Rush releases their first studio album in five years today. ‘Clockwork Angels’ is a concept album that tells the story of a young man searching for truth and chasing his dreams in a strange world. In an interview released by Roadrunner Records, frontman and bassist Geddy Lee talks about the “steampunk aesthetic.”

“One foot in the past, one foot in the future,” he says, describing a character who is taught early in life to believe everything that happens is for the best. A few songs were written before Rush began 2011′s Time Machine tour, which kept getting extended and expanded. Lee says he appreciated the fan support, but kept wondering about the five songs meant for ‘Clockwork Angels.’

“It was a little frustrating because we had these five songs that we had written and weren’t sure how they would stand the test of time when we came back to them,” he says. One didn’t work after they finally came off the road, and as a result Lee ended up re-writing ‘Wish Them Well’ two times.

In the video below Lee talks about how lyric writing has changed over the 40-plus years he’s been a member of Rush, and how his playing on stage has recently taken a turn for the better. Finally he was able to recreate what he practiced beneath the hot lights of an arena stage, surrounded by thousands of screaming fans. Prior to the Time Machine tour, the pressure got to him, as it does everyone.

“There was just an ease and a flow to the way I was playing, and I could not do that when I was younger.”

Watch Geddy Lee Talk About Rush’s New Album