Alex Lifeson Featured in the November 2021 Issue of Guitar Player Magazine
The November 2021 issue of Guitar Player magazine features Alex Lifeson on the cover and includes both an interview with the Rush guitarist, as well as a review of his new Epiphone Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Standard guitar. In the interview, which was conducted by Joe Bosso, Alex talks about life before, during, and after Rush, his new band project Envy of None, the release of his new Les Paul Axcess guitar, and more.
From the article:
A few years ago, you and Gibson came out with the Custom Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess. I can only imagine what a thrill it was to create a guitar to your own specifications.You can read the entire interview as well as the in-depth review of the Les Paul Axcess HERE. Comments
It was. I didn't want to have a guitar just to see my name on it. That's easy, and a lot of people do that just to sell more guitars. I wanted a guitar that I would want to buy for what it was, for its features, so that's what we created. We spent a couple of years working on it, going back and forth on the pickups and the neck. I wanted the piezo pickup in it — to me, that was a given. I wanted it to become a great utility instrument.
One of the most satisfying things for me was hearing that a number of session musicians in Nashville bought the guitar because it gave them so much flexibility for their sessions. I thought, Yeah, perfect. That's exactly what it was meant to be — that kind of a guitar.
It wasn't just because they were Rush fans.
Right. The idea of "I can use this at work. This is a good tool for me." I mean, I love guitars. They're fabulous and gorgeous to look at, but at the end of the day, they have to serve a purpose. You need the right tool for the job.
What was the origin for the new version of the Axcess with Epiphone? What went into that?
It was a natural transition. Gibson owns Epiphone, and they wanted to re-release my signature Axcess in the Epiphone brand. I liked that idea, but one of my main concerns was about maintaining the quality at a much-reduced price from the Gibson. I talked to them, and they said, "Don't worry. Leave it to us. We're going to come up with something you're going to be happy with."
I think we went through two prototypes. There were headstock changes between the two, but essentially that was it. I remember getting one of them and spending a couple of weeks at home playing it, fiddling around with it, trying to wreck it. [laughs] It was sensational. I was really, really happy with the quality of the workmanship and all of the features. Everything about it was very satisfying to me. We were going to release it a year ago, but things got weird with the pandemic. Guitar manufacturers were faced with no stock on anything because everybody was staying home learning how to play guitar. It's been quite a tumultuous year and a half, but finally, a couple of weeks ago, we did get through the release, and my understanding is they sold out the first run. We're quite happy and excited about getting the next batch built.