“No, there’s nothing,” Lee confirmed to Rolling Stone in a new interview. “There’s nothing there. There’s nothing left. There might be half-finished demos somewhere where we got halfway through and went, ‘Oh, this song sucks.’ And it never got made.”
He continued: “Some of those things may not even be in a stage that there’s drums on them. You’d know when you’re working on a song if you’re beating a dead horse. If that song wasn’t really coming together – and especially with me as I got older – I had less patience for staying with a song that obviously wasn’t working.
“Sometimes you come in the next day, and Alex [Lifeson] and I would be working on a demo, and we’d go, ‘What the fuck is this song, anyway?’ He’s like, ‘I don’t know. I’ve forgotten why we were doing it.’ So you just trash it… We didn’t record anything and then at the end say, ‘No, that doesn’t make it onto the record.’ Those things don’t exist at all.”
Lee’s latest comments echo previous statements from the band. Following drummer Neil Peart’s death in January 2020, both Lee and guitarist Lifeson had reported that there was no vault of unheard material with the late drummer.
In his latest Rolling Stone interview, Lee also recalled the artistic relationship he’d enjoyed with Peart. “I think he had his way of splitting his mind into so many segments,” the frontman explained of his departed bandmate. “He had true independence, as many drummers do, but he pushed that independence to its very limit and I think he equated it in a way of me singing, playing bass, playing foot pedals, all that. That requires a kind of separation of brain too. So I think from that perspective, he viewed his gig sort of like my gig, but I don’t know how he fucking did half the shit he did because it was just so independent.”
He added: “Just the other day I was playing with my grandson and I was trying to teach him that idea and you start when you’re a kid tapping your head and rubbing your belly. So you put that at the power of 1,000 and then you’ve got Neil Peart.”