TORONTO -- The three members of Canadian rock icons Rush are to reunite early in the new year to begin work on their 17th studio album -- the first time they will have worked together since 1997, singer Geddy Lee confirmed.
During interviews in Toronto on Monday to promote his solo debut, "My Favourite Headache," due in stores Nov. 14, Lee confirmed that the group (bassist-singer Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart) has pencilled in January and February to begin the process of writing together for the first time since 1996's "Test For Echo."
The last show of the "Test For Echo" tour -- and the last time they made music together -- was at Ottawa's Corel Centre on July 4, 1997. Following that, Peart endured two tragedies: the death of his daughter in a car crash and the loss of his wife due to cancer. The group went on an indefinite hiatus after that, but the long wait for new Rush material may be at an end.
"Rush has not gotten together in a working environment since 1997," Lee said.
"We hope to start working on some new songs in the new year. I don't know if I will be through (with promoting "My Favourite Headache") yet, but we have kind of set January or February as a start time, just to get some material written.
"We haven't done anything yet at this point. I think it is a fairly loose arrangement. We're just going to get together and start writing and see what happens and take it from there."
Lee is the last member of Rush to release a solo project. Lifeson released a record under the name Victor in 1996, while Peart participated in two Buddy Rich tribute albums in 1994 and 1997. The bassist and singer said he was curious about returning to the Rush fold after recording an album on his own.
"It is going to be an interesting meeting, when we first sit down to work together again. A lot of stuff has gone down since then," Lee said.
"Whatever you do changes you, and that is not to be shied away from. It's to be embraced. The other guys have done projects on their own. I don't see ("My Favourite Headache") as that big a deal in terms of my relationship to Alex and Neil. I talk to Alex on a weekly, almost daily basis, and they are both very supportive," he said.
Last month, Peart got remarried in California, confirmed Lee, who was in attendance at the ceremony.
"It was beautiful," Lee said.
NOTE: A full interview with Lee will appear on JAM! Music closer to the Nov. 14 release date of "My Favourite Headache."