On playing live.
Lifeson: We get to out and play our hearts out. We get to do just what we want to do. More and more and more, people want to see that and want to experience it and be a part of it. I think that's... for us, that's a lot of the appeal. We've always cared about the live performance and always tried to be the best that we could. We didn't always succeed at it, but always tried to be the best that we could.
Even at this late stage in our lives, and I don't know how you feel about that, as you get older and more mature in your playing, there's a comfort and a confidence, and kind of a relaxed component to your performance. It's really nice to reach that. Maybe it's the additional hours above the 10,000 hours that make that difference. I feel like we're playing better than we've ever played. I don't know if that's true or not, but I feel like we are. We're more aware of it.
Smith: I don't see how that not... other than the physicality of it, and maybe... I don't know for our group, the music has changed, and the urgency of our initial, when we used to play, everything was hard and fast. That's who we were then, and that was fun. I think that there's nothing that can replace experience. The more life experiences you have, and that goes into playing your music, the person that you are, that's going to come out, if you honestly represent yourself, right?
How can that not be more enriching to being an artist? How can that not translate out into your music? "Why don't you play songs and write songs like blah, blah, blah record?" "We did those. You can go listen to them." I'm sure you get the same thing. "How come you don't do that one like that anymore?" "Because I'm not 26, or I'm not 32. This is who we are now. This is what we do now. We love it, and we're totally into it."
Lifeson: I think it's less to do with you, or you as a musician, than to that moment, when you remember when you got laid that summer.
Smith: I do that, too.
Lifeson: We all do. We all connect to some music, at some point in our lives.
Smith: That's a great thing about art and music. It's a beautiful thing. But they do – they'll get stuck. I look at the guy, and he's wearing the same clothes he probably was wearing in high school, and I look really cool. [Laughs] "But you're 37 now… "
Lifeson: Yes, you're twice as old as you were then. It's a different world.
Smith: I'm not here to judge anybody. That thing about the experiences, good and bad – everything that life throws your way comes out. I think that that's... I love going to see bands with guys who have been together. I love to go see Aerosmith. When I was a young guy, I really liked Aerosmith. Maybe not so much... they've been playing together, like you guys, for 40 years. They've got a thing. Whether you like it or not, they've got a thing. I go, and I check it out, and I'm like, "OK, whatever. They're doing their thing." I love seeing bands or musicians that have been playing together for a long time. There's something to it.
Lifeson: Yeah, an identity.