. Even with an album like Counterparts, which is a great record, I remember hearing it and thinking, This is Rush, but it sounds like they’ve been hanging out in Seattle a little bit.’

Neil Peart was a massively important lyricist for me. He was a big thinker, a philosopher. Even when he was writing fantasy lyrics, they resonated with me on an emotional level – he saw the layers in life. He wrote one of my favourite ever lyrics in the song Dreamline: ‘We’re only immortal for a limited time.’ It’s hard not to think, ‘How long have I got here?’

“People won’t make a connection between Rush and Napalm Death, but as we’ve gone on, we’ve included some of their more odd timings into our music. There’s definitely a little bit of Rush in my side-project Dark Sky Burial, which started out as something influenced by Italian horror movie soundtracks but has moved way beyond that. Dark Sky Burial is me chronicling my inner thoughts, which is what Neil Peart did with his lyrics.”

Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.