Neil Peart Clockwork Angels Masterclass

Peart’s Clockwork Angels Setup

Drums DW Collector’s Maple SSC (Steam Punk finish / copper hardware)
1. 23" x 16" (VLX w/ 3-ply rings and round batter bearing edge)
2. 14" x 6.5" (VLT, no rings)
3. 8" x 7" (X w/ 6-ply rings)
4. 10" x 7" (VLT w/ 6-ply rings)
5. 12" x 8" (VLT w/ 6-ply rings)
6. 13" x 9" (VLT w/ 3-ply rings)
7. 15" x 12" (VLT w/ 3-ply rings)
8. 15" x 13" (X w/ 3-ply rings)
9. 16" x 16" (VLX w/ 3-ply rings)
10. 18" x 16" (VLX w/ 3-ply rings)
11. 13" x 5" (VLT, no rings)

Cymbals Sabian Paragon (with “Time Machine” graphics)
A. 14" Hi-Hat
B. 20" Signature Paragon Crash
C. 16" Crash (x2)
D. 10" Splash (x2)
E. 22" Ride
F. 8" Splash
G. 14" Vault Artisan x-Hats (played closed)
H. 18" Crash
I. 20" Diamondback Paragon Chinese
J. 20" Chinese
K. 19" Chinese

L. 10" Roland TD-30 V-Drums (fitted with matching 6"-deep DW shells)
M. Roland PD-8 pad
N. 12" x 5" TD-30 V-drum tom/snare (w/ matching DW shell)
0. 14" x 14" TD-30 V-Drum “bass drum” (w/ matching DW shell)
P. Alternate Mode MalletKAT
Q. Alternate Mode FAT Pedal

Neil Peart also uses DW hardware, Remo heads, Pro-Mark Neil Peart signature sticks, Roland TD-30 modules and XV 5080 samplers, Gon Bops percussion, Behringer line mixer, and Monster power conditioner.

Recording Clockwork Angels

Rush recorded the album in Nashville and Toronto in 2010 and 2011 with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Marilyn Manson, the Deftones, Velvet Revolver) – who also produced Snakes & Arrows. For Clockwork Angels, Peart recorded to guide tracks consisting of guitar, bass, and vocals. “When we first worked with Nick Raskulinecz on Snakes & Arrows, he was determined that we should be in the studio [all] playing together.” Not so this time around.

“What the three of us have always known is it doesn’t make any difference. We play to each other no matter what. So in the case of the sessions in Toronto, for example, Geddy and I were still writing when I started recording drum parts. So it was just Nick and me in the studio, and I’m playing along with the guide track.”

Peart describes himself as an historically “compositional” player who “always orchestrated every detail of every drum part and played it over and over again until I learned it all intuitively without having to count.” However, Clockwork Angels represents an evolution for Peart. This time, he employed a more improvisational approach.

“The determination to become more improvisational, to become more groove-orientated – the dirty greasy groove I call it – it’s a combination I wanted to have.” Thus, for this latest recording, Peart says he would “play a song a few times myself and see what would work ... And then I’d call Nick in. And we’d start recording.” Of Raskulinecz, Peart says, “He’s so enthusiastic that we had a ball, you know, just working. Nick’s full of suggestions and crazy ideas – some of which I would never dream of putting into a song.”

“Caravan” – Examining Peart’s Approach To Odd Time Signatures

Rush has always had an affinity for odd time signatures and syncopated groupings – both elements that remain prominent in the first song on their new album, “Caravan.” While Geddy Lee sings, “The Caravan thunders onward,” the song propels forward with bars of four, six, six, four, six, four, four, four, and five – many of which are punctuated by syncopated hits.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Ex. 1 "Caravan" [1:13—1:35]

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