Filed in: Direction, Featured, Film

Drum Documentary Celebrates Neil Peart

August 5, 2020 08:56 | By

SE.Masters_of_Resonance_poster.1In his feature documentary about drums and drummers, Masters of Resonance, director Jeremy Bout, who regularly aims to have his viewers use storytelling to make educated decisions about their careers of choice, simply wanted to tell another inspiring story through the prism of those of elite percussive skill. “It was never meant to be this big,” he said of the film, now in release.

Several years ago, this project began life when Bout sought to interview John Good, who is prominently highlighted, being vice-president for manufacturer Drum Workshop, Inc., a noted company who serves legions of professional drummers. Foremost among them might be the late Neil Peart, native of Ontario, Canada, and drummer for Toronto’s progressive metal band Rush from 1974 until their final tour in 2015. Shocking the music world at large, Peart passed in early 2020 of a fatal illness not disclosed until his death.

SE.jeremy_bout_edge_factor_MASTERS_OF_RESONANCE.1

Of note, Bout, who is a principal craftsperson in the Ontario-based production company Edge Factor, was unsure that the notoriously elusive Peart would participate, as he only agrees to rare select interviews. “He’s a very hard guy to touch,” said Bout. “He let me into his world because of John Good—he let me have time because of his friendship with John Good.”

When Peart, universally considered one of the greatest rock drummers of all time, finally agreed to appear in Masters of Resonance, Bout’s experience with the longtime legend was considerably positive. “He was so gracious to work with,” Bout revealed. “I was kind of nervous directing him. He can pick whatever he wants to do—he picked to spend some time with me. It was humbling.”

Neil Peart

Neil Peart

As Peart was rumored to be an intense, private man, Bout carefully prepared for their lone meeting. “I really wanted to make sure that I asked him the right questions,” Bout stated. “I pushed his buttons to see if he would go down these paths. I wanted to do a piece on the power of music.”

Prior to the interview, Bout sent Peart visual materials and talked the drummer/percussionist/lyricist through the plans for Masters of Resonance, which included the origins of the wood used in Drum Workshop’s drums of many various sizes. “He was very interested in these bigger picture ideas,” stated Bout of Peart. “How much thought he put into the time when that tree was alive that he was playing.”

John Good

John Good

In 2014, the timing was fortuitous as Peart called on the artisans at DW, including John Good, to create a customized drum set for Rush’s 40th anniversary tour. “People are passionate about their brand and their artists,” said Bout of DW, with Good at the forefront. “He knows that there is an industry that wants to buy it.”

Unquestionably, Peart’s death on January 7 came as a total surprise to millions, but not to Bout. “I knew something was up,” said Bout, who released Masters of Resonance in late-2019. “What a tragedy. I feel tremendous sadness; the incredible love that people had for him. You’re sad to see an era end.”

L-R: Don Lombardi, Sheila Escovedo & John Good

L-R: Don Lombardi, Sheila Escovedo & John Good

After Rush’s 40th anniversary tour, R40, Peart was largely thought to have been retired, for a combination of non-life-threatening physical issues and personal choices. “He was very excited about his retirement,” Bout said, “stepping out of the limelight. He went out on top in R40. He worked so hard to perform to meet his end—I felt thankful to see that. He was able to finish his chapter and do it well.”

As of summer 2020, Masters of Resonance was freely available on YouTube. Moreover, Edge Factor has released an additional Bout short film, narrated by Peart, Growth Rings, which was given a full blessing by surviving Rush members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. “I know anybody who has appreciated Neil as a drummer and a humble human will appreciate this in a profound way,” said Bout.

To watch the complete Masters of Resonance film (for a limited time), please link to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzt-PaR0XUw&t=39s.

To watch Growth Rings, please link to: https://youtu.be/auNoE0u9mqM.