Podcasts & Radio

An in-depth Interview with Jon Oliva about the Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra Wacken performance, TSO's New Album Letters From the Labyrinth, and the TSO 2015 winter tour. by Brad Parmerter

Audio excerpt:

BP: You've obviously been playing a lot of the Savatage material on your own since the last time you guys toured together, but what was it like when the six of you got together for rehearsals again for Wacken?

Jon Oliva: It was like we never stopped playing. It was really strange. This whole Wacken thing was a very bizarre thing because when we first set up for the first days of rehearsal at the fairgrounds, it was just like we never stopped playing together. It was so weird. I mean we just played through the stuff as if we were on tour. That was strange as well just the way, you know, I mean we hadn't played, that group of guys, we haven't been on stage together or even played together since Al's last tour was what, '98? I mean we toured again in 2000, 2001, but Pitrelli wasn't with us. So '98 was his last tour so that was a long time, but it didn't feel like know you would expect some rust or you would expect some mistakes or some shit like that, but it was as if we were, you know, it was as if we were playing together for the last twenty years. That's what people don't understand, but we do, we are together a lot.

"I gave all the Savatage fans the best years of my life from the day I turned 21 to the day I turned 40. That's all I did was Savatage. That was the best years of my life. I lost my, I lost my house, I lost my cars, I got divorced. Thank god my wife forgave me and remarried me, but I sacrificed everything for that band and you know, people don't kind of bothers me a little bit people don't really understand that. How much that, how much I went through to keep that band together. And I would think people would be happy that I'm happy. You know, and to say, "Jon gave, if this is what he wants to do great, he's writing great stuff and blah blah blah..." And that's how I want it, you know. I wish the Savatage fans would feel that, you know, this is my decision.
It's nothing that was forced on me or anything like that. This is what I want to do because I want, I want to push my limits until the day I'm dead. I want to keep trying to come up with different things and new ideas and I gave you guys 25 years of my life with Savatage. You know, the best years of my life. You know while everybody else was living their lives I was sleeping in fucking vans and buses and traveling around playing in front of 200 people in a beer bar and doing all that shit in the early days and then legging around Europe and all the stuff that we went through and the, you know, all the chaos and the, you know, the tragedy of losing Criss and everything like that. You know it's just, it was time for me to take a step back and say look to the...what do you want to do when you're in your 50s and 60s. Obviously it's not running around singing "24 Hours Ago." You know, it's not gonna happen. So, this is my decision and I'm very happy right now. I'm a very happy guy."

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