Drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, TRANSATLANTIC), guitarist Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE, DIXIE DREGS), multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse (TRANSATLANTIC, SPOCK'S BEARD), bassist Dave LaRue (DIXIE DREGS) and vocalist Casey McPherson (ALPHA REV, ENDOCHINE) have joined forces in a brand new project. The as-yet-unnamed band has just entered the studio to begin work on a new album, due later in the year.
Regarding how the new project came together, Neal Morse said, "Last April I got together with Steve Morse to do some writing and to see what would happen with a collaboration between the two of us and how I went down to his house in Florida and spent some days with him, getting to know him and writing some music and we had a really good time. So we've been talking about doing a project together for a while."
As for the musical direction of the new project, Neal said, "We're all going to get together and work from scratch with no pre-prepared material and see what comes out.
"I'd like to do something different. Something to make it very different from like my solo stuff or TRANSATLANTIC.
"There are some demos and some things that Steve and I did in April that we've worked on and so we'll have some things to start with, but I think the plan is to get together and see what happens and write in the room."
He added, "We're all excited about the project, but it is a bit of a mystery as to what will come. The vision is to do something a little more song-oriented and not quite so riffy, as one might expect. But still, of course, having the musical elements that people like Steve Morse, Dave LaRou, Mike Portnoy, and myself can provide."
Although Neal is hoping to release the album this year, he was quick to point out that there is no firm timetable set for the completion of the new project's debut.
"We've mapped out about 10 days [in the studio for the project's first session]," he said. "We'll see what happens and see how much we can get done, if we can't get the basics down enough for an album then we'll have to continue on later.
"Everyone's schedules are a bit in flux and their very busy people so I don't know how long it will take us to actually finish and release the record."