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By Martin Popoff
Are you saying some of the songs on here come from a live arrangement?
"Yes, almost all of them. Well, I wouldn't say almost all of them, at least half, in terms of performance. You know, generally, Geddy and I would jam for three days. And then we would spend a couple of days compiling, weeding out the crappy stuff from what we thought was good, and then from there we would start assembling songs. You know, the deal was, if we could better the performance, great, if we can't, fine. And songs like Peaceable Kingdom had a certain feel and energy to them. You know, you get into the studio and start playing, and you start thinking about it too much. Everything is like that. And it becomes a little safe. When you're not thinking and just playing, it's coming from a different place, and you don't care, and it just goes. And it's a beautiful reflection of where you're at that very moment. That's what I love about it."
The first thing I noticed about the album was the fat, warm drum sound, not exactly a rocket science illumination, given the rowdy, zest-filled percussion barrage that opens the album. Alex concurs that the drums, well... rock. "That was definitely (co-producer) Paul Northfield. Paul came into the project about six months after we began. We recorded almost everything in the style that I just explained. We had a couple of songs that we still weren't too sure about in terms of arrangement, and Paul really had an objective ear. He really helped out a lot in fine-tuning some areas of the songs that we were a little unsure of, having lived with them for so long. We went to Reaction Studio, and Reaction is not known for its live room as a drum room. It's actually quite a dead room. It's actually a jazzy room, very dry. Paul came in and just built it up to his specs. Drywall everywhere. Every open space he could find, was re-drywalled. And he really brought a lot of life to the room. And I think he did a really great job on the kit. The kit sounds, to me, very immediate. It really sounds like you're there in the room, which is not an easy thing to do."
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