RUSH bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee has shot down reports that the band’s drummer, Neil Peart, has retired.
Peart gave an interview to Drumhead magazine in which he was quoted as saying that he was happy to accept his daughter’s description of him as a “retired drummer.” He added: “It does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game.”
But Lee insists that nothing has been decided about RUSH’s next move and that Peart was simply explaining his decision to take a break.
Lee tells U.K.’s Prog magazine: “There’s really nothing to say. I think Neil is just explaining his reasons for not wanting to tour, with the toll that it’s taking on his body. That’s all I would care to comment on it.”
He continued: “We’ll get together eventually and chat about things. But in my view, there is certainly nothing surprising in what he said. Neil just feels that he has to explain with all the thousands of people asking, ‘Why no more tours?’ He needs to explain his side of it.”
Asked whether he feels Peart’s quote was taken out of context, Lee said: “I think that’s absolutely right. That’s their job. Talking about something when there’s nothing to talk about.”
Peart recently admitted to being “of two minds” about another lengthy run of concert dates, pointing out that having a young child at home makes it difficult for him to be gone for weeks at a time.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years — I know how to compartmentalize, and I can stand missing her, but I can’t stand her missing me and it’s painful and impossible to understand for her. How can a small child process that? And there’s the guilt that comes with that — you feel guilty about it, of course. I’m causing pain.”