Rush may not be burning up a singles chart or have the hot radio jam of the summer, but that’s quite alright with guitarist Alex Lifeson. That’s because he says that their latest disc, ‘Clockwork Angels,’ is meant to be experienced as a full album.

Lifeson tells GuitarWorld, “People are getting away from the whole album experience, it’s true. I think that’s sad. Maybe I’m just saying that because I’m an old fart [laughs], but I can’t help it – albums are what I grew up with, and I still love them.”

In fact, Rush didn’t stop at a traditional album, but also made sure to take on another older standard – the concept record. Lifeson says, “We’ve always been a little contrarian, I think. It is a concept record. We haven’t done something like this in a while. All of our albums are thematic, but this is a little more direct. I think the songs stand on their own though. I can listen to them independent of the story, but when I hear everything from front to back, it really makes sense to me.”

Lifeson says the band committed to the concept prior to recording, leaving it up to drummer Neil Peart to come up with the idea while he and Geddy Lee had already started on musical ideas.

The guitarist will join his bandmates in September for their North American tour.