Interview with Martin Popoff Part 3

What’s the Rush? Here is the 3rd and final part of a long interview I did with Martin Popoff.

Boppin (B): Is there anything for those of us outside of the music industry that would not know about Neil Peart?

Martin: I have 3 big, huge Rush books coming out and I’m sure there’s gonna be some stuff in there.

B: When is the first one coming out?

Martin: They all were finished a long time ago. The first one, Anthem: Rush in the 70’s is on the spring schedule, so maybe April/May. The 2nd one for the end of the year, and hopefully the last one is spring of 2021.

B: The books are in chronological order, and on that note, you mentioned Rush as being the first progressive metal band. Do you think that through their years that maybe they changed to something other than a heavier progressive metal, and at what point did this switch occur?

Martin: Yeah, I think around Signals the became interested in keyboards and technology such as drum technology. Then they wrote shorter songs. They tried to write within a short time frame a progressive song, but they took a lot of that out as well. There weren’t so many complicated time signatures and long concepts and long songs. They went through a return to the guitars with Counterparts and Test For Echo and they had this almost conceptual album with Vapor Trails in terms of the tragedy that befell Neil, and then they basically became an analog version of that very electronic band from the 80’s, and at the very end they gave us the first, full blown concept  album. Before they had only done concept sides. Clockwork Angels is a full blown concept albums and it’s quite heavy, and quite spontaneous, quite analog, quite dark, and heavy bluesy in a way. It’s almost like a different form of heavy metal than they earlier form when they would be heavy metal, so that’s kind of how they ended up.

B: You’ve released books about their albums, and you are coming out with 3 more Rush  albums about their time frames. Would there be one album that you would say: I wish Rush would have done……. and fill in the blank with that album?

Martin: Yeah, it is interesting, I was just having a conversation about that, it is not exactly the album but I always wonder what if Rush reacted to the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) with inspiration instead of running the other way. They had a pretty heavy album with Moving Pictures. There was this massive UK metal movement, they were playing the UK a fair bit. Heavy metal was in vogue again, heavy metal would be involved all the way up until arguably 1991 with the rise of Nirvana, heavy metal of various sorts, hair metal, thrash, NWOBHM, lots and lots of metal bands were doing well whether you were a seventies band or an eighties band. I often wonder would it not have been cool if they would have said: Man I love heavy metal, that is my favourite thing about Rush, we should do way more of that. As Signals, and moving into Grace Under Pressure, and Power Windows, imagine if they were 2 and a half times as heavy as the heaviest previous Rush albums. That would have been cool I would have thought. Rather they went the other way, The New Romantics way, they went the synthesizers and electronic drums way, so I would have loved…I really loved all the albums up until Grace Under Pressure, but I would have loved Power Windows to be all return to heavy metal. Put all the electronics aside and write super fast riffy songs. That would have been pretty cool to hear out of Rush.

Martin: Listen I have to go shortly, I have a Steve Harris chat that got rescheduled from the other day. The hardest thing was getting the music over to me, so they are trying to get Steve Harris on the line.

B: Ok, I have a few questions from another blogger 1537.  

23 thoughts on “Interview with Martin Popoff Part 3

  1. Thanks, Dude. Wicked Interview with Martin! Glad to see he will finish the Madien series as I have enjoyed the first two Maiden books!
    Saxon I will have to pick that one up as I’m sure HMO will.

    Great questions asked and awesome that Martin is a stand-up guy in giving 100% in his answers!

    Liked by 2 people

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