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© Scott D. Smith/Retna ./Retna Ltd./Corbis
“What an amazing song! It’s the epic of the record. It encapsulates so many different sounds and styles of Rush.
“The drums on the demo were pretty much one beat throughout, so that was changed around considerably once Neil got to it. Don’t get me wrong: Al does great demo drums. Neil always calls him the secret weapon of the band, and quite often Alex’s ideas for drums will get used.
“Neil usually prepares very hardcore for his tracking – everything is written and scripted out, so that when he gets into the studio, he knows what he’s going to do and he just does it. On this record, he played from his gut. There wasn’t one pre-written drum part on this album.
“The first time Neil played to Clockwork Angels was when he sat down in the studio with his headphones on and went for it. It was amazing to watch it all happen. A lot of the drum parts on this album, and especially this song, he only played one time. There weren’t multiple, multiple, multiple takes.
“Alex’s guitar solo is from the demo. It was just him in a room playing by himself. There’s three or four solos like that on the album.”