Progressive rock multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse’s relationship with Thomas Waber stretches back to the mid-'90s, when he was haunting pubs in Germany with Spock’s Beard. Word had gotten to Morse that Waber wanted to meet him at a McDonald’s in Paderborn. “The way he spoke, I thought he didn’t like the demos very much,” recalls Morse. Then Waber revealed he wanted to release Spock’s on Giant Electric Pea.
Later, Waber started InsideOutMusic. Mike Portnoy of Dream Theatre rang Morse and stated he wanted to start something new together. That project, Transatlantic, appeared on InsideOut in Europe and Morse’s company, Radiant / Metal Blade, in the US.
When the Neal Morse Band, which also features Portnoy, came together, multiple labels made offers but InsideOut made the strongest in terms of advance as well as money towards marketing and video. Morse and Portnoy further stipulated that the agreement be non-exclusive.
For Morse, the decision meant letting go of Radiant. “To give that up was a hit,” he admits. “But I also recognized that they have a strong team and more funding than I can provide. I thought about trying to match it, but then I thought, how much time do I want to spend with that stuff? So I just let it go.”
The long friendship between Morse and Waber also eased the decision. Likewise, Waber signed the band before they’d even written anything. “We’ve got pictures of our kids together,” Morse illustrates. As if that relationship weren’t reason enough, being on the biggest prog rock label in the world remains a source of pride.
The Neal Morse Band’s latest, a live double CD entitled The Great Adventour – Live in BRNO 2019, was unveiled on March 6th.
Date Signed: Dec. 9, 2019
Band Members: Neal Morse, vocals, keyboards, guitars; Mike Portnoy, drums, vocals; Randy George, bass; Bill Hubauer, keyboards, vocals; Eric Gillette, guitars, vocals
Type of Music: Progressive Rock
Publicity: Roie Avin - Royal Avenue Media, [email protected], 754-888-4380
A&R: Thomas Waber