This year, rock music lost a musician whom many considered to be the greatest drummer of all time. Neil Peart’s music touched the lives of countless fans across the world, and his legacy will live on through his recordings, lyrics, and his influence on the world of drumming.
Only a few years before his death, Edge Factor Founder, Jeremy Bout, was fortunate enough to interview Neil for the Edge Factor film Masters of Resonance and tell the story of the Drum Workshop (DW) drum kit Neil played on Rush’s R40 40th anniversary tour.
During the interview, the entire Edge Factor crew was struck by Neil’s professionalism and dedication to music. The way he talked about his instrument and the quality of its sound showed off the depth of knowledge that Neil had accumulated over a lifetime of performing.
Learning from Neil Peart
Here are three lessons Edge Factor learned from Neil Peart while filming Masters of Resonance.
1. Work Hard to Play Hard (and Rock On)
You’d think after living the rock star life for 40 odd years, you might start to sit back and relax and let others take care of the hard stuff for you. But Neil Peart didn’t live that way. He spent hours in the studio ahead of the tour, practicing drum parts and keeping himself mentally and physically prepared.
If there’s anyone in music who you might think wouldn’t need to practice anymore, it would probably have been Neil Peart. He’d been rocking the drums longer than some of us have been alive. And yet, he still practiced for hours.
2. Take Nothing for Granted
Even after dozens of gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums, Neil didn’t take his fans’ appreciation for granted. He was preparing for Rush’s 40th anniversary tour like he would for any other, making sure every detail of his performance would be perfect. And even in the middle of a hectic tour preparation, Neil was still willing to take time out of his schedule to be a part of our documentary, so that he could help inspire the next generation of passionate musical innovators.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Learn
Who knows where your next great opportunity is going to come from. A person like Neil, who had been at the top of his game for 40 years, could have become arrogant in his success. But the man we interviewed was anything but. Neil was humble and ready to learn from what we had discovered while filming Masters of Resonance, even though he was already knowledgeable in so many ways.
He loved learning about the 1500-year-old tree that his DW drum kit had been made from, and researching the history of the area where the tree had grown. The drums’ origins only deepened his, as well as our appreciation of the finished drum kit, the materials that had gone into making it, and the manufacturers who had helped everything come together.
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Read more about Jeremy Bout, Edge Factor's Founder and CEO, Manufacturer turned filmmaker.