2112 - Tribute to Rush

2112 is probably the band that I am most proud to have been part of. I hope my other bands will understand :)

When I was in fourth grade I became interested in drumming. My parents weren't as enthusiastic about the idea and decided to put me in the school band playing trumpet instead. I quickly lost interest in the trumpet and switched to percussion in the school band the next year and never looked back.
In tenth grade I discovered the music of Rush. The orchestrated drum parts that Neil Peart wrote were so interesting to me that I had to get every album. Because of my musical education in school and at home, I was able to understand musically what he played. But the physical ability to pull it off...I had some work to do :)
My father bought me a drum set. Later he bought me another larger one. I combined pieces and parts from both drum sets and several borrowed instruments from my high school to form my first Neil Peart replica kit. It was pretty rough, of course. I didn't own a china type cymbal. Instead I took a 14" bottom hi hat cymbal and kicked it inside-out (and it actually sounded great from what I remember!) After I graduated, I had to return the borrowed stuff. I soon found out I could sing better than the average karaoke singer and decided to pursue singing and traded the rest of my drum set to a friend for a car that I desperately needed.
In 2008, I moved into a house with a basement. This was truly my first opportunity to start drumming again and it came about in a weird way. The move into the house came about unexpectedly. I wasn't looking to move. Only a few weeks later I was called by someone wanting to buy my Breakfast Club tracks. I ended up agreeing to be their drummer. So I bought a drum set. That band never actually materialized.
So now the quest to rebuild the Neil Peart replica kit began. I didn't even realize it when I started, but when I started pricing five different cowbells, I knew where I was headed. I tried to get roughly the same stuff that Neil used; the same brand and sizes of drums and cymbals and even cowbells that are the same pitches as the recordings.
A former E5C4P3 member told me about his new band called Eclipse including a guitar player named George who used to tour the country as the Geddy Lee of a Rush tribute band called 2112 back in the 90's. Our paths even crossed once back then when I was in E5C4P3 and we vaguely remember meeting years ago. Naturally, I wanted to invite this guy over to jam! Long story short on that one...I ended up joining Eclipse as their main singer.
I could never get George, who lives an hour away from me, to come over and jam without a guitar player and I can't say I blame him. A craigslist ad was placed and Scott responded insisting on coming up to jam once even though he lived in Tennessee!
So now the real work began. I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right and go completely 'geek'. I wanted to know exactly which drums Neil hit for every single drum fill. 'Was that a timbale or just one of the concert toms?' 'Was that the first mounted tom or the second mounted tom?' Some drum fills go by so quickly that I couldn't tell what he's doing. I took the songs and put them into an audio editing program so I could isolate certain parts to compare the pitch of each tom to figure out which drum was which. Once I did that, I knew how each drum was tuned, so I tuned my drums to the same pitches. Then I transcribed every drum fill of the songs we decided to focus on. It was VERY enlightening and really taught me a lot about Neil's style. I still intend on doing a similar thing with the cymbals, too...but we'll see...

Next: learning to play! Maybe I should say 'relearning'. I grew up playing these songs by ear and of course had plenty of discrepancies. The hardest thing had to be the difficult extended fills like the end of Subdivisions, Red Barchetta, or Limelight. I had to forget what I used to do and memorize what Neil did! Easier said than done! But, I did it :)
For all you drummers out there, I must admit there are still things that baffle me either audibly or physically. There are a few places in certain songs that I either can't make out exactly what was recorded (like the 'Monsters' section of La Villa Strangiato) or else my physical drumming 'chops' just can't do it yet (like the first of the three major drum fills in YYZ). But despite the things that I still struggle with, I am extremely grateful to God to now be able to say 'I can play La Villa Strangiato!' It's a childhood dream fulfilled!
As of now, I do not intend on ever performing a drum solo. I don't believe I'd do it justice. The only thing I could see doing would be trying to copy the Exit Stage Left solo which I used to hack my way through as a teenager. I'd much rather just play another song. I've also considered constructing a solo involving various drum patterns from other Rush songs that we don't do. Again, we'll see...
The three of us played our first and only gig on 3-25-11 at the Sly Fox in North Olmstead. I'm grateful to Mike Horvath for giving us the gig without even hearing us. George was in the hospital the day before the gig and missed our last rehearsal. I still think we were the best Rush tribute band that's ever taken a stage despite a few kinks. I truly hope we can make it happen again some day. Meanwhile, anybody know any good Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson impersonators?


So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) Get it?
[ Website E5C4P3 Facebook ] - [ Website Juke Box Heroes Facebook ] - [ Website Rubix Cubed Facebook ]
[ Still They Ride Productions YouTube Channel ]