The Albums Of Rush
"My Favorite Headache"
General talking for this album
Geddy Lee：Whenever we jammed we had so much fun, and our musical sensibilities seemed remarkably similar for two guys that were from such diverse backgrounds. So we decided to get together and start writing. We were hoping it would be awful, so we would never have to talk about it again, we could just put it away. But we liked what we were writing, so of course that's when all the trouble began. (Anthem/Atrantic promo-interview)
-----Did you start writing with a blank slate, or was any of this material kicking around that could have turned into a Rush song?
Geddy Lee：I have one or two, but not many. What turned into "My Favourite Headache" was something I had written on my own, a skeleton already laid out. Whether it was for a potential Rush song, I don't know, but it was something that got me going way back when. Ironically, it was one of the last things we pulled up to work on. So really, we started from scratch. It was all pretty fresh.
-----While the sound of the album is pretty distinctive from Rush, it's not like you made a klezmer album. It has a sound to it that Rush fans will be able to warm to pretty easily. But is there any sense that because this was a solo project, you got to try things you wouldn't normally get to do?
Geddy Lee：There was a different symbiosis there, a different marriage of melodic desire, as strange as that phrase may sound. I have a particular love for writing melodies. I found it unusual that Ben had a very similar point of view on that. We both, when writing together, would arrive at the same place very naturally.That was a bit startling from time to time. The desire, of how we would like to shape music, was very similar.
With Alex, we come at it from very different ways, and there is a lot more tension in the writing process because of that. We don't always arrive at the same place at the sametime, and then it is a process of trial and error. That is still a very satisfying way to work but quite different than this, and to me, it is a very fundamental difference between this projectand a typical Rush project.
Because I wrote the lyrics, the way the vocals were developed and the way they fall on the line, rhythmically, I think, is an aspect that sets it apart from a Rush record quite dramatically. I think there is a groove factor that exists between myself and Matt Cameronand is inferred through the guitar playing of Ben, where those grooves came from between him and myself anyway. Again, it is quite different.
I could take strokes that I could never do in Rush. I could get rid of the drums for the whole bridge. I could pull them out and construct a techno rhythm for that. These are small issues, but they add up to make the nuances of this project exist in a very different space than a Rush project. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)
Geddy Lee：1997年後半から98年の前半にかけて、友達のベン・ミンク (g, etc.) と一緒に曲作りしたり、自分でいろいろ試したりし始めたんだ。その時は、特にソロ・アルバムを作ろうとは考えていなかったな。ただ何て言うか、曲を書きたいという気持ちに駆られて作っていただけだね。で、そうこうしているうちにある程度曲ができたんで、ベンとふたりで話し合った結果、ソロ・アルバムを作るという方向に話が進んだのさ。
Geddy Lee：僕にとっては、何かこれまでと違ったものを表現することが大事だったわけではないんだ。曲想という意味で、必ずしもラッシュと違うものを作らなければならない、というようなことは考えていなかったね。むしろ、曲を書きたい、あるいはリズムの面でもこれまでラッシュでやっていたのとは、ちょっと違うアティテュードで試してみたい、といった必要性に駆られただけだよ。それに、メロディをたくさん重ね合わせるとか、ラッシュの音楽性にとっては必ずしも必要ではないことをこのアルバムで試してみたりもしたし。だからと言って、別にラッシュでできなかったことをこのアルバムで表現したかったというわけではないよ。ほかのミュージシャンとレコーディングしたから、必然的にラッシュとは異なる影響を受けた作品が出来あがったということだね。 (Bass Magazine 00/12)
co-Producer, Guitarist, etc.: Ben Mink
Geddy Lee：マジックは、アルバムに収録されている全曲にあると思う。その中から特に選ぶとしたら "Working At Perfekt" と "Slipping" かな。さっきも言ったように２人は自然に同じメロディに反応するんだ。作曲している時も同じ方向に進んでいるから、最終的に同じ場所で出くわしても全然驚かないよ。 (Burrn! 01/01)
Drummer: Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) and Jeremy Taggart (Our Lady Peace)
-----You and Ben obviously go back a bit, but I was thinking about working with Matt Cameron and Jeremy Taggart. They come from a generation of music fans that, for musicians especially, reveres Rush. And being drummers, was it at all daunting for them to fill in for a real "drummer's drummer" like Neil Peart? Did you have to kind of break the ice and get them over any sense of reverence?
Geddy Lee：They are both pros, you know? There was a sheepish smile that I would detect on Matt's face from time to time. I think he was having fun doing it. But I was having fun doing it, too. It works both ways. He was a fan of Rush at some point, I'm sure the buddies he hung out with were Rush fans.
How can you be a drummer in the '70s and '80s and not be a fan of Neil Peart? It is what you did. You had to go through that. I detected that with him and Jeremy. But they are both seasoned guys. They are total pros, and they are both confident. So if they were at all daunted by working with me, they didn't really show it. And, you know, we had a really nice time. It was really probably the most enjoyable part of the whole process. Recording Matt and Jeremy and playing with them, it was great. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)
Producer, Mixing & Recording Engineer: David Leonard
-----I have always assumed that the process of making a Rush record is very exacting, but David Leonard's production style is more about vibe. How has that benefited the record?
Geddy Lee：There is a certain attention to detail that is in my nature that I can't let go of and that is just the way I am, and so is Ben. The two of us can be very microscopic, if allowed to be, which is why David has been very good for us, because he is so loose. Ben and I will be slaving over some moment of minutia, and we will look over at David and ask him what he thinks and he will be like 'what are you guys doing over there! Pull back from the microscope! The thing was good when you started with it!' Part of the reason why I didn't want to work with anyone that I had worked with before, was that I wanted to make sure my approach wasn't falling into patterns. To quote my old friend Joe Mendelson, I wanted to be free to make new mistakes, rather than just doing things the way I have always done them. (Canadian Musician 00/12)
----- Where did the title, "My Favorite Headache" come from? What does it mean? (Eric from New York)
Geddy Lee：Title was originally born out of a conversation Ben Mink was having with his father. His father made the comment about his mother that was having trouble dealing with something and said, "By the way, she gets the favorite headache." Ben told me that story and after I stopped laughing, I realized that what an irony that was -- the contradiction built into that phrase-- having something that you love to do but it makes you crazy to do it! This for me describes the creative process to a T and my relaitonship with music which is why I thought it an appropriate title for the album. (Barnes & Noble Chat on 11/13/00)
My Favorite Headache
-----On the song "My Favourite Headache," there's a reference to the Plains Of Abraham, which in this country is a place loaded with meaning, but I'm not sure how that jibes with the rest of the song. Is it a historical reference?
Geddy Lee：No (laughs). I needed a destination or starting-off point that was very evocative. And I always thought that phrase was very evocative. Something about the Biblical reference takes you back to something fundamental, about the beginning of everything. That is a little black comedy, that song. It is probably the least autobiographical song, and in some ways it is the most.
It is not about me, it is about a character. So that is kind of a mini-drama. The title of the song relates to this character. His favourite headache is this recurring intelligence he has. But I think the phrase itself is very transferrable to describe one's relationship to a lot of different things. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)
Geddy Lee：タイトル・トラックはブラック・ユーモアだね。この世での偽りの生き方を拒絶する人についてなんだけど、彼は生きる上での主張をお気に入りの頭痛の種に変えてしまうんだ。 (Burrn! 01/01)
The Present Tense
-----On "Present Tense," you sing "When you lose the past, the future makes no sense."
Geddy Lee：When you forget what you have gone through, when you forget what has made you what you are -- your past guides you. Your past is what guides you, what forms you. But it can't help you become what you want to become unless you accept what today is.
That song is very much about accepting existence, accepting reality, and stepping outside the distractions. Humans love to distract themselves, and that way they don't have to deal with the unanswerable questions. That song is saying it is all about existential angst. I have it, and I am sure there are other people out there who have it. We can't run from it. That is a healthy part of self-awareness. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)
Geddy Lee：‥‥"The Present Tence" は結構気に入っている曲なんだけど、現実の見方や存在することに対しての苦悩を感じさせてしまう人生という存在の”大きさ”をテーマにしている。‥‥ (Burrn! 01/01)
Window To The World
Geddy Lee：それは "Window To The World" のことだ。求めている”感触”を手に入れるためにテンポの異なる３つのヴァージョンをレコーディングした。結局、一番速いヴァージョンを選んだよ。 (Burrn! 01/01)
Working At Perfekt
Geddy Lee：‥‥我々がやることや手に入れようとすること総てが不安定であり、その事実を受け入れる努力をしているのが "Working At Perfekt" だ。 (Burrn! 01/01)
-----I wanted to ask you about the song "Runaway Train." Soul Asylum, Eric Clapton, *NSync, Rosanne Cash, Tom Petty ...
Geddy Lee：All have songs called "Runaway Train."
-----It is a pretty popular metaphor.
Geddy Lee：It was originally called "Requiem," but I thought that was too heavy for most people to swallow. So I changed it to "Runaway Train," because it was the one image that was kind of profoundly existent in the lyrics. The song is about a different kind of self-abuse than one normally associates with that phrase.
The song is about victimizing yourself, and the concept that you can live in an intolerable environment only with your own permission, and that you have to activate yourself to remove yourself from harm's way. And when you don't, the thing becomes this runaway experience, where no good can come of it, and you can only stop it with your own insistence. That is what the song is about, that insistence. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)
The Angels' Share
----- Geddy, I am a big big fan of Rush. You guys are great. I have heard your new solo album. Please tell me how the writing of the beautiful song, "The Angel's Share" came about? (Enzo from Bari, Italy)
Geddy Lee：Ok Enzo...that song was written in my home studio with Ben Mink and really with the concept, the title "share." I think we basically wrote melodies around Ben & I playing acoustic guitars together. (Barnes & Noble Chat on 11/13/00)
Moving To Bohemia
Home On The Strange
-----Speaking of characters, the song "Home On The Strange" describes a pretty unusual individual: "He's a Canadian icon/He sleeps with his clothes on/He likes to work with his hands/He's an apolitical man/And he doesn't like to change." Anyone in particular?
Geddy Lee：It was inspired by someone I worked with along the way. It is just somebody who had these very defined habits.
-----"He sleeps with a chainsaw." For real?
Geddy Lee：He actually does when he's camping!
It got me thinking of a type of Canadian that I have met, that is very upright, hard-working and not at all ambitious. It is just a character study in a way, but it got me thinking of that type of person, and how many of them I have met in my 40-odd years.
-----There's an ambiguity in the lyrics, though ...
Geddy Lee：Oh no, I think these are the characters that make up the human race. I am all for this guy. He is part of our fabric. You need that in the context of whatever else we have in terms of personalities we live with. It is not a criticism. It is an odd thing to look at, but to me, it is the individuals who make up a country and the unique characters that make the world go round.
-----You want to tell me who the song is about?
Geddy Lee：Nah. I don't want to embarrass him.
-----Does he know you wrote a song about him?
Geddy Lee：He will when he hears it. It's too much fun not to say. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)
-----そう言えば "Home On The Strange" だけはジェレミー・タッガートがドラムスを担当していますが、これはマットとの録音が終了した後に新しい曲を作ったということですか？
Geddy Lee：この曲はセッションの終わりの方でレコーディングを行ったんだ。それまでずっと同じ曲を手掛けていたから、皆ちょっと気が抜けた感じだったんだ。だから、全体のプロジェクトに自然な感じを足すために、急いで "Home On The Strange" を書いて、ライヴっぽくレコーディングしたんだよ。 (Burrn! 01/01)
Geddy Lee：‥‥"Slipping" は俺にとって音楽的、そして、歌詞的にも大切な一曲だ。誤りやすい人間、そして、善意でしているにもかかわらず失敗して傷つく我々人間のもろさを歌っている。‥‥ (Burrn! 01/01)
Grace To Grace
-----I think the strongest song on the record is "Grace To Grace."
Geddy Lee：That song is kind of personal to me. It is about this type of human being that has suffered and whose lives have been changed by things beyond their control. And yet, rather than caving in, they have adapted to an entirely new existence with grace and dignity and succeeded in creating new lives for themselves.
It is very much inspired by my mother and what she has gone through and people like her, who were victims of the war and had parts of their lives stolen from them. But they don't complain about the stealing. They don't complain about the evil. They accept that they are still here, and they have gone on with their lives and created wonderful possibilities, as difficult as it has been.
It is about the evil that fails to recognize the theft of possibilities. (Jam! Music Interview on 11/08/00)