Interview with Steve Morse of Deep Purple and Flying Colors

Their second highly expected album, Second Nature, is yet to be out (October 6) and it’s already being critically acclaimed by music enthusiasts and industry journalists. Founded in 2012, Flying Colors – featuring former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse, Neal Morse of Spocks beard, Transatlantic, Dave LaRue of Dixie Dregs and Casey McPherson ofAlpha Rev – are back on track and ready to tour Europe (check here all tour dates).
On the occasion of their album launch, we had the chance to have a conversation with guitar player Steve Morse, who gave us an interesting insight on how the band works.

Q: What was your reaction when you were presented the idea of the FC project?
A: Initially it was going to be me with Neal Morse and Casey McPherson, so Neal and I got together and I was just very pleased at just how quickly we were able to work together and the atmosphere was so good that we decided to carry on. I knew Dave and he had worked with Mike Portnoy and I knew Portnoy as well, so we got together. I was so excited because the idea was something I’d never done.

Q: How would you describe FC’s music?
A: Lots of melody… I guess accessible prog rock?

Q: Do you ever happen to improvise in the studio or when you’re playing live?
A: Yeah. Some of the solos on FC are short and if the solo turns out particularly melodic then people get used to hearing that melody, and if I find that people are singing along to that solo part then I have to play that particular melody, but some way I like to change the solos, somewhere where it’s not so predictable.

Q: Did it happen in any of the new songs on the new album?
A: Yes, Place In Your World is one of them. There’s a little solo section there and I played just the melody. With blues rock and hard rock like Deep Purple you have a lot more room to do that. This is more targeted.

Flying Colors - Band 01 - by Jim Arbogast

Q: The new album sounds more compact than the first one. What was the process you went through with Second Nature?
A: Well we started with some conference calls actually, using Skype. And then we set everybody’s ideas that they had recorded, just little parts, we sent them all to one online location where everybody could get to it, and then after that we got together two different times. It took only 10 hours really when we were looking into each other’s faces, but we had many other days of phoning and chatting on the ideas and then after we finished the production, most of the part writing lyrics, recording the guitar parts. We didn’t have a producer this time, the band produced everything.

Q: Which song from FC do you enjoy playing most?
A: Oh boy, there’s lots of them. I think maybe Keyla, it’s so happy, so upbeat. It just makes you smile, for that.

Q: You will be playing live in London this next october, do you prefer life in the studio or touring?
A: I like playing live but I don’t like travelling. When i think about touring for me it’s hours spent travelling… when I travel with Deep Purple we’re travelling in the very best of circumstances, but FC is more like a regular Indie band so.

Thank you for your time, Steve!

Gessica Puglielli
Visual/Web Designer, Digital Marketing Strategist born in Lecce (Italy), I currently live in London. Between 1998 and 2005 I collaborated with Michael Jackson’s staff and in 2000 I had a meeting with the man himself. I founded Rebel Rebel in 2013 and so far it has been an exciting journey. Some of my favourite artists include Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Skunk Anansie, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, Archive, Kraftwerk, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Anthony & The Johnsons, Gazpacho, The Maccabees, Led Zeppelin, Brian Eno, Beethoven, Bjork, Steve Wonder and many others. I feel a deep connection to animals and Mother Nature, which led me to choose a vegan lifestyle. I like playing electric guitar, photography, cinema, art, entertainment, travelling, playing tennis and browsing London.