Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith on Neil Peart: "There Will Never Be Another One"
Smith paid tribute to the late Rush icon on what would have been his 69th birthday
Published Sep 13, 2021Yesterday (September 12) would have been Rush drummer and primary lyricist Neil Peart's 69th birthday, and to mark the occasion, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith paid tribute to the life and legacy of one of rock music's most accomplished timekeepers.
In a new 10-minute feature for Drum Channel, Smith first recalls spending hours as a high school senior immersing himself in Rush's 1976 breakthrough album 2112, which soon led his own drum set to slowly expand, piece by piece, in order to play like his hero.
"Any rock drummer needs to have a Neil phase," Smith affirms at one point. "You need to go through and immerse yourself in the...music of Rush and the drumming of Neil. There is so much. We're lucky to still have that today."
Smith recalls seeing Rush live in Detroit at the now-demolished Joe Louis Arena, likening his incredibly focused stage presence to that of a classical musician with "power, finesse...his drum set looked so fucking cool."
Of course, Smith would meet Peart later in life as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and he shares memories of a backstage meeting where the pair shared a mutual admiration of each other's playing. "Neil is Neil," Smith concludes. "There's only one, and there will never be another one."
Apart from drums, the pair also shared a love of motorcycles, and once got to pose with their wheels for a Sabian cymbals advert you can find alongside Smith's Drum Channel interview below.
Peart passed away in January 2020 following a battle with brain cancer. He was 67.
Recently, Rush's Alex Lifeson has teased new project Envy of None, while Geddy Lee is reportedly at work on a "super-secret" project with Barenaked Ladies. The two also launched a Rush beer with Toronto's Henderson Brewing.
In May, Smith shared that the Red Hot Chili Peppers had finished recording a new album, the product of a reunion with guitarist John Frusciante that reportedly brought Rick Rubin to tears. It will follow the band's 2016 album, The Getaway.
Farewell to a king. pic.twitter.com/KeaC2MaPcw— Chad Smith (@RHCPchad) January 11, 2020