Producer Nick Raskulinecz has reflected on working with Rush and says “Sometimes I still can't believe it happened.”
The studio guru had worked with artists including Foo Fighters, Stone Sour and Coheed And Cambria before hooking up with Rush for 2007’s Snakes & Arrows and what turned out to be Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart’s last album together, 2012’s Clockwork Angels.
And speaking about working with the trio, Raskulinecz tells the Tape Op Podcast: “Sometimes I still can't believe it happened. We made two records together, and the first one did great for them.
“I feel they were looking for somebody to inject some energy back into them and what they were doing and tell them that it was OK to be themselves. I felt like they were looking for a direction at that point in their careers.
“They'd made so many records and they had just got back together after Neil's hiatus and made Vapor Trails that was a little too heavy and disjointed and it didn't really sound like Rush that much. I liked it, but I didn't love it.
“When we got together, I was like, 'No. More fills and classic fills,’ because as a life-long Rush fan, I knew what I wanted to hear.”
Raskulinecz adds: “I just tried to guide them. I feel like the first record we made was their kind of mid-80s/early-90s – we touched on that era of Rush. Then the last record we made was total 70s/ very early 80s-style Rush."
Raskulinecz also talks about finding the amp guitarist Lifeson used on Rush's classic 1976 album 2112 when sifting through his gear ahead of the Snakes & Arrows studio sessions.
The producer says: “He was like, ‘Yeah, this is the amp I used on 2112.’ I’m like, ‘OK – let’s use that!’ He said, ‘Oh, it doesn’t work any more.’ I said, ‘Let’s have it in the room anyway – it looks cool!”
Listen to the full interview below
Last month, the Rush concert film Cinema Strangiato was released in cinemas for one night only, while the band’s live album Clockwork Angels Tour will be reissued as a 5LP set on October 9.