RUSH Guitarist ALEX LIFESON - "I Think THE WHO Had An Enormous Influence On Us, And PETE TOWNSHEND Specifically On Me"
July 24, 2021, a month ago
Long & McQuade, the largest chain of musical instrument retailers in Canada, caught up with Rush guitar legend Alex Lifeson, who offered some insight into his new signature Epiphone Les Paul Axcess Standard… and which Rush guitar solo it’s perfectly suited for. Taking questions from Long & McQuade store staff across Canada, Alex discusses his playing style, touring Canada, and finding inspirations in a toolbox of guitars.
Q: Did your use of the movable shapes up and down the guitar neck come from your love and study of Pete Townshend, or what influence did The Who have in your playing?
Lifeson: "Yeah, I think The Who had an enormous influence on us, and Pete Townshend specifically on me. If I was to select a handful of the great guitar players that influenced me when I was a kid growing up, he was certainly close to the top of that list. I think I learned so much about playing acoustic guitar from the way he did. Those chords, yes, that was definitely an influence, and I think I’d sort of developed that more because of the way Rush worked. Rush was a very active rhythm section, Geddy (Lee) and Neil (Peart) were very active players, and a lot of times the guitar had to hold the fort down, which was a sort of an opposite reaction to what normally happens. Usually, it's the guitar that leads everybody else, so that required me to create more tonality and more harmony, more sound to create this bigger foundation for them to move around as they would. So playing those open chords and open strings ringing out, and all of that was all part of that desire to create that foundation. And a lot of it did come from Pete, I think more so than any of those other players like Hendrix or Clapton or Page did at the time."
Lifeson and Epiphone recently unveiled the new Alex Lifeson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Axcess electric guitar. Created by Alex Lifeson and the luthiers at Epiphone in Nashville, TN, the Alex Lifeson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Axcess is now available worldwide at Epiphone.com.
To mark the occasion of his collaboration with Epiphone and the release of the new Alex Lifeson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Axcess guitar, Lifeson debuted two brand new songs titled "Kabul Blues" and "Spy House" at the end of June. Fans can get a first listen to "Kabul Blues" and "Spy House" in the new video below, and listen to the songs in their entirety exclusively at AlexLifeson.com.. These two instrumental songs mark the first new music from Alex Lifeson in close to a decade.