Photo: Ross Halfin
So I figure you probably didn't get to see any of them until you got onstage each night.
Exactly. But we kept them all! We have every single one of them. We should put them in a little booklet or something.
Is there one that was your absolute favorite out of all of them?
Well, "My Mom thinks your [sic] hot" was hilarious.
I have to agree. Okay, on to the sonics. It seems like you made a very conscious decision that Geddy [Lee]'s vocals came across as if the viewer were in an arena setting the entire time. From the first note of "Limelight," I felt I was at a show, and not in some "artificial" live setting.
Well, that's always the goal.
Did you have to experiment with placements at all?
That's the direction we've been going. I think with the Rush in Rio DVD, it was a little more about the spectacle of that specific event - it was our first time in that country, it was a big crowd…
… with all those "YYZ" singers…
Yeah, that whole amazing moment with the audience. [On the Rio DVD, the audience sings along with the melody line of the all-instrumental "YYZ," which is even more powerful when you hear it in surround.] It was really about that. At the same time, a live disc has to be representative of what the live show is, so we try to keep that in mind always.
On Rio, the crowd was really part of the show and you could hear them a lot, whereas with Snakes, the crowd came into play where it made sense; they weren't as dominant.
You can see that the way this show is cut is that it's really about us playing, and I think it really comes across that way; it's a really good marriage of the audio and the video.
Did you make suggestions about any of the visual cuts?
Geddy gets involved at that end through his brother Allan [Weinrib, producer]. We actually work separately on these two areas of production, so I don't know for sure. But the Lamoreux Brothers do a great job with us. They have a great understanding of us and about the dynamic of the band. And I think they really set out to capture something that they had planned for.
That's a good way of putting it - each of you were the stars where it made the most sense.
Another interesting visual detail I noticed on Blu-ray: on your fretting index finger, there was a blood blister under your nail throughout the show. Any time there was a closeup on your hands, you could see it develop throughout the show. Was that something you felt at all or were aware of?
Yeah! You know, I don't know how I got that blister, but I remember having it. You know, those things last until your nails grow out. But I can't recall how I got it.
Audiowise, did you go back and forth on the mix? How long did you work on it?
Rich did a lot of preliminary stuff - creating the stems and getting a lot of the housekeeping done in the earlier part of the year. There wasn't any real urgency because we were so far off from the editing that he could take his time with it. We started in earnest in May , just when we were going back on the road. He would send me stuff as he was mixing, and I would go in the studio on my weeks off at home and get caught up. Then in the fall, after the tour had ended, we spent more time together, reviewing it all. That's the great thing in working in ProTools and having the recall on everything - you can just go in to fix one little thing, and it's done in seconds.
The show had to be regimented to some degree, but were you able to mix things up a bit, like at the end of "Secret Touch" where you're all jamming together?
The weird thing about us is that we make room for the improvisational stuff, and then we do it once and that becomes "the part," and we play it over again! But the end of "Secret Touch" has always been pretty loose. We have a little bit more fun with it, and it is pretty fun to do that stuff. I don't know why we don't do it more often.
You gotta sprinkle it throughout the set some more next time.
Yeah, I think so too.
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