When the Triumph emerged, comparisons with the Rushing were inevitable, especially since it was another Canadian trio. Geddy Lee and company already had a huge reputation, which ended up helping the newcomers.
However, the similarities were not as numerous as advertised. The guarantor is Rik Emmett, singer and guitarist of Triumph.
In an interview with Ultimate Guitarthe musician summarized what actually had similarities and what was a figment of someone else’s imagination.
“It would be difficult for people who were far away – meaning an American critic or people who were just taking a quick look at things – and saying, ‘Oh, three-piece bands from Toronto, Ontario , Canada. Rush is the one I know. Triumph is the one I’m not with. They should be similar to the one I know. It would have been a vision without substance – at any time. Because the bands weren’t that similar – other than there being a male singer, they were both trios and the same geographic location. Other than that, there weren’t many similarities – in terms of music composed, albums and style.
However, Rik also acknowledges that there was a positive side to the comparisons.
“That’s how we attracted the attention of radio people, as well as concert promoters. So, they made our lives easier in some ways. But Rush was huge, he became international. They toured extensively – even in South America they played football stadiums. They were on another level, which Triumph never reached. This was not an apples and oranges comparison. It was more like a grape and a watermelon [Risos].”
Rik Emmett and Triumph
Rik Emmett was a member of Triumph between 1975 and 1988. He reunited with bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine and drummer/vocalist Gil Moore in 2008 for a series of shows. In 2019, they briefly reunited for the documentary “Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine,” which premiered two years later at the Toronto Film Festival.
Recently he made available the memoir “Lay It On The Line – A Backstage Pass To Rock Star Adventure, Conflict and Triumph”. In recent weeks, he announced that he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.
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