Motorpsycho and Rush

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    Punj Lizard

      Although I was aware that Bent and Snah are fans of Rush (it's mentioned in the liner notes in the AADAP boxset, I think), I had never heard any obviously comparable tracks or passages in MPs music. And now their recent announcement regarding the upcoming album, which ends with the quote "To forge a new reality …", rightly identified by supernaut as a line from Rush's "Closer to the Heart", has piqued my interest even further.

      Recently my MP album of choice has been Child of the Future, which I early on dismissed somewhat as being rather ordinary. Repeated and more attentive listens have given me a new view of the album, which I now think is tremendous. Anyway, yesterday evening I listened to Rush's last album Clockwork Angels, which I happen to think is one of their best, and suddenly I was smacked upside the head with the realisation that Bent's bass sound and playing really does have echoes of Geddy Lee's work in it. Of course, as both bands are trios of bass, guitar and drums (with occasional keys) there are similarities in soundscape, but it seems to me the influence on, or appreciation by MP, might be greater than I had thought. Given the announcement, I wonder if we're in for an album with even more noticeable Rush influence?

      Any other Rush fans out there? Anybody else have any thoughts about how or where MP might have been influenced by the Canadian trio?


        Just for the record (ha!): The new album was recorded in the vicinity of Rockfield Studios where Rush made A farewell to Kings in '77 which featured Closer to the Heart.

        Now this might be a stretch but I read about a chord Alex Lifeson loves to use. For example he uses it as the first guitar strum on the album Hemispheres and it's quite similar to the short arpeggio in Feedtime just before the vocal sets in. And since it's not an every day rock formula chord…

        Besides that I guess it's more of an overall influence like many others. Hitting the bass hard in the mid to upper register also comes from Entwistle, Butler and Chris Squire. Classic rockers who liked to play upfront. I can't think of a specific Rush lick or riff popping up in Motorpsycho as much as some Sabbath stuff for example.

        Keep on dorkin'! :lol:


          btw I don't consider myself as a Rush fan, compared to their quite nutty hardcore following. "Best band ever! Best guitarist ever! Best drummer ever! Best lyrics ever!" Especially the last one there I find quite debatable… Anyways I like the 1st album, Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. On some others like Signals, Grace Under Pressure and all the albums from the 90s till Clockwork there's briiliant but also quite cheesy stuff. I rather watch their live DVDs than listen to the records because they ARE amazing live and only then and there I eventually found out about their sense of humour. Lifeson cracks me up.

          But don't get me started on their mid to late 80s phase.


            @PunjLizard: I don't know if you've ever seen the music video for Now It's Time To Skate. But Snah himself said (in the audio commentary on Haircuts) that that video reminds him a bit of Rush's video for Distant Early Warning. I'm guessing because of the melting/burning doll heads. There's not too many other similarities; especially not the 80's fashion choices :lol:

            Punj Lizard

              @supernaut I became a Rush fan in about 79, and saw them that year and in 80 and 81. After Hold Your Fire I lost touch altogether as, like you I guess, I thought they really went downhill. I picked up again many many years later and saw their last two European tours, which were great, but Geddy's voice was not. I guess my faves are AFTK, Permanent Waves and Moving Pics.

              During the last week there has been a great debate on a Prog Magazine Facebook thread regarding Peart's lyrics – some strong opinions in both directions :D Some of his lyrics hot the spot for me; but some are clumsy and clunky and the early Ayn Rand-inspired stuff is politically questionable IMHO – moreover, he's no Dylan or Joni Mitchell, that's for sure. I have to admit to having been a great fan of his drumming though.

              I absolutely agree regarding the bass players you mention and how Bent seems to fit that mould. But indeed there is not the same cheeky nod to Rush like there is to many other bands (Sabs, Velvet Underground, Allman Bros, Joni Mitchell, Sonic Youth, etc.). Great pick-up on the Rockfield Studios link – I didn't know that.

              Punj Lizard

                @otherdemon I don't think I've seen either of those videos – I'm not a big music video fan to be honest, though I've seen some of the MP ones during the last several months – and last week I met up with an old friend in Oslo who worked with Kim Hiorthøy back in day on some of their video output. I also don't have and have never seen Haircuts – hopefully one day a copy will find its way to me somehow. As for the 80s fashion choices – nooooooooooooo! In that regard, MP were lucky to have been a band that started after all that bollocks had passed. :D


                Isn't there's some YYZ somewhere in TDDU ? I think they did a cover of it too..

                boomer former helm

                  Oh yes, true. That was the 2nd half of "Mutiny!". That was like a 1:1 cover part as far as I remember.


                    Huh. That's interesting, I've never thought "Mutiny!" had much of a Rush feel – to me the 2nd half reeks heavily and intensely of King Crimson. :P

                    Speaking of influences, I've also noticed lately that the bass in Dreamhome feels similar to Geezer Butler on some songs on Sabbath's "Master of Reality" album. For some reason I get a strong "Into the Void" or "Lord of this World" vibe, even though back to back they don't sound entirely similar. Of course, the strongly leslie'd vocals and flutes also harks back to Sabbath, as well as the simple chord sequence in the slow sections (straight outta Solitude, for instance) so I guess it's inevitable. And that's not even mentioning the Sabbath influence in Bartok. :D

                    Back to Rush influences though, there's always X-3 (Knuckleheads in Space) and its spiritual brother of sorts, Cygnus X-1, which is also about space travel. In fact, the ending lyrics to X-1 has some resemblance to the last part of Little Lucid Moments, so I guess it's all a part of the same tapestry:

                    Nearer to my deadly goal

                    Until the black hole

                    Gains control

                    Spinning, whirling

                    Still descending

                    Like a spiral sea


                    Sound and fury

                    Drowns my heart

                    Every nerve

                    Is torn apart


                      That polyrhythmic part in Mutiny has more in common with Yes' Changes I'd say:


                      wow! Absolutely! I never realized that LLM connection :)


                      yeah we better ignore that Ayn rand stuff. Peart distanced himself later on as an adult. The lyrics to "Anthem" are just wrong. Some lyrics are just too – how I do I put this – stereotypey? And quite unpersonal (if that's an english word), more like commentaries and observations, which is no bad thing at all, of course, but for me also lacking something somewhat because of this. Of course that changed a lot after his personal life's tragedies in 97. I've only seen them once a few years ago on the Time Machine tour. What I admire about them is their sticking together through 40 years and still be best friends. That IS an achievement! And Geddy is somewhat influential to me since I play Rick bass and Moog Taurus meself, and then you can't go around him. I even have a Rush songbook for bass, but… ehm… phew 8O


                        also kinda interesting: in a late interview Geddy Lee stated that they don't see themselves as a prog band despite all the complex arranging and skillful playing, but rather in the tradition of The Who and Yardbirds and the like. I suggest to lend an ear to their cover album "Feedback" from 2005ish where they prove that, playing their old favourites from adolescent years. There's The Who, Clapton, Buffalo Springfield and the like.

                        Punj Lizard

                          YES! supernaut nails it – that section in Mutiny is Changes by Yes. I knew it the first time I heard it. In fact I was a little disappointed that they "ripped it off", but that was in my early days of listening to MP. I now have a much better understanding of their playful quoting and paying homage to their favourite bands. It's not ripping off at all – unlike so many prog bands these days who just seem to be prog wannabees (B O R I N G). To me there's a big difference between prog (which I see as like a genre with particular tropes and sounds) and being progressive, which is moving forward, ever-inspoired and alert to new possibilities instead of being stuck in a 70s Genesis/Yes/Crimson/Floyd soundalike timewarp. MP are definitely not a prog band (IMHO), but a progressive band – they progress, they don't stand still, they're a truly creative force. (I could write a bloody thesis on prog vs progressive – lol)

                          @supernaut – I also admire and love the Geddy/Alex/Neil friendship – it's very special, and rare in rock music. I see the same in Bent and Snah. Feedback is the other Rush album I was reminded of while listening to Child of the Future this last week or so, except of course Child is all original material.

                          When I first heard Rush (All the World's a Stage) I thought "Zeppelin wannabees". Then I heard Farewell and thought "Yes wannabees". During the 70s they always seemed to be a couple of years behind the wave, but as the 70s ended they had progressed to the point of being in the vanguard among the the prog bands who were trying to deal with the upheaval caused by punk. In that repect they had the advantage of not being British because in Britain punk was waging a very vocal war with prog and briefly it won. In my last high school years (1978-80) you were treated like a pariah if you continued to like prog, even if like me you also liked punk. The British prog bands were all knocked off balance, which was not a bad thing and in the 80s they reinvented themselves, becoming progressive again (except the Gilmour-led Floyd – who sound like an 80s Floyd wannabee band). Rush however, showed their progressive skills and by Permanent Waves somehow managed to write concise epics – Jacob's Ladder being the greatest example IMHO. By the mid-80s though I think they just jumped on a fashion bandwagon with those bloody 80s drums and rolled-up sleeves! Anyway … I digress.

                          By the way, supernaut, the word you were searching for is "impersonal".

                          @TAF – Nice spot with the X-1 and X-3 connection, And I'll definitely have to listen more closely to the LLM and Cygnus X-1 lyrics as there are times when sonically LLM reminds me a little of Cygnus X-1 Book II.

                          As for the Crimson conenction – well to me it's loud and clear in The Tower – especially the recent live versions of The Tower. And coincidentally, while The Tower was the last song I saw perfomred live (Drammen), Crimson will be my next gig :D


                            This discussion is way to esoteric for me, having digested Rush only sporadicly in my adolescent years. But if they release "A Passage To Trondheim" on the next album I'm convinced ;-)


                              Ah, nice, in-depth dissection of Mutiny! here. I love it. :D

                              @supernaut: Having never really listened to Changes before I wasn't aware of that particular connection, but that's a pretty verbatim homage right there. To be clear, this is referring to the parts 2:48-3:04 and 4:08-4:24. Again, 4:24 onwards is pure KC to my ears, particularly the breakdowns at 4:49, 5:17 and 6:10, and would fit really nicely as a "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, part V". :P

                              The Changes connection reminds me a bit of the way "Where Eagles Dare" by Iron Maiden – specifically, the drum break – was weaved into Kvæstor. This is typical rehearsal room stuff – "Hey, this new section sounds a lot like [famous song]!". Of course, most of the time you'll want to add something that makes your composition sound different from the inspiration, but other times it just sounds too good not to leave it in.

                              Since Yes was mentioned though, there's a very big Yes influence running through Into the Mystic as well, particularly in the arrangement of the ending section and the way the lead synth comes in at 5:19.

                              @Punj Lizard: King Crimson still packs a punch live! I was fortunate enough to catch them live in Oslo last year, really would have wanted to see them again, but life sometimes gets in the way. (Of course, your user name also seems to be somewhat KC related.) ;)

                              Punj Lizard

                                @ TAF – I'm sorry to say my name has no intentional connection with KC. Just a coincidence. I like the way you think though. I saw them too a couple of years ago. They were incredible. It was so expensive though that I didn't imagine I'd go again, but this year a friend wanted to go and he wants me to go with him. So … :D

                                I'll give another listen to Into the Mystic. I'll listen out for the Yes influence.

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                              …hanging on to the trip you're on since 1994