About Flying Colors
A progressive rock supergroup formed by onetime members of Dream Theater, the Dixie Dregs, and Spock's Beard, Flying Colors flesh out their rousing, structured melodic rock with improvisation and technical virtuosity. The band hit the Top Ten of the Billboard Hard Rock chart with their 2012 self-titled debut. Also well-received in parts of Europe, third studio album Third Degree reached the Top 20 in multiple countries upon its release in 2019.
With a mandate from executive producer Bill Evans to keep the project anchored in accessible songwriting, Flying Colors brought together vocalist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev), vocalist/keyboardist Neal Morse (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), guitarist Steve Morse (the Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Kansas), bass guitarist Dave LaRue (the Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Transatlantic). They recorded their eponymous debut album in 2011 with producer Peter Collins (Rush, Bon Jovi). It was issued by Mascot Label Group in March of 2012. In addition to reaching number nine on Billboard's Hard Rock chart in the U.S., it landed on the main album chart in countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. A year later, Flying Colors hit the Top Ten in Switzerland and number 15 in Sweden with Live in Europe.
The band opted to self-produce their second studio album, which featured expanded instrumentation including strings, and backing vocals by gospel group the McCrary Sisters. The resulting Second Nature followed on Mascot in September 2014. It peaked at number four on the U.S. hard rock chart and hit the Top 40 in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany. Due to complications with the various members' schedules, the group only toured for two weeks in support of Second Nature. However, the tour produced the 2015 double album and concert video Second Flight: Live at the Z7, which found them back on the charts in Europe.
Flying Colors began recording their next studio LP in late 2016, though bandmembers wouldn't reconvene to complete it until late 2018. Arriving on Mascot in October 2019, the diverse Third Degree reached as high as number 11 on the album chart in Switzerland and number 16 in Germany. ~ Marcy Donelson