With just a little over two weeks until the release of Rush's highly anticipated new record 'Clockwork Angels', guitarist Alex Lifeson shared some insight on how the trio wanted to go back to basics for the album.

Lifeson tells Metal Express Radio that the group's approach to their new record stemmed from the benefit of retrospect and having the opportunity to look upon their last album, 2007's 'Snakes and Arrows.'

"I think probably with this record, we really wanted to play and wanted to stretch out a little bit. We wanted to have fun playing and also to strip things down a little. I think 'Snakes & Arrows,' in retrospect, was a little bit dense, because it was written on acoustic guitar, which played a major role in the production. We layered a lot of acoustics and electrics and I think we got just a little cloudy at times. I really like the record, but with hindsight of living with it for a while, we realized that we kind of overcooked it a bit."

Looks like they'll avoid that issue this time around: "We really wanted to strip it down and have more of a three-piece feel to it. There's no rhythm guitar during the guitar solos and such -- which are things you end up doing as you like the sound of it because you like all the color but it's not always necessary -- and I think the album comes across as a lot more powerful as a result."

The members of Rush can expect a very busy year ahead. In addition to the North American tour behind 'Clockwork Angels' which gets underway on September 7 in Manchester, N.H., the band also recently confirmed their first European festival appearance in 34 years.