Yes, veteran Canadian prog-rockers Rush deal with some pretty heavy issues - such as religion and war - on their new album Snakes & Arrows, which hits stores Tuesday.
But they also maintain their sense of humour, having lifted the title of one of their new instrumentals - Malignant Narcissim - from a line about how terrorists think in the outrageous 2004 movie comedy, Team America: World Police.
The irreverant film sprang from the same minds, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who brought the world South Park.
"We're all big Matt Stone fans, and South Park fans, so we we were all fans of that movie," Rush singer-bassist Geddy Lee said yesterday in Toronto. "And (Rush drummer-lyricist) Neil (Peart) is friends with Matt Stone. And Matt and Trey Parker were both Rush fans at some point. So they keep in contact. And (Neil) said, 'Look, we want to do this song called Malignant Narcissim, and (Matt) was thrilled. He said, 'Great!'"
But when the band found out their Snakes & Arrows co-producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver) had never seen the movie, they set up a special screening while recording with him in the Catskills.
"We were recording during American Thanksgiving," Lee said. "And we planned this big dinner, actually in this big drum room, in this big recording room. So we set this giant table up and everybody and the crew, even the chef who was cooking for us that night, sat down with us and had this big meal. And at the end of it, we all crowded around the control room and on their big giant screen that comes down for when they're doing film work there, we watched World Police as our big celebration."
Raskulinecz laughed his butt off.
"Oh, yeah, how could you not?" Lee said. "It's so ridiculous. I think it should offend, but it's funny. They'll offend anyone. They're equal-opportunity offenders."