‘Things have changed for us’: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nod just part of the growing buzz around Rush

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Rush was already becoming something of a next-gen cultural phenomenon, even before its recent nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

From playing a pivotal role in the 2009 comedy film “I Love You Man,” to the hilarious new Volkswagen commercial that finds a Passat driver furiously air drumming along to their classic track “Fly By Night,” Rush seemed to have already reached a kind of new critical mass — even before this belated nod.

That’s to say nothing of their consistently sold-out shows, and well-received new album Clockwork Angels. Rush is in Buffalo, N.Y., tonight; other upcoming dates are below.

In a new interview with John Jurgensen of The Wall Street Journal, guitarist Alex Lifeson and vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee talk about the new-found attention that’s greeted Rush.

“Things have changed for us in the last four or five years,” Alex Lifeson says. “We seem to have a lot more exposure. There is a broader audience. The films that we have been connected with … a film like ‘I Love You Man,’ it’s given us a broader appeal. So, in some ways, we have become more popular in this time when the industry seems to be shrinking.”

Part of that shrinkage has to do with album sales, something that has sent Rush — like many bands — out on the road to reach its core audience.

“For us, you can’t sell the kind of records that you used to sell,” Lee candidly admits. “So what’s become more of an important thing is our live tours. We’re one of those few bands that has been around for more than three decades, so we have all of this good will — and a very strong fanbase. So, our tours are more popular than ever.”

Work began on Clockwork Angels, Rush’s first album in five years, back in 2008. The band subsequently took a recording hiatus for two years to undertake the “Time Machine” tour — which would include 81 shows in North America, South America and Europe. The trio, which also includes drummer Neil Peart, then reconvened in October 2011 to complete this new album with Nick Raskulinecz again producing.

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Clockwork AngelsSector 1Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland2112

Upcoming 2012-2013 dates and venues for Rush …

Fri, Oct 26, 2012: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY
Sun, Oct 28: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Tue, Oct 30: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Thu, Nov 1: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Alpharetta, GA
Sat, Nov 3: 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL
Tue, Nov 13: KeyArena, Seattle, WA
Thu, Nov 15: HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA
Sat, Nov 17: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Mon, Nov 19: Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA
Wed, Nov 21: Vally View Casino, San Diego, CA
Fri, Nov 23: MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Sun, Nov 25: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
Wed, Nov 28: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Fri, Nov 30: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Sun, Dec 2: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Wed, May 22, 2013: Manchester MEN Arena, Manchester, England
Fri, May 24: The O2, London, England
Sun, May 26: Birmingham LG Arena, Birmingham, England
Tue, May 28: Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England
Thu, May 30: SECC, Glasgow, Scotland
Sun, Jun 2: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tue, Jun 4: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
Thu, Jun 6: O2 World, Berlin, Germany
Sat, Jun 8: Sweden Rock Festival, Solvesborg, Sweden
Mon, Jun 10: Hartwell Arena, Helsinki, Finland

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