MIKE PORTNOY - "It’s THE NEAL MORSE BAND; Those Four Letters Make A Tremendous Difference In What The Chemistry Now Is"

November 3, 2016, 6 years ago

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MIKE PORTNOY - "It’s THE NEAL MORSE BAND; Those Four Letters Make A Tremendous Difference In What The Chemistry Now Is"

Drum legend Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, The Neal Morse Band, ex-Dream Theater) is featured in a new in-depth interview with Classic Rock Revisited about the new Neal Morse Band album, The Similitude Of A Dream. An excerpt is available below.

CRR: How did Neal (Morse) approach you about this concept?

Mike: "The concept, lyrically, was something that he was working on individually. But the collective process with all five of us, the music, the arrangements, and the performances, we worked on that first, and got the music together first. But Neal always had the lyrical concept tucked away in the back of his mind. But I don’t think he put pen to paper in terms of the final lyrics until we had arranged two CD’s worth of music.

The difference for this album, as well as The Grand Experiment which we put out last year … the big difference is that this is now a band. It’s The Neal Morse Band. Those four letters make a tremendous difference in what the chemistry now is, you know. In the past it was always Neal’s music with Randy (George) and I just coming on board to play. But now this is a band with all five of us working together and contributing musically and creatively on every level. So I think it’s taking what Neal and I have already been doing for so many years, but it’s now taking it to a new level because of Eric (Gillette), Bill (Hubauer) and Randy’s input as well."

CRR: I remember speaking with Neal and also with you. We kind of joked around a little bit because, I think for The Grand Experiment if I remember right, everybody kind of came into it with no music written. You just wrote everything right then and there. It seems like it’s a different approach this time.

Mike: "Yeah, I think this time around there were a lot of demos and different ideas that were brought in and then we worked on it together as a band. We did a lot of the arranging and everything as a band. But there’s no shortage of ideas with this group of people. There’s just a constant influx of creativity. I mean it was a battle to narrow this down to just two CD’s. We probably could’ve easily done a three of four CD set if we had the time! (laughs). There’s just that level of creativity."

Go to this location for the complete interview.

Check out the official video for "So Far Gone" below.

The Neal Morse Band are also preparing to kick off their North American tour schedule in support of the new album. According to an update from Portnoy while answering a fan question via Facebook, "we will be performing The Similitude Of A Dreamentirely in its entirety as well as other material from the NM/NMB catalog."


Disc 1
“Long Day”    
“The Dream”  
“City Of Destruction”     
“We Have Got To Go”  
“Makes No Sense”   
“Draw The Line”   
“The Slough”     
“Back To The City”  
“The Ways Of A Fool”    
“So Far Gone”
“Breath Of Angels”              

Disc 2
“Slave To Your Mind”              
“Shortcut To Salvation”          
“The Man In The Iron Cage”          
“The Road Called Home”               
“Freedom Song”                            
“I'm Running”                                  
“The Mask”                                      
“The Battle”                                      
“Broken Sky/Long Day Reprise”      

The band recently released the video for “City of Destruction” from their highly anticipated The Similitude Of A Dream album, which is due out November 11th on Radiant Records. This will be the eighth studio album with Morse, Portnoy and George, and the second as a true collaboration with this current lineup. You can check out the video below.

(Photo - John Zocco)

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