"We feel very much liberated from the album format in a way right now, because in the three years since our last album (2007's 'Snakes & Arrows'), suddenly albums don't mean anything," Peart told The Canadian Press in a telephone interview from his home in California.
"We're thinking of writing and recording a few songs and maybe releasing them, and playing them live, and then going back and doing some more later. We just feel really free (in terms) of what we might do right now.
"Anything is possible in the nicest way and we like the fact of shaking it all up."
Peart says he's started writing new lyrics while bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are preparing at their Toronto studio ("every time we start a new record, the technology is all different, and we've gotta learn it . . . again," he explains).
Asked if he would be willing to reveal details of any of the new songs, the personable Peart replied: "No, sir. (But) I like them."
But the 57-year-old says the band is aware that the record industry is in flux, and would rather adapt with the times than worry about the past.
"We're kind of taking this as a challenge to do something with, rather than to moan about," he explained.
"(It's) a healthier reaction than getting mad: 'Aww, things aren't how they used to be -- we wanted to make a 12-inch album with two sides!' Those things ARE hard to give up, and every time now we make a side one and side two mentally and build the dynamics ... so there is something lost.
"But, on the other hand, it's pointless to lament about it, and now we have the opportunity to take advantage of this amorphous situation going on in the music business right now." ...
This makes total sense to me. Once I was able to get my band's music up on iTunes, it dawned on me that I could record four songs at a shot and release little EPs as frequently as inspiration struck, and they'd be available worldwide (not that anyone would BUY them or anything). Very empowering! No need for a label when you have worldwide distribution at your fingertips, baby!
Anyway, this is not the first time the Rush guys talked about this idea so I'd be surprised if it didn't happen.