Trio Rolled The Dice And Came Up A Winner

By Roger Catlin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 11, 1992

Plenty of bands are sitting out the recession. But Rush, which will be at Riverport at 8 p.m. June 12, gambled - and won. The Canadian rock trio is filling arenas while many other shows are languishing on the road.

Rush forged an ever-evolving sound on its new album, "Roll the Bones," taking a chance when other bands stayed put.

Providence played a prominent role, although drummer and lyricist Neil Peart says it wasn't planned that way.

"The idea of chance and randomness on the album came out of one incidental image - the wild card. I thought of that image more and more: how randomness affects us as a band, and people at large. There are so many different areas.

"There are things for which there is no explanation," Peart says. The only answer I can come up with is: It happens because it happens. And if things occur, what can we do about them?"

Peart tried to answer these questions in his lyrics. "That's what kept driving me deeper and deeper," he says. "These are the kind of intellectual questions I throw around with my friends, one of whom said, 'Because they happen sounds like something my dad would say.' I'm not trying to diffuse the question. But I wanted to avoid being pretentious."

Things on earth, he says, are "not futile but random."

To come to any conclusion, or to decide on song lyrics, "I had to juggle everything to see if I could say anything.

"I readily confess to being didactic sometimes and not expressing myself as clearly as I should," Peart says. "But one time Geddy (Lee, the band's lead vocalist) pointed out to me that I was just giving my idea, saying what I thought, and asking, 'What do you think?' I'm not saying something is black or white. I'm just saying, 'Maybe this is something you'd like to think about.'"