Nick Raskulinecz – the man behind the production of RUSH‘s latest offering – admits it: he’s an unabashed, over-the-top RUSH fan. But although the Grammy-winning producer, known for his work with the Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, the Deftones, Stone Sour and Evanescence, among others, considers himself among the Canadian power trio’s most ardent admirers, when it comes time to sit behind the console, he’s all business. Check out an extract from an interview that the producer did with MusicRadar recently, below:
How would you say the recording of Clockwork Angels differed from Snakes & Arrows?
“When I got involved with Snakes & Arrows, I was coming in a little late for school. They had most of the album written already. A few songs were works in progress, but pretty much everything was there. So the lesson plan was in motion, and I helped facilitate what they were doing.
“This one we started from scratch. They didn’t talk about doing a concept album – that came later. But when I sat down with them three years ago, I said, ‘I want to hear unbridled Rush. I don’t want to focus on three-and-a-half minute songs; I don’t want verse, chorus, verse, chorus – none of that. I want you guys to play, no holds barred. Let’s just make music.’ And that’s what we did.”
How were the songs presented to you?
“Geddy and Alex made rough sketches. They’d do demos and send them to Neil and me, and we’d all talk about them. They’d send three or four songs, and then six or seven months would go by and they’d send a few more. They went on tour for a year and a half, and there were no songs. This album has been in the works for some time.”
Did any songs change radically or reveal themselves in new ways during mixing?
“I’d say all of them. I was still producing when we were mixing. While we were recording, there were definitely things I wanted to do in the mix – different effects, vocal sounds… The whole middle section to Clockwork Angels, that bluesy bar band section, that definitely happened in the mix. The ending part of Seven Cities Of Gold, where the drums and the rhythm section fade out and you’re left with those big, beautiful guitar chords, that was in the mix.
“And those guys hear everything and can spot everything. They’ve been rocking and getting pummeled on stage for years, but I’ll tell you, Geddy Lee can hear a mouse fart on the other side of the room! [laughs] I would make the smallest, slightest adjustment to something, and he would catch me every time.”
And in case you missed Geddy on this morning’s Planet Rock Radio show with Darren Reddick, click here to listen in on how the album was conceived, why the band decided to finally create a concept album, what the band’s touring plans are and much more.