Despite having played together for 40 years, Rush aren’t the type of band to just meet up before a tour, run through a handful of songs and go out on the road. In a new interview, guitarist Alex Lifeson hinted that their famous technical ability and chemistry is the result of a very disciplined approach to practicing, even before their regularly scheduled pre-tour rehearsals.

“We’re nuts,” Lifeson told Canoe. “We rehearse for six weeks before the rehearsals. I’m serious. I’ve been rehearsing for three weeks now. I spend four hours, three times a week, and then the rest of the time I play for an hour to two hours. And that’s just to get ready for rehearsals.”

Tomorrow (March 14), Rush are set to receive the 2015 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario. For decades, Rush have partnered with food banks, played charity concerts and helped out such organizations as Doctors Without Borders, the Canadian Red Cross, Little Kids Rock and the Kidney Foundation. Lifeson said that his willingness to give back stems from his upbringing.

“My parents were always very, very generous,” he continued. “They couldn’t afford much, but they were always very generous. I learned very early that it feels really good to help somebody else. A lot of times it feels better than getting help yourself and now that we’re in a position to do something and have been for awhile, it only makes sense. It’s a duty, really, that we all have to help the less fortunate.”

In May, Rush will begin their R40 Live Tour, which will run across North America through Aug. 1. Earlier this week, their manager added to the speculation that this could be the last time their fans see them, calling it “somewhere between possible and probable” that this will be their final tour.

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