Lifeson said this past June that Peart's death six month prior had left him utterly unmotivated to pick up his guitar. He said at the time that he had been through similar dry spells following personal tragedies in the past, and he was optimistic that his muse would return.
In a recent conversation with musician Andre Cholmondeley live-streamed on YouTube via Make Weird Music, Lifeson signaled that he and Geddy Lee hope to make music together again, when the COVID-19 pandemic allows them to get together.
"After we finished the last [Rush] tour in 2015, I couldn't sit still so I just started writing on my own and doing some stuff. Geddy was working on his book. We talked about getting together and doing some stuff together, but it got very, very busy for him — even after he finished writing the book, taking it on the road," Lifeson said. "We never got a chance to sit down and start working or just having some fun together. We still talk about it, and I'm sure we will. Of course now with the pandemic, it's kind of wrecked things for a bit. But we're both eager to get back together and get back into that thing that we've done since we were 14 years old that we love to do. And we work really well together."
Since he's had a studio in his home for so many years, Lifeson says he's accumulated "hours" of material in various states of development. He says he might release some of the music in its primitive state a la Steve Howe's Homebrew album.
"I'm kind of a lazy person," he continued. "The prospect of doing a record, after doing [1996's Victor solo album] and spending a year on it, and knowing what it took, I don't know if I'm in such a big hurry to go through that again. The advantage of working on my own in my own place is that I can work whenever I want to. It takes the pressure off a big release. ...I would just like to share some of my music if anyone is interested in hearing it."
Lifeson is still uncertain when he'll get the ball rolling on a new project, but he hopes it will be soon. After some 10 months without playing much guitar, he says he's back to playing, experimenting and enjoying music.
"You know after Neil passed it was very difficult to get inspired or motivated to play," he said. "As you could imagine, we were very, very close. You lose anybody that's close, it's a profound thing. I think both Geddy and I expected it to be better with it. Neil was sick for three-and-a-half years ... we thought that we would be prepared for the end when it came and we weren't. We both really struggled with it. ... That first year of grieving is the milestone and once you get past that. It's an anniversary that you process and it gets easier for you to handle. With Neil, I'm always reminded of him...now that it's a year, I find that I think of the good times that we had together more than the sadness — and we had so many great times and we laughed, aside from all of the work that we did."
Since Rush's final tour, Lifeson has enjoyed a second career as a session man, collaborating with other artists. He's repeatedly suggested that he and Lee will make music together, including two summers ago during a Q&A at one of Lee's book signings.
While Lifeson may be intent on release more music, either on his own or with Lee, he's expressed little interest in taking a band on the road again.
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