November 1, 2016, 5 years ago

news neal morse mike portnoy flying colors spock's beard hard rock


Prog rock legend and former Spock’s Beard frontman Neal Morse is featured in a new audio interview with Metal Wani, streaming below.

Morse discusses the upcoming Neal Morse Band record The Similitude Of A Dream, fan response to new songs so far, his take on Mike Portnoy's “Landmark album of his career” statement, why he wouldn't compare the double album with any of his other records, songwriting process on this album with other members of the band & how the entire plans turned out to be a double record with over 100 minutes of music.

He also talks about the concept of the album based on Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, whether there will be a possible sequel to this album in the future, his take on lyrical approach on this album, writing a sequential, complex instrumental sections on this record, and offers his take on Mike Portnoy's extreme drumming on the last section of the album.

Morse also comments on the Spock's Beard classic concept album, Snow, and the impact it made in the prog genre.

In addition, Morse throws light on the upcoming world tour with plans to play the entire album with some of the classic Neal Morse gems, his memories of debut gig in India, future plans for Transatlantic, and upcoming Flying Colors new album which is planned in 2017 with songwriting session in December.


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.

The journey of Neal Morse has seen three decades of musical accomplishments, the latest being the inception of The Neal Morse Band. Morse has forged many relationships over the years with his other bands, Spock’s Beard, Flying Colors, and Transatlantic. However, the most compelling and fruitful efforts have been those with drummer Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Twisted Sister, ex-Dream Theater).

Now the current lineup of The Neal Morse Band - Morse, Portnoy, bassist Randy George, keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette - brings forth The Similitude Of A Dream, a concept album to be released November 11th on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY. Pre-orders for The Similitude Of A Dream are live at Radiant Records’ website.

This will be the eighth studio album with Morse, Portnoy and George, and the second as a true collaboration with this current lineup. A lyric video for the song, “Overture” is streaming below.

Clocking in at over 100 minutes, this amazing piece of prog storytelling will leave you breathless, exhilarated, amused and fulfilled in a way that only inspired music can. It will be available in various formats: a two CD package, a Special Edition with the two CDs and The Making Of A Dream DVD, or as three vinyl records along with two CDs.

Together, Morse and Portnoy have launched four bands, but the one that has endured the longest and thus with the most musical output has been The Neal Morse Band. Over the years, Morse, along with Portnoy and George, always assembled musicians as needed to support Neal’s solo music. In 2012, they held auditions to find the musicians needed to fill out the band as a permanent lineup that would write music collectively. Hubauer and Gillette joined the band after three days of auditions. The fivesome went on to release The Grand Experiment in 2014 followed by the Alive Again live DVD/2 CD package in 2015.

As Neal Morse explains, “The Similitude Of A Dream is loosely and sometimes directly based on the book, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. The book’s original title was The Pilgrim’s Progress from this world to the that which is to come, delivered under The Similitude Of A Dream, and it was originally published in 1678. The book chronicles the spiritual journey of a man from the City of Destruction to the place of Deliverance. Someone had suggested to me that I do a concept album based on this book, but I kind of forgot about it. Then when I began writing new songs last December, the suggestion came to my mind. I had never read the book, so I Googled the SparkNotes story outline and began to write some little song bits and instrumentals based on what I had read. Those bits combined with the ideas that the other guys brought to the table then miraculously exploded into this double concept album. Funny thing is, this album only really covers about the first 75 or 80 pages. Maybe we should've made a five disc collection! Well, we'll save that for later. Ha.”

He continues, “At the conclusion of the grueling recording sessions, I remember Mike saying rather prophetically, ‘Boys, I think we just made the album of our careers.’”

"I honestly think this is THE album of my career,” declares Portnoy. “Neal and I have now made 18 studio albums together, and I consider The Similitude Of A Dream the absolute creative pinnacle of our collaborations together. I've always had a soft spot for double concept albums such as Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy, and I can bravely say that I think we've created an album here that can sit side by side with those masterpieces. Bold words, I know, but after a career of almost 50 albums, I honestly consider this to be one of the defining works of my career.”

“We weren’t sure we had enough music to make a double CD, and yet it seemed as though the concept and the music wanted to go there,” bassist Randy George continues. “Ultimately, we created so much great music in the sessions that it just had to be a double album! To cap that off, we worked with a pre-imminent classic album cover artist to create painted illustrations of our concept which will grace the booklet!”

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

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