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Portnoy reports from the studio

Steve Morse, Cosmo Music Hall, Toronto, Oct 18, 2009; Photo: Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

The “Dregs meets Transatlantic” project has finished it’s first studio session. They’ve recorded demos of 11 songs. Mike Portnoy was reporting daily on his forum. About Steve Morse:

And Steve is absolutely the greatest…I’ve known him forever (DT [Dream Theater] opening for Deep Purple in 98, The Dregs opening for DT in 00), but to be making music with him is really a bit of a dream come true for me….he really is a musical genius…the way he writes and composes and thinks is truly inspiring…and his playing, well that speaks for itself! (He is JP’s [John Petrucci’s] biggest influence afterall) Just to hear him soloing away over some progressions in today’s song gave me goosebumps!

Read more:

Thanks to Blabbermouth and Daniel Bengtsson for the info.

27 Comments to “Portnoy reports from the studio”:

  1. 1
    HZ says:

    Portnoy is one of my favorite drummers, I like DT very much, and I think that this thing with Morse will be just great…. Can’t wait to hear it.

  2. 2
    purpletemple says:

    This is by far the most exciting purple family project! It sounds like a great team and looks like it will cover lots of territories.It seems like those are incredible musicians who are able and willing to put aside a bit of their technique in favour of a better song-writing. Can’t wait to hear that!

  3. 3
    Hard Rock Pete says:

    Steve should leave Purple while he has a shred of credibility left and do this kind of stuff more often. See Robert Plants comments over at Melodicrock,com Steve is the best and Purple, on every outing, is doing their very best to undo what ever legacy there is left to undo…just maybe old Blackers was right all those years ago. Gillan I love you,but please recognise your limitations.All IMHO.

  4. 4
    Roberto says:

    Portnoy is one of the worst drummer…Personally, being myself a drummer too,I thank God he never influenced me…he is the anti-musical drummer, the opposite of Ian Paice…

  5. 5
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    A can’t miss collaboration. It just can’t. Love that the great Peter Collins is in the mix….

    Bring it on.

    And the usual commentary about His musical genius….



  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 3

    Tried to find Roberts comment on DP but only found a quote about
    ” there s nothing more worse than a bunch of jaded old farts.And thats a fact. ”

    This after being asked about his 70 s rock and roll peers.

    It began like this :

    Of the reason he’s quit writing songs lately, Plants says,

    “The last time I lifted a pen was when Tony Blair became a Roman Catholic.

    We were supposedly going into the Gulf, determined to sort the world out in the name of tyranny.
    Then, once he had to leave the throne, he became a Roman Catholic and became a peace envoy in the Middle East.

    That’s when I knew the world was completely upside down.”

    Of his ’70s rock and roll peers, Plant says:

    “There’s nothing worse than a bunch of jaded old farts, and that’s a fact.
    People who have written their story – they’ve gotten to the point where nothing moves.
    I don’t deal in that, and I don’t deal with anybody who deals in that.”

    Whas this the one you are drawing your post from?



  7. 7
    Anar says:

    Wonderful reports! Does anybody know if there are such ones from Deep Purple’s? Thank you.

  8. 8
    HZ says:

    Plant is right about what he had said regarding “old farts”. It’s so obvious that there isn’t any love nor creativity, only profit from old fame. Blackmore was right also, if there isn’t real motif, something new to explore to add, then it’s pointless, unless it’s live reviving of old memory out of love and admiration for something remarkable…
    Therefore I’m glad that Steve is doing something new and fresh…. Much better for him then to stick to old Blackers must-win-tunes…

    @4 I disagree, Portnoy is great, but it’s matter of taste, isn’t it…

  9. 9
    Crimson Ghost says:

    In witnessing Purple with DT and ELP in 98, I have to say that Ian Paice was by far the worst performer with by far the least wind in him, but then Portnoy couldn’t touch Palmer that night either. However, whoever the bunk keyboard player was for DT then, he fell number 3 to Lord number 2 and Emmerson by far number 1 that night as well. And it didn’t play out like a contest or anything, all were respectfully good, but Emmerson and Palmer effortlessly blew everyone off that stage. Best singer on the night went to Ian, then Lake, and forget LeBrie, he was nothing short of grating. The fact is, groove fell second to techniques that night, probably due to Purple just being on the wrong bill, it was songs versus excecises, but the excercises won, unfotunately. Entertainment is entertainment, if you’re involved you must entertain at your best level, and I think they all honestly did, but then I never heard many drummers that didn’t impress me at all. Most of them are good just for getting the majestic instrument down.

    Ian fully recognizes his limitations, visit his last and next solo outings for proof of that much, and rephrase it to not knowing Purple’s limitations, or Purple knowing no limitations. Keep them separated or don’t mention any names.

    As for Mr.Plant, well at least he looks his age while the elder Gillan is several years older but still doesn’t. Talk about which one has destroyed what of them self… you’re holding up Robert, in all the strangest places. And this coming from him after being spotted at Purple shows in 2000,2002 and 2003. Something must’ve brought him back twice after 2000, YA THINK?. Maybe it was the smell he enjoyed so much. Hey Robert, is Jeff Beck and old fart too? I see you in attendence several times at Ronnie Scotts.(oh that’s right, he isn’t in a band these days, he’s just playing old fart songs)

  10. 10
    Hard Rock Pete says:


    Hi Mark,
    yes that exactly where I was drawing my post from. You don’t have to be Einstein to read between the lines. Purple were the only band that could come close to Zeppelin in their heyday of the early 70’s.
    I actually think he was talking about a lot of his peers,but I reckon DP were in the cross hairs?

    Ps Willy Nelson was never mentioned…Hands off Willy!

  11. 11
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    @6, And Plant, Gillan, and a majority of entertainers are regular political science majors…. But best that there be no politics in this musical forum.




  12. 12
    Svante Axbacke says:

    “My peers may flirt with cabaret, some fake the rebel yell
    Me – I’m moving up to higher ground, I must escape this hell.”

    – Robert Plant, “Tin Pan Valley”

  13. 13
    Crimson Ghost says:

    I find it funny that even Robert doesn’t seem to realize it’s not always the choice of the retro artists to perform what they do. None of them are considered anything but retro with the suits they have to work with, so even they can get comfortable in the routine they’re generating an income with. Does he really think even Zep could call those shots with any promoter and talent agancy? I doubt it, as much pull as they have, proof of this would be what happened at the show when I met him and Jimmy in 98 and asked them about it. From the first little note of the first song in that show that was not a Led Zeppelin song, the entire arena went from standing on their feet to dropping into their seats, only to return to their feet the second another Zep tune started. This is not something beyond the fathom of an artist, what the feedback says can dictate everything. They said it was insulting but still understanding, because the fans, whether die hards or not, just don’t get it. Jimmy said “whether an artist wants to be seen this way or not, it’s not up to them and if they are too difficult about it, nobody will promote their concerts because it risks ticket sales and they go for whatever brings in the biggest draw.” Take away the promoters and there is no concert, it’s a question of integrity, but also a question of balance. Robert holds out for one because of this, so there is no Led Zeppelin at all, but they can afford it, especially when Cadillac gave them a whopping 20 million. He can afford such non compromising decisions that result in no band at all.

  14. 14
    Jim Sheridan says:

    I’d argue that Plant is probably talking about The Who and The Stones endlessly milking their own past.

  15. 15
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Actually, to clear up the Robert Plant statement, he was actually referring to Led Zep. He was referring to his own feelings regarding performing Led Zep tunes any further and of course also, including and slamming those whom still partake in carrying the torch in other bands of the same era that HE personally feels is not worthy of continuing. Funny how these ICONS will turn on the very industry, music and fellow musicians that put them on the map when they no longer can benefit from it or perform it to their own liking and also point the finger to those whom are actually REAL and still partake. He wants to sing elevator music now, so therefore Rock no longer counts, and those whom still are willing to do so threaten his Manhood…….

    Gary Moore made the same type of statement a few years back when he shunned away from Rock. I guess at the time, he was comfortable in the fact that his Blues was going to last forever and didn’t need to play Rock and Roll anymore. He even made the remark that he would look silly at his age standing there playing Heavy Rock songs on stage. Now I guess that time has passed and he is now from what I understand going back to ROCK MUSIC, which is where the MONEY IS. I have no problem with chasing the dollar. I have a problem with those whom continually shun one style for the other when they feel the need to be there. No substance in what is said or stated. Just jargon that reflects a selfish moment in time…..


  16. 16
    Sami says:

    @ 13 @ 15 Well put, Ghost & Tracy(I’m glad Moore’s back with hard rock more or less, and about time too!)

    About Portnoy reporting from studio: don’t know what to make of this outfit but I’ll surely give it a listen before ‘judging’…to be honest, have never liked the drummers DT-uber-technical groove-less style, reminds me of a DT-review which stated only that ‘GET YOURSELF A SOUL’!, or something similar in those lines 🙂 The two Morse’s together are very promising though, Neal’s input in Spock’s Beard a particular favourite.

    That’s about it for now, take care everyone

  17. 17
    Hard Rock Pete says:


    I agree with most of your comments, but at the end of the day classic rock artists or retro artists like DP don’t have to perform. Let me expand. It would surprise me, and I don’t know this as fact, but I doubt DP and artists like them, have many contractual obligations any more. Touring is a seasonal thing and its obvious they don’t have a record contract as such,or they would have been dropped years ago due to lack of out-put! DP “the Company” is a big concern with many staffers and people hanging off their coat tails, but is this reason enough to go out every night and deliver a sub-standard performance? Lets face it, Gillan has been well past his prime for now for probably 10 years. And lets not start on Coverdale! Its the crowd who does all the work at a Whitesnake concert.these days, we should be the ones getting paid! Do we want to see this of Purple. I think not! As you quiet rightly say, it’s the “suits” that pull the strings these days, always has been, always will be and as long as there is a cash cow to milk, they will milk it. But at what cost integrity? Who cares if they fill a 10,000 seat stadium in outer Ukraine? What matters is they can barely fill a medium size indoor in London for more than one night and would be lucky to fill the House of Blues in LA these days. The point is this, and whole reason for this thread, IMHO Steve is the only one with any street cred left in DP and should do more of his own stuff and projects like ” Transatlantic”. Its obvious the pay check at DP Inc. is good enough to stay around, but at what cost?

  18. 18
    Hard Rock Pete says:

    @ 14

    I agree, The Who are more cabaret than Deep Purple these days. The Stones, well you have got to admit their front man can still carry it, witness the “Shine a Light” DVD.

  19. 19
    alf+ says:

    Sorry who is Robert Plant?, the guy that dissapear in the 80s begginings, or that singer from that group what made only four regular albums and stolen many american blues songs

  20. 20
    alf+ says:

    And yes Gillan is a old fart, morse is a half fart… cuanto perrodo viejo !

  21. 21
    Roberto says:

    @9 judging a drummer or keyboard player or wathever by a gig’s is not the right way just to express a true opinion…I am a drummer and I want to listen to musicality, peculiarity, groove, expressivety, inventivness when someone is playing drums or other instruments…for this reason Jon Lord and Ian Paice (which have anyway incredible technique) will be always above the other you mentioned…but I can understand that for any musicians each night is different…you can have highs and lows but I think you have to judge considering their style and their performances through the years….

  22. 22
    stoffer says:

    I’m looking forward to this, more than BCC, cause there could be some US tour dates?? not much chance of that happening w/ BCC or DP for that matter ;(

  23. 23
    Rascal says:

    Not sure I care what Plant says or thinks………..to be honest. He milked the Led Zep machine, and I dare says he still excepts royalties.

    Maybe the reason he is quiting writing songs is …………..he aint able to ‘cut it’ anymore! The hunger vanished when he reach his first 100 million dollars!

    But try as he might to distance himself from his counterparts……….he cannot! He is a ‘jaded old Fart’ as much as the next guy.

    Steve Morse does what he does best…………play guitar. Look forawrd to this project.

  24. 24
    LostInProg says:

    im lookin foward to it, and some of you might speak doubts, but in the end its about the feelings that music create. So lets give them a fair chance. Only rare nowadays artist gives me chills. Oh and we musicians knows best about highs and lows, Anyone who climbed that high has to drop to survive. You can never judge by a bad performance or sometimes a bad album. ONCE YOU FLOATED IN THIN AIR, JUST TRY TO GET HIGHER.

  25. 25
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I prefer dancing madly backwards.

  26. 26
    Jeogger Matthews says:


  27. 27
    Rod DLM says:

    I love Steve’s music, alone, and love Perpendicular too, but, the last time I heard Steve live, playing his same solo performance, the one with the back in time thing, with pieces of old songs, he sounds so boring, it seems like, one, he is just too old to play like he once did, two, he does not care at all about making something incredible anymore. That makes me a little bit sad, he is one of my musical heroes. Maybe Angelfire is something diferent, High Tension Wires like effort.

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