Whenever Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas get together for Transatlantic, you're quick to use superlatives. This time, however, the prog supergroup has taken it to the extreme once again. Because "The Absolute Universe" is nothing less than the wet dream of every prog fan: a concept album in three different versions
Transatlantic relations are no longer what they used to be, thanks to the Trump administration. In music, however, they still work splendidly. Separate yet united - we bring three of the four prog protagonists to the big eclipsed interview table for you. In our extensive title interview Neal Morse, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas talk about the different album versions and the genesis of "The Absolute Universe" as well as about visa problems, the Corona pandemic and good food. Plus: memories of the first sessions over 20 years ago!
He is fascinated by biblical material: On his new solo album "Sola Gratia" the US-progger NEAL MORSE deals with the story of the apostle Paul. The parable of the prodigal son, the life of Martin Luther, finding meaning and faith have already been dealt with by him in concept albums. The idea of writing an album about the proverbial transformation of Saul, the persecutor of Christians, into a follower of Jesus and missionary Paul, Neal Morse had been pregnant for quite some time. After "Sola Scriptura" (2007), "Sola Gratia" is his second album, which is titled with a reformatory principle. As Morse explains in the interview, the trigger for this was an acoustic misunderstanding
eclipsed: How did the second "Sola" album come about?
It took ten years for "Jesus Christ The Exorcist" to see the light of day. No wonder, because mammoth projects with the Flying Colors, Transatlantic and the Neal Morse Band drove the music-obsessed just as much around as solo tours.
eclipsed: What was the trigger to start working on such an epic?
Neal Morse: [The music manager] Michael Caplan called me one day and suggested that I should write some kind of new version of "Jesus Christ Superstar". Apparently he and a friend had listened to the original version from the 70s. We talked about how to write something like a gospel-based rock opera. I started with the first draft in 2008.
eclipsed: Then what happened?
A splendidly funny Neal Morse, who is currently recording the keyboards for the third Flying Colors album, explains eclipsed the background of "The Great Adventure". He does not hide the fact that the creation process - similar to "Snow" - was sometimes very laborious. But that doesn't mean that Morse & Co. lacked songs. In fact, there are another 45 minutes of material that were not used at all.
eclipsed: In the press release you could read that you were not planning to write another concept album. And certainly not a sequel to "The Similitude Of A Dream". Why not?
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.