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“When you talk about Rush, you’re talking about a band that was never on the radio until the late ‘70s or early ‘80s. When The Spirit Of Radio broke, that was a really great moment because people were discovering a very important band.
“I’ve always been a Rush fan. I remember going to parties in my friend’s basement. I’d be sitting next to my friend as he spun records, and I was so absorbed by the album packages. During one of these parties, I heard Rush for the first time. I was impressed right away.
“Rush’s live album, Exit… Stage Left, was the thing that convinced me that Neil Peart was way ahead of other drummers. At that point, I wanted to know everything I possible could about him. But, of course, Rush had great songs, too. Bastille Day, Fly By Night, Anthem – so many amazing tracks. I remember when they were hitting with Hemispheres Permanent Waves. At that point, for me, they were the band that could do no wrong.
“There were bands coming up at the same time as us – Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica – and some of those guys really appreciated Rush, too. I used to talk with Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton about them. Rush was like our common denominator.
“It was always intriguing to me how Rush could be a three piece but sound so big and heavy. They didn’t go heavy on pop sounds – they were just Rush. There’s no other way to describe them.
“For the EP, I didn’t want to go into the latter part of Rush. It would have been very easy to pick something from Moving Pictures or Permanent Waves, but that, to me, would have been obvious. Anthem could have been a song that we played on our first album. It has that kind of vibe; it’s got all the elements. To me, it stood out as the right choice.”