Carnies
by Rush

Album: Clockwork Angels (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • Clockwork Angels is a concept album about a young man's quest to follow his dreams in a dystopian alternate world of steampunk where he comes across an exotic carnival. A carnie is a slang term used in North America for a carnival employee, as well as the language they employ.
  • Given Rush's history of conceptually-driven music, Spin magazine asked vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee to comment on whether the record was created in a different way than their previous efforts. "It felt different this time," he replied. "I think because we were taking the approach of making the songs work as individual pieces, we didn't have to worry about the necessity for an overture or trying to bring musical themes back. That approach would've felt formulaic to us. The three times we attempted side-long concept pieces in the past, the music was really like one song broken up into many parts. The thread connecting the music on Clockwork Angels is the story-line. That's the key difference."
  • Producer Nick Raskulinecz told the story of the recording of this song to MusicRadar.com: "Geddy (Lee) sang the song, and after he finished, it was time to come up with the soundscapes." he said. "We have three guitar tracks – one on the left, one on the right and one in the middle – and they all have different clean amps with tremolo, panning effects and phasers, Leslie speakers and filtered little sounds.

    Alex (Lifeson, guitar) doesn't really discuss what he's thinking before he does it," he continued. "He'll lay his parts down, and then he'll call me into the room. I'll either say, 'That's fu--ing amazing!' or 'It can be better' or 'It's done, it's perfect.' Nine times out of 10, I'll say, 'It's perfect.'"
  • Raskulinecz said to MusicRadar regarding Lifeson's guitar solo: "This solo is so cool because of the carnival atmosphere, and that's all Al. He made those sounds and did all that brilliant guitar work - he had such vision and so many ideas. It was pretty inspiring seeing him follow it all through."

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