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Breaking through the gender barrier Add to ...

Cold to the caress of steel?

Toronto singer-songwriter Selina Martin, whose upcoming album Disaster Fantasies will include a thoughtful cover of the 1980 Rush hit Spirit of Radio, talks about the gender disparity among the band's fans.

Why don't more women dig Rush?

I think the whole math-rock thing has never been something that chicks generally go for. There's something hard and angular about it. The time signatures change - in Rush land, it's not all in 4/4 or 3/4 time.

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Were you always a Rush fan?

I do remember a childhood epiphany when I first heard Spirit of the Radio in Kanata, Ont. It was at a roller disco, and there was a moment of pure joy when I heard them playing the guitar toodling thing, and the lights were all going. I had a sort of natural high. But after that I proceeded to ignore Rush for the rest of my upbringing.

But now you've come around?

My friend [author and musician]Dave Bidini is a good friend of Geddy Lee's. He brought me to go see Rush at the Air Canada Centre a couple of years ago, and they blew my mind.

How so?

They were such great players, but they also don't take themselves too seriously. They're not doing sexy rock poses. They're having fun, it seems.

And girls just wanna have fun, of course.

At one point all three of them were soloing at the same time at once, and it was so killer. I loved it.

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