Flying Colors

Thu
15
Aug

FLYING COLORS Deliver 'Third Degree' October 4

Artist: 
Friday, October 4, 2019
Categories: 
FLYING COLORS AND MUSIC THEORY RECORDINGS / MASCOT LABEL GROUP
ANNOUNCE GLOBAL RELEASE OF NEW STUDIO ALBUM 
THIRD DEGREE ON OCTOBER 4, 2019
 
View Lead Video “More” Here: https://youtu.be/gNEW042p0CM
Pre-Order Live Here: https://smarturl.it/Flying-Colors
 
BAND WILL TOUR IN SUPPORT OF UPCOMING RELEASE WITH 
APPEARANCES PLANNED IN BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE
 
New York, NY --- Music Theory Recordings / Mascot Label Group and Flying Colors have announced the global release of the band’s third studio album THIRD DEGREE on October 4. The band’s self-titled debut launched a career that has had fans across The World anticipating the magic that emanates from the studio each and every time the five members reconvene. That title was released on March 26, 2012 and was celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic with a Top Ten debut on the Billboard Hard Rock chart, alongside an entry at #11 on the BBC’s Rock Album chart.  SECOND NATURE followed in September, 2014 and was celebrated worldwide. Third Degree will be available as a CD Digipack, limited edition 2LP 180 gram blue vinyl in a gatefold sleeve (w/ download card), a 2LP 180 gram black vinyl in a gatefold sleeve (w/ download card), and a limited edition box set featuring CD, 40 page photobook, two coasters, and a bonus disc with six tracks.
 
In chemistry, when certain galvanizing elements come together, they become quite explosive. In music, when certain galvanizing artists come together, they become Flying Colors. In fact, whenever the five gentlemen who encompass Flying Colors — guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, ex-Kansas), drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic), keyboardist/vocalist Neal Morse (Transatlantic, ex-Spock’s Beard, and a prolific solo artist in his own right), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, ex-Joe Satriani), and powerhouse vocalist and songwriter Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, The Sea Within) — are able to conjoin their collective talents, the result is a sweet sonic bouillabaisse that reflects where their inherent mastery of melody intersects with top-shelf progressive musicianship.
 
And now, Flying Colors soar to even loftier heights with Third Degree, their third studio album in a decade.  Third Degreebuilds upon the genre-bending momentum of 2012’s self-titled Flying Colorsand the aural-template ascension of 2014’s Second Nature. From the skittery psychedelic/classical turnaround of the lead single “More” to the Beach Boys-meet-Asia vibe of “Love Letter” to the deep emotionality of the album-ending, prog-leaning epic “Crawl,” the nine tracks that comprise Third Degreesignify just how much Flying Colors are willing to explore new frontiers. “There’s a lot of ear candy sprinkled throughout every song,” observes Mike Portnoy, “and each one takes you on a little journey. As albums go, Third Degreeis a complete piece that I don’t think ever overstays its welcome. I think it’s an enjoyable ride from start to finish.”
 
Third Degreecontinues to build upon the deep-rooted musical connection the members of Flying Colors established on their first two boundary-stretching albums. “There’s a real special chemistry between the five of us,” Portnoy confirms. “We keep getting better and better as we get more comfortable and more familiar with each other, and the music itself keeps getting more and more mature.” Adds Steve Morse, “This one, dare I say it, explores new ground for the band. One of my favorites, ‘Geronimo,’ has an upbeat, jazzy, heavy, melodic feel all at once. We just do what makes us smile and sounds good, instead of wondering how critics or program directors will like it. It makes for the best music!”
 
Casey McPherson concurs with his fellow bandmates by noting, “What Third Degreereally proves to me is that we have our own sound. There are no egos in this band, and we all want the best parts to come out, which is such a joy for me to participate in. I think that really allows people’s uniqueness to show through.” In other words, when five individual musical elements become one, good things inevitably happen. Clarifies Portnoy, “When prog guys like Neal and me join instrumental guys like Steve and Dave, with Casey being the glue in the middle, we’re able to write music that is not only incredibly musical, but also incredibly accessible and melodic.” 
 
That said, Third Degreedid not come effortlessly, nor too quickly. “It took time — but that’s the thing with Flying Colors,” Portnoy admits. “It’s very hard to get the five of us in the same room at the same time. But once we do, it flows so easily.” The first sessions for Third Degreetook place at Steve Morse’s studio in Florida in December 2016, wherein seven songs were written. From there, the bandmembers had to scatter back to their other personal and professional obligations, eventually reconvening two full years later in December 2018, when three more tracks were added to the overall Third Degreemix. (The tenth track, “Waiting for the Sun,” will be made available in forthcoming special editions.)
 
At this point, Portnoy deployed to Neal Morse’s Nashville studio to cut his drum tracks, while Neal and Casey often got together on Skype, as they’ve done in the past, to hone the lyrics. “Casey and Neal bring incredible levels of humanity and emotion to the lyrics,” admires Portnoy. For his part, McPherson marvels at Neal’s harmonic talents: “That’s really Neal’s brilliance — his ability to stylistically approach harmonies in so many different ways. It just blows my mind every time. It’s like Christmas for me whenever I get Neal’s harmony tracks!” Not only that, but the three-part harmonies between Casey, Neal, and Mike — a hallmark of many a Flying Colors track — again shine through on Third Degree. “It’s an important element of what we do,” agrees Portnoy. “Casey is usually the lead vocalist with Neal and me behind him, though we sometimes switch it up. Either way, the three-part vocals are definitelya key part of the Flying Colors sound.”
 
As a songwriter, McPherson is never afraid to confront his feelings head-on, whether it’s the nostalgic bent of “Last Train Home” or the raw, relatable universality of “You Are Not Alone.” In short, Third Degreeis a very human record to its core. “For me, music is a platform to sort through the things I’m going through, and it gives the listener the opportunity to do that too,” McPherson believes. “I try to be acutely honest, metaphorically, so that other people can find their own story in our songs — like I hope they will with ‘Crawl.’ Sometimes, we have to be reminded that life is about the overall ebb and flow.” Portnoy agrees that “Crawl” is his personal favorite track on the album. “The minute we finished writing it, I knewit was the album closer, hands down. I knew it right there and then,” he emphatically reports. “It’s the one new song of ours I most look forward to playing live.” 
 
To that end, Flying Colors have booked nine live dates on their calendar, mostly split evenly between the U.S. and Europe — in essence, to perform as many shows for their fans as they can possibly fit in between their many other band and touring commitments. “There’s an evolution happening within our sound on this record, and I’m excited to explore that onstage,” McPherson notes. “We’ve seen that evolution start with this record, and we’re going to see it happen even more so on the fourth record, in terms of capturing all our beautiful differences.”
 
Another progression has been the band’s use of technology to provide industry-leading sound. Third Degreewas engineered with the award-winning Harmonic Phrase Analysis and Restoration (HPAR) technology. Developed by the band’s resident mad scientist, Bill Evans (also rumored to have approached the fantastic five about forming the band), he created HPAR based on the group’s performance styles — resulting in unprecedented fidelity. Flying Colors regular producer Rich Mouser (The Neal Morse Band, Transatlantic) then crafted a sumptuous mix in his inimitable style.
 
Portnoy agrees the future of Flying Colors looks quite bright indeed. “Our mission statement when we came together is still the same now,” he affirms. “It’s the same five guys with extremely different musical personalities and backgrounds coming together into a giant melting pot where it all comes out on the other end with music that’s accessible, melodic, deep, and colorful. That’s always been the goal of this band, and so far, I think we’re three for three.”
With Third Degree, Flying Colors continue to fire on all cylinders — and, in the process, they also handily prove the third time’s an unquestionable sonic charm.
 
Tracklist limited CD boxset:
The Loss Inside
More
Cadence
Guardian
Last Train Home
Geronimo
You Are Not Alone
Love Letter
Crawl
 
Deluxe CD Bonus disc:
1. Waiting For The Sun (Unreleased Bonus Studio Track)
2. Geronimo (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
3. You Are Not Alone (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
4. Love Letter (Alternate Acoustic Arrangement/Mix)
5. Last Train Home (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
6. Crawl (Alternate Instrumental Arrangement & Mix)
 
Flying Colors will make the following appearances in 2019:
8/30     Cross Plains, TN                                                         MorseFest 2019
9/05     Ventura, CA                                                               Ventura Theater
10/07   New York, NY                                                           Sony Hall
10/11   Glenside, PA                                                              Keswick Theater
10/17   St. Charles, IL                                                             Arcada Theater
12/11   Pratteln, Switzerland                                                   Z7
12/12   Cologne, Germany                                                      Essigfabrik
12/13   Tilburg, Netherlands                                                   013
12/14   London, England                                                         Shepherd’s Bush Empire
 
 
Tue
13
Oct

STEVE MORSE Talks New Deep Purple, News Flying Colors DVD and more...

Artist: 
Release Year: 
2015
Categories: 

Steve Morse, legendary guitarist for Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band and now Flying Colors, took time out of his schedule to join Shawn and Corbs of The GuitCast podcast to talk about his Ernie Ball Music Man signature guitars, his signature Engl E656 amplifier, the new Flying Colors DVD and plans for a new Deep Purple album scheduled for 2016.

Assembling various parts from different guitars, Morse told the guys about his attempts at crating his own version of a signature model until Sterling Ball, owner of Ernie Ball/Music Man asked him to design a guitar for his company. After trial and error the Steve Morse signature guitar was born. "As an arranger and a writer myself, I said guitars can do so much more, lets try to give it as much breath as possible". The result was one of the most versatile guitars on the market and it's brother the Ernie Ball Music Man SM-Y2D.

 
Flying Colors, Morse's latest project alongside bassist Dave Larue (Dixie Dregs, Steve  Morse Band), Neal Morse (Spock's Beard) on keyboards/vocals, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs) on drums and singer/songwriter Casey
McPherson handling vocals and rhythm guitar, will release their new DVD 'Second Flight: Live at the Z7' on Blu-ray, DVD, CD or LP formats. Available November 13 via Music Theories Recordings, it's the groups 2nd concert release celebrating
their two stellar studio albums. The idea behind Flying Colors, combining virtuoso musicians with a pop singer, has served the group well as 'Second Flight: Live at the Z7' demonstrates.

Morse states that writing has already begun for the new, as yet untitled, Deep Purple album. Currently in the writing stage, recording is scheduled to start about the middle of January. Capitalising on the commercial & critical success of 2013's "Now What?!" album, legendary producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper) will once again sit in the producer's chair.

For the full interview visit www.GuitCast.com. The GuitCast is a weekly podcast bringing you the latest news & gear reviews related to the guitar world along with interviews with the biggest names in guitar.

Direct Link to podcast: Episode 37: Steve Morse of Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Flying Colors; Fender Amps, Axes & Anchors
  
 
Wed
20
Aug

FLYING COLORS Debut First New Video

Artist: 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Categories: 
Flying Colors have released their new video for the song Mask Machine. View it here:
 
 
Mascot Label Group and Flying Colors have announced a September 29 release date in Europe and the U.K. for the band'sSECOND NATURE album via the Music Theories label.
The music press acknowledged the eponymously titled debut album from Flying Colors among the most compelling releases of 2012. Combining the talents including Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs/ex-Kansas guitarist Steve Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy(Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard and a prolific solo artist), bass playerDave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and more) with a comparatively new talent, singer/songwriter Casey McPherson, the band mixed virtuoso music with melodic songwriting by crafting new-fashioned music the old-fashioned way.
 
Tue
05
Aug

FLYING COLORS Announce Australian Release For October 3

Artist: 
Friday, October 3, 2014
Categories: 
 
Mascot Label Group and Flying Colors have announced an October 3 release date in Australia for the band's SECOND NATURE album via the Music Theories Recordings label, part of the Mascot Label Group. The album will be distributed locally by Warner.
 
 
 
Teaming the talents of such heavyweight names as guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs/ex-Kansas), drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard and a prolific solo artist), bass player Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and more) with a comparatively new talent, pop singer/songwriter Casey McPherson, the band challenged conventional wisdom about combining virtuoso music and melodic songwriting.
 
The critics were united in acknowledging the eponymously titled debut album from Flying Colors as among the most fascinating releases of 2012. The UK’s Classic Rock magazine hailed the band’s debut as “fearless”, praising its “Journey-sized choruses” and referencing artists as diverse as The Beatles, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Doors, Muse and even Frank Sinatra. 
 
Sporting stunning artwork from the legendary designer Hugh Syme (Rush, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Whitesnake) and bookended by two tracks of truly epic stature – ‘Open Up Your Eyes’ and the multiple-part ‘Cosmic Symphony’ – the album is every bit as breathtaking as the debut. 
 
 
 
Click the above image to check out the Second Nature album trailer
 
Flying Colors will be touring the US, Europe and the UK from October 2014.  No dates are currently scheduled for Australia, but we’re a country that the band would love to get to. With recent tours announced here by fellow prog rockers YES and Jethro Tull’s IAN ANDERSON, and PINK FLOYD also announcing their first album in 20 years, perhaps the time has arrived for prog-rock to enjoy something of a resurgence down-under.
 
 
MORE INFO
Twitter: @FlyingColors

 

 
Wed
30
Jul

FLYING COLORS Announce Second Nature Album For September

Artist: 
Monday, September 29, 2014
Categories: 

FLYING COLORS
"SECOND NATURE" – THE NEW ALBUM

FEATURING
STEVE MORSE, MIKE PORTNOY, DAVID LARUE,
CASEY MCPHERSON, NEAL MORSE

RELEASED BY MUSIC THEORIES / MASCOT LABEL GROUP
UK/EUROPE RELEASE: 29th SEPTEMBER
NORTH AMERICA RELEASE: 30th SEPTEMBER

TOUR STARTS 2nd OCTOBER WITH DATES IN LOS ANGELES,
CHICAGO, PHILADELPHIA, BARCELONA, MILAN,
TILBERG, FRANKFURT, PRATTELN, LONDON, AND PARIS

Mascot Label Group and Flying Colors have announced a September 29 release date in Europe and the U.K. for the band's SECOND NATURE album via the Music Theories label.

The music press acknowledged the eponymously titled debut album from Flying Colors among the most compelling releases of 2012. Combining the talents including Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs/ex-Kansas guitarist Steve Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard and a prolific solo artist), bass player Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and more) with a comparatively new talent, singer/songwriter Casey McPherson, the band mixed virtuoso music with melodic songwriting by crafting new-fashioned music the old-fashioned way.

Album artwork by designer and illustrator Hugh Syme (Rush, Aerosmith, Def Leppard)

Executive Producer Bill Evans assembled a team of virtuoso players, a pop singer/songwriter, and the right producer to create sophisticated music that was accessible. Over 100 singer/songwriters were considered for the role. Portnoy pitched the idea of approaching McPherson, a member of the group Alpha Rev, whose 2010 album called ‘New Morning’ dominated the Billboard Top Ten for 17 weeks.

After an hour-long phone call with Evans, the band found their man. As Mike had quite rightly hoped, McPherson went on to prove the ‘X Factor’ that elevated Flying Colors above the norm. "The idea of having an actual singer as opposed to a musician that also sang, really opened up a whole other world," Portnoy told Prog magazine.

Flying Colors (L-R): Steve Morse (guitar, vocals), Mike Portnoy (drums, percussion, vocals), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar),
Dave LaRue (bass, vocals) Photo Credit: © Jim Arbogast

Classic Rock magazine hailed the band’s debut as "fearless", praising its "Journey-sized choruses" and referencing artists as diverse as The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Doors, Muse, and even Frank Sinatra.  In late 2012, the band toured America and Europe, dazzling fans with Flying Colors originals and selections from the catalogues of the five members.


Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar), Steve Morse (guitar, vocals)
Photo Credit: © Jim Arbogast

Schedules allowing, the protagonists had always viewed Flying Colors as a genuine band as opposed to a side project, hence they began writing a second studio album. From the first writing session to final delivery of the masters in July 2014, the process took almost a year and half, in four distinct stages: writing sessions via Skype in January/February 2013, another burst of writing and recording at Neal Morse’s house in Nashville, a trip to Portnoy’s home that spawned five additional songs, and finally individual recording/arrangement over the internet throughout the spring of 2014.


Dave LaRue (bass, vocals), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals)
Photo Credit: © Jim Arbogast

This time the band opted to self-produce, with Evans, the man responsible for the concept of Flying Colors, reprising his role as Executive Producer and co-engineer. Besides offering a finely tuned set of ears, Evans would remix a track each time an amendment was made, before sending it onto each band member, allowing closer collaboration by the band.  "There was no repudiation of producer Peter Collins," clarifies Evans, "but the guys had become a family and they wanted to try something different."

 

 

Sporting stunning artwork from the legendary designer Hugh Syme (Rush, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Whitesnake) and bookended by two tracks of truly epic stature – ‘Open Up Your Eyes’ and the multiple-part ‘Cosmic Symphony’ – the album is every bit as breathtaking as the debut.  Portnoy stresses that the music’s proggier path was "not conscious at all."

 

"Direction was never even discussed," continues Portnoy. "We just did what we do. I think perhaps not having a producer to ‘trim the fat’ possibly led to the songs breathing and expanding a bit more."

"This is an album full of many layers," concludes guitarist Steve Morse. "The more you listen, the more you can hear. It’s an album to keep listening to."

Second Nature showcases a compelling and thought-provoking collection of songs written and performed by musicians at the top of their game.

FLYING COLORS
OCTOBER 2014 TOUR

10/02 LOS ANGELES, CA JAMES ARMSTRONG THEATER Buy Tickets
10/03 CHICAGO, IL ARACDA THEATER Buy Tickets
10/04 PHILADELPHIA, PA KESWICK THEATER  
10/07 BARCELONA, SPAIN RAZZMATAZZ 2 Buy Tickets
10/08 MILAN, ITALY MILAN LIVE CLUB Buy Tickets
10/09 TILBURG, NETHERLANDS 013  
10/11 FRANKFURT, GERMANY BATSCHKAPP Buy Tickets
10/12 PRATTELN, SWITZERLAND Z7 Buy Tickets
10/13 LONDON, UK ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL Buy Tickets
10/14 PARIS, FRANCE ALHAMBRA Buy Tickets

Flying Colors (L-R): Dave LaRue (bass, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar),
Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Mike Portnoy (drums, percussion, vocals),
Steve Morse (guitar, vocals) Photo Credit: © Jim Arbogast

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