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Rush Shows ‘More Fun’ With String Section, Says Geddy Lee

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Leave it to legendary Canadian band Rush to change things up even after all these years. After having performed live as a trio for the past 40-plus years, the group has brought a string section to join them on stage for their ‘Clockwork Angels’ world tour, and they are enjoying having the extra manpower on stage.

Rush front man Geddy Lee told ‘On The Air With Eddie Trunk’ that the move was inspired by the group’s inclusion of strings on a number of tracks on their latest record: “We had orchestration on four or five of the songs, and we thought it would be a little more authentic bringing real strings as opposed to using our technology.”

“We rehearsed with the technology and we could have done it without the live thing,” Lee continued. “But we’d always talked about doing it, and it was like, ‘Let’s stop talking and just do it.’ It expanded from those four or five songs to all the songs in the ‘Clockwork Angels’ part of the set, plus it bled over into some older songs we’d always wanted to do with strings.”

Lee admits the band was a little timid on how their fans would receive the orchestration but says that the pros of having the strings on stage with them far outweigh the cons. In addition to adding a richer sound to the already powerful trio, having strings on stage has allowed Lee to relinquish additional duties such as playing keyboards.

“At first they were like, ‘Do you want us to sit quietly?’” Lee says. “We said, ‘Knock yourself out – have fun!’ They’ve really taken that to heart. When the band comes in they join in and rock it up. It’s a big help to me. I have more fun – and that’s the idea. It’s nice to have the freedom.”

The future looks bright for the Canadian group. In addition to relaunching their ‘Clockwork Angels’ World Tour in Austin, Texas on April 23, the group will first be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a Los Angeles ceremony on April 18.

Next: Rush's Top '70s Songs

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