This multi-national and ostensibly part-time progressive rock supergroup was formed in the summer of 1999 and comprises Mike Portnoy (20 April 1967, Long Island, New York, USA; drums; Dream Theater), Neal Morse (b. 2 August 1960, Van Nuys, California, USA; vocals, keyboards, guitar; Spocks Beard), Roine Stolt (b. 5 September 1956, Uppsala, Sweden; guitar, keyboards, vocals; Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas (b. 15 January 1959, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England; bass, vocals; Marillion). Owing to the demands of the quartets full-time commitments, their debut SMPTe was written and recorded during a pressured and intense session that lasted a solitary week. Despite this time constraint, and the material produced being overtly influenced by bands such as Yes and Genesis, the albums complex and lengthy tracks still retained an innovative and alluring edge that set them apart from many of their contemporaries. Although the band remains a lauded hobby for its members, Transatlantic were persuaded to perform limited number of theatre shows and festivals in the USA during 2000, and a live album (amazingly recorded at only their sixth performance as a unit) was hastily released to capitalize on their increasing popularity. Their influences were further highlighted and confirmed with the album containing live renditions of Genesis Watcher Of The Skies and Firth Of Fifth and a number of Beatles tracks. However, despite the highly derivative nature of their sound, they have rightly received critical praise for the high quality of their material and their undisputed musical ability.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.