Neal Morse

Interview date

Juin 2009




Interview Neal Morse

Hello Neal, and thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions from our webzine

No problem

First a few questions about your latest album "Lifeline". On our web site I gave it a 20/20, so would you consider this one as the perfect album?

"Lifeline"? Thank you, it's wonderful. And well I don't know. I don't think there is any perfect album. I would have to quote Kevin Guilbert, an old friend of mine, who said "perfect records are a drag". It's good to have some loose stuff and some mistakes and things. But I like it, I think it's a good one, it's a strong one. I don't think I like it necessarily better than the other ones. I mean, people always ask me which one if my favorite album. And I'm like, hey man which one is your favorite kids. You know what I mean, I would never have written and worked so hard to make them if I didn't really love them . But yes I think "Lifeline" came out great and I'm really happy with it.

If you could would you change anything to it today?

I don't know I would have to listen to it again [lol]. It's been a while.

The next question is around your lyrics. I read on forums, fans that like your music but don't care so much about the lyrics. Is this a problem for you?

I think the lyrics are important. I work really hard on them. It's not just the music. For me it's part of the whole theme of a piece. The lyrics are part of the whole mix. Whatever people are receiving and if they are feeling something, then it can only be good.

What's the difference between the worship albums and the prog albums?

The prog albums are in many cases concept albums, they tell stories, they have rock parts and classical parts, they are more music oriented. The worship songs are more written for people to sing along, they are more simple, they are made for people to sing to god. Basically. Not that they have to be simple, but my worship album, are more normal songs. Some are acoustic, some electric, and some even a little rocking, but in a lot of time they are a little mellow too.

Like Gospel music?

A little bit. And they are all different too. You'd have to listen to it.

You have a different band for the tour than for the recording of your albums. Isn't this a little bit frustrating for your tour musicians?

Right. But logistically, that seems to be the way it's gone. I don't know. It seems to work well so far. Both sides enjoy it. All the players are busy with a lot of different projects. They don't have that much time to do things. At least so far, but, hey, things could change...

How did you end up opening for DT? Is this with the Mike Portnoy connection?

Collin, the drummer, he is the hungry one [lol] he mailed me and told me that they were still a couple of dates in the tour that says opening acts to be announced. Why don't you mail Mike and ask if we could do them. And I was going to be there anyway, doing some church things, so I prayed about it and I thought, let's just ask and see. That's how it happened. But we are doing just two. We don't really have real tour support. It's too expensive.

Do you like Dream Theater's music yourself?

Yeah. Some of it. To be honest, some of it is too heavy, some of it is too dark for my taste. We have a lot of fans in common actually.

What other music do you listen to?

I have been listening to a lot of classical music lately. Beethoven, Mozart, Malher. Also around the house we listen to a lot of Christian music. I still also listen to some Yes and early Genesis. I also have some Gentle Giant on my iPOD.

Will you play mostly songs from "Lifeline" tonight?

Well we are doing 2 songs from "Lifeline". We are trying to play short songs. We are trying to.

Any chances that Mike Portnoy will join you on stage tonight?

We will see I don't know [but his eyes say yes]. It's possible.

You have been working recently on a new Transatlantic initiative, can you tell us a bit about this?

Yes, we have been working on a new album. Should be out later this year. It's not done yet.

Why did you wait 10 years since that last one?

Well, you know for me everything that I do I pray about it and I try to do whatever I feel God wants me to do. To make a long story short, it felt like the right thing to do now. Actually there were a lot of things that made me think that God was in it. One of the thing was that there was no way Pete [trewavas] and Mike could be in Nashville together, their schedule just wouldn't work, and then all the sudden something happened and Mike said I've got these two weeks in April and Pete said I do too. But for a while it looked like it was not going to happen until 2010.

So do you think the album will be followed by a tour and a DVD like the previous ones?

I don't know. I will pray about it and see.

Who wrote the material for that?

We did like we did the other times. I had some stuff, and Roine [Stolt] had a lot of stuff. We jammed a little bit too. Pete had some material and I had some material, we did a lot of cutting and pasting, and we hope to release before the end of the year.

What's your plan for 2010?

Ho man, I'm just praying about the next step. There is a proverb that says: He is the light unto my pathway. But it just gives you enough light for the next step [lol]. I don't get like a whole future vision. May be some people do, but I don't. I'm just going day by day.

What do you consider the worst and the best things humans do today?

Well I suppose that the worst thing people would do today is kill each other and the best thing they could do is praise God.

Have you heard about this movie "Home" on environmental issues? Do you feel concerned about these issues?

No I have not seen this movie but yes I'm concerned about those things. I think, as a Christian, that God put man originally in the garden to dress it and to keep it. And to take good care of it. And when we are not taking care of our environment, God is displeased. It's just selfish.

Would this be something you could sing or write about?

Hum, you never know. My be that's the next album [lol]

Thanks a lot for your time, and good luck for the concert

God bless you man.