Rush drummer Neil Peart has stated that he has chronic tendonitis. Now, guitarist Alex Lifeson confirms that Peart’s pain is a contributing factor in the band’s end to large-scale touring after their upcoming 40th anniversary trek.

“I still love playing. But in Neil’s case, for example, his job is really tough. Playing the way he does is very, very difficult on his body. He has chronic tendonitis in his arms and he’s had problems with his shoulders,” Life tells The Canadian Press. “It’s just getting to the point, no matter how much we love doing it, that it’s much more demanding and much more difficult.”

“Playing the way he does is very, very difficult on his body.”

However, Lifeson states the band isn’t retiring and that other live performing opportunities are possible.

“[W]e’re not finished as a band. We still talk about recording,” he says. “Who knows, there may be an opportunity in the future to do not a big tour, but a series of concerts … like a week in Massey Hall or Radio City Music Hall.”

Lifeson says that after the tour, he and frontman, bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee, are preparing to begin writing for their next project as Peart wants to take some time off.

“Ged and I are just itching to get back into writing. He just revamped his studio, and he’s not a tech kind of studio guy. He doesn’t know how probably even one per cent of that stuff works,” Life says. “But he’s had this renaissance of being a musician and wanting to play and study more — it’s really inspiring to see. When things slow down we’ll start to do some writing, for whatever purpose. We’ve always talked about doing some soundtrack work.

“With Neil, he really wants to take some time off and spend more time with his daughter. His daughter’s very young. After what he’s been through, he’d like to be more connected to his home life.”

The band’s R40 Live Tour, dubbed as being “most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude,” will visit 34 cities throughout North America this summer beginning May 8th in Tulsa, OK and finishing August 1st in Los Angeles, CA.