Rush drummer-lyricist Neil Peart hasn’t been giving interviews to promote the Canadian trio’s new album, Vapor Trails, because he doesn’t want to talk about the deaths of his wife and daughter, which sent the band into a five-year hiatus. However, he has issued a three-page statement via Universal Records Canada in which he talks about the record.
Of the title, Peart writes: “A unifying theme sometimes appears in the collected songs and suggests an overall title, like Counterparts or Power Windows; other times a particular song seems emblematic, like Test For Echo or Roll The Bones. Neither approach seemed right this time, so we went with the song title we liked the best, ‘Vapor Trail,’ and made it plural to refer to all the songs…When you set yourself on fire and aim for the sky, you hope to leave behind some sparks of heat and light…Like a vapor trail.”
Peart’s statement also makes a lighthearted reference to Rush’s critics over the years: “Knowing that our music is nothing if not idiosyncratic, and doesn’t really cater to popular ‘taste,’ we also envisioned advertising slogans along the lines of, ‘If you hated them before, you’ll really hate them now!’ Or, ‘And now-more of everything you always hated about Rush!’ But of course, like everyone, we do hope people will enjoy our work, and that our shared enthusiasm, energy, and love for what we do communicates itself to the listener.”
Peart’s statement also credits writers such as Walt Whitman, Thomas Wolfe, and Edward Abbey, as well as Quaker folk artist Edward Hicks, with inspiring some of his lyrics for Vapor Trails. However, he makes no mention of his wife or daughter, or of his emotional travails following their deaths.
Rush kicks off its Vapor Trails tour on June 28 in Hartford, Connecticut.