The beloved prog rock project featuring Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas (Marillion), Transatlantic's foundation was built in 1999 with the release of their debut album, SMPT:e, in 2000. A second studio album, Bridge Across Forever, solidified their position as prog’s definitive supergroup. It would be nine years before Transatlantic’s fans were rewarded with a new studio album: 2009’s The Whirlwind, the band’s most popular release to date. Following the subsequent tour, spawning two live DVDs, the band decided to record a new studio album as soon as they could.
There was talk about a year ago about doing an album before we actually did it," reveals Morse. I was feeling it for a while. Some of the music that ended up on my Momentum album (2012) seemed like good material for Transatlantic. Roine and my schedules have a little more space in them, and Pete and Mike's schedules finally aligned, so we were able to put this together. I'm just glad we got to do it again and I'm really happy with the way the album came out."
Morse, Portnoy, Stolt and Trewavas shared equally in the songwriting, with Portnoy ultimately sifting through the material and picking out what he felt was best. For the most part, the music that fans hear on Kaleidoscope (and all of their previous albums) was created for Transatlantic. There are, of course, exceptions. “I wrote the second song on Kaleidoscope, “Shine,” before my Momentum album came out," says Morse. I thought about recording it for myself, but it just smelled of Transatlantic. I presented it with two other acoustic songs, and that’s the one the other guys chose, as well.”
The band convened at Neal’s studio in Tennessee; writing, arranging, and laying down the final drums and bass. Morse offers, “At this stage, we sketch out the house and build the foundation. Then Roine and I go off to our respective studios and do what we need to. We send those parts, including vocals, back and forth via the internet; but the writing is done together in Tennessee. We just go from the gut, and I think it's an amazing process of trusting each other. There's no shortage of ideas; it's more like which ideas do we want to use?"
As the fans have come to expect, Kaleidoscope is also available as a Special Edition featuring eight uniquely Transatlantic cover songs. I don't know how it started," Morse says of the cover song tradition. But we've done it for every album. It's a lot of fun because most of the time it's simpler music than what we're mainly involved with."
There are points during the journey through Kaleidoscope where the listener will be reminded of artists like Yes, early Genesis, and even Styx. But in the end, the album is distinctly Transatlantic before it can be compared to anyone else.
I think that comes from the different ingredients," says Morse. It's the four of us from all over the world—with our different backgrounds, cultures and musical history—that makes this band totally unique."
The band will embark on a six-week world tour January 31 – March 15, with an additional performance at the Sweden Rock festival June 4-7. They will be joined by Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw as a 5th touring member. The tour will include headlining the Progressive Nation At Sea 2014 Cruise,February 18-22, alongside 22 other leading prog acts including Adrian Belew Power Trio, Devin Townsend Project, King's X, Anathema and Spock’s Beard. The event will also feature a special performance of Yes material by Transatlantic with legendary singer Jon Anderson on vocals.
RoineStolt - Electric guitars, vocals
Pete Trewavas - Bass, Vocals
Neal Morse – Keys, Guitars, Vocals
Mike Portnoy - Drums,Vocals
An Evening With Transatlantic 2014 World Tour
Jan 31st - Los Angeles, CA - El Segundo Performing Arts Center
Feb 1st - San Francisco, CA
Feb 2nd - Seattle, WA
Feb 4th - Chicago, IL - The Arcada Theater
Feb 5th - Quebec City, Canada - Theatre Du Capitole
Feb 6th - Montreal, Canada - L'Olympia
Feb 7th - Boston, MA
Feb 8th - Philadelphia, PA - Keswick Theater
Feb 9th - New York City, NY - Highline Ballroom
Feb 11th - Mexico City, Mexico - Teatro Metropolitan
Feb 13th - São Paulo, Brazil
Feb 14th - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Feb 15th - Santiago, Chile
Feb 18th to 22nd - Progressive Nation At Sea
Feb 27th - Madrid, Spain - La Rivera
Feb 28th - Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz 2
March 2nd - Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
March 3rd - Rome, Italy - Orion
March 5th - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7
March 6th - Karlsruhe, Germany - Substage
March 7th - Munich, Germany - Muffathalle
March 8th - Berlin, Germany - Astra
March 9th - Cologne, Germany - E Werk
March 11th - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
March 12th - London, England - The Forum
March 13th - Tilburg, Holland - 013
March 14th - Tilburg, Holland - 013
March 15th - Paris, France - Le Bataclan
June 4th-7th - Sweden Rock Festival