Trans-Siberian Orchestra



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November is typically a busy time for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but this year it's even more so. Not only is a new show centered around the made-for-TV-movie, The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, being premiered on their annual November-December winter tour, but they are releasing their first new album in six years, Letters From the Labyrinth.

Rather than being a rock opera as previous TSO releases have been, Letters From the Labyrinth is a collection of songs written around a series of letters sent between characters in their 2009 release Night Castle covering such topics as bullying, the banking crisis, the struggle in Ukraine, and the fall of the Berlin wall among others.

As the band convened on their rehearsal space near Omaha, Nebraska to prepare for their upcoming winter tour I spoke with creator, composer, producer and would be history professor, Paul O'Neill. I very briefly checked in for his reaction to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Savatage joint venture performance at Wacken Open Air this past summer, but primarily stayed focused on the new album for an in-depth discussion on its themes and dove head-first into the inspiration and details of the new songs.

On Lzzy Hale:
I also wanted to bring back something more from my youth. George Harrison's most famous song is "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the guitar solo on that is Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton's most famous song is "Layla" and the guitar player is Duane Allman. There was just this intermingling of talent. So we decided somewhere on this album I wanted to try to bring in an outsider to have artists collaborating again. It happens in the rap world, but not as much in the rock world...So "Forget About the Blame" just kept pounding itself into me. But I needed somebody who had that passion and Lzzy Hale is a passionate singer. I've been a fan and so we made a phone call. She was so sweet. They were in the middle of a tour and there was a small window, but we got together and she even had a show the next day after we'd done the first day. I said, "I'm really sorry, Lzzy, but I need you back for another day." She came and she nailed the song. And I didn't know this before, but she was a TSO fan. She had her jeans signed by the band from 2007 when she saw the band in Hershey. She was a sweetheart and her band was so kind. Here they are with very little time off and here she is doing this. We are all fans of Halestorm and we didn't know they were aware of TSO and it was one of those things where the stars lined up. So in America we're going to radio with Lzzy Hale's version. Classic Rock magazine in Europe reached out and wanted to put the Robin version in the sampler CD on their cover.

On bullying:
I wrote "Not the Same" because the fact that Amanda Todd had moved three times and kids had watched her get beat up and nobody moved. It's amazing how bullying has gotten so out of control. All these songs have a purpose and as we've discussed before, Brad, the arts have an unbelievable power. I hate bullying. There is no need for it. The guy who bullied Amanda Todd had a mental illness, but the fact that fifty kids could stand around and watch as they see this girl who they know is hurting and see kids beat her into a pulp and leave her in a ditch. And no one stood up for her and no one went back for her blows my mind...The arts can drag attention to things that are so wrong. With "Not the Same" Kayla really brought that song to life. All it would have taken was one person to have gone up to Amanda Todd in that ditch, "Hey, come home with me. Let me clean you up. You want to know something Amanda, high school, junior high school's not the end of the world. Your life won't start until you're twenty-one. Your whole life is in front of you. Just hang in there." And that girl would have been okay. She just needed one person. There's millions of people in this world who would have loved to have been that one person. Evander Holyfield, the boxer, said that video hit him harder than anyone ever hit him in the ring. If that video doesn't bother you then there's something mentally wrong with you.


Audio Fidelity To Release TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA's 'The Christmas Attic' On 2-LP Set!

Monday, October 20, 2014
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Audio Fidelity To Release Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 'The Christmas Attic' On 2-LP Set!


Camarillo, CA ' Christmas arrives earrly this year with the release of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's  rock opera 'The Christmas Attic' on 2-LP Set by Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity. Originally released in 1998, 'The Christmas Attic' is the second installment of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Trilogy. The story begins On Christmas Eve,  when a young girl's curiosity leads her to a night of mischief and magic when she decides to sneak up into the attic of her parents' home while she should be asleep.  This album contains a mix of vocal and instrumental songs. The track 'Christmas Canon,' one of the TSO's most well-known songs, is a variation of Pachelbel's famous Canon in D Major, with lyrics and new music added as well as Boughs of Holly and a soulful rendition of Music Box Blues.

'The Christmas Attic' is being made available on vinyl for the first time in a 2-LP set. The brilliantly remastered records are packaged in a seasonal gatefold jacket that includes a colorful 12-page booklet filled with the tale of The Christmas Attic as well as the lyrics to all the songs.

When founder and producer Paul O'Neill first conceived Trans-Siberian Orchestra, his goal was as straightforward as it was ambitious: '...create a progressive rock band that would push the boundaries further than any group before, following in the footsteps of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, the Who...but take it way, way further.'

With more than 9 million albums sold TSO has inspired generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera. They've become one of the world's top acts and listed in Billboard magazine as one of the top touring artists of the past decade. Their $20 million-plus stage production has played to over 11 million people in 80+ cities across the globe. TSO will once again be touring during the 2014 and 2015 holiday season with 'The Christmas Attic' show. Last year they welcomed-in the New Year in front of over one million German fans in a nationally televised show live from the Brandenberg Gate.

'... a little Pachelbel, a little Bach, and some rock and blues'

Disc One
1 The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve
2 Boughs Of Holly
3 The World That She Sees
4 The World That He Sees
5 Midnight Christmas Eve

1 The March Of The Kings/Hark The Herald Angel
2 The Three Kings And I (What Really Happened)
3 Christmas Canon
4 Joy/Angels We Have Heard On High

Disc Two
1 Find Our Way Home
2 Appalachian Snowfall
3 The Music Box
4 The Snow Came Down

1 Christmas In The Air
2 Dream Child (A Christmas Dream)
3 An Angel's Share
4 Music Box Blues

Produced by Paul O'Neil
Co-Produced by Robert Kinkel
Mastered for this vinyl release by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio

For more information:


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
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The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Interviews: Paul O'Neill by Brad Parmerter
As the Trans-Siberian Orchestra European tour was winding down earlier this year, TSO creator and producer Paul O'Neill was back in Florida working in the studio on one of a number of potential projects. I hadn't caught up with O'Neill since May of 2012 and thought it would be a good time to find out his thoughts on the whirlwind eighteen months he and the band had just experienced and to see what might lay ahead for the near future.

The Lost Christmas Eve, the final installment of TSO's Christmas Trilogy, had recently finished its encore presentation as the featured story on the winter tour and that leaves an opportunity open for what might come in 2014. However, to start off the new year, a massive show in Berlin rang in the 2014 with a bang and led directly into a tour of England and mainland Europe which saw TSO performing, for the first time, a more traditional rock concert, sans a rock opera centerpiece. It was on the final day of that tour that Paul and I started our quick catch-up; three hours later we concluded.

We dove head first into the variations between the first and second tours of The Lost Christmas Eve, upcoming ideas for 2014's winter tour, the New Year's Eve show in front of millions live and on TV, what happened to the missing reels of Savatage's Streets recordings, the importance of a good support team and crew, Daryl Pediford, the long-awaited Romanov project, his proudest moment with TSO, if we could ever see a live video release of Savatage, the five-year plan for TSO, what advice he received from John Lennon, and much more.
On the importance of putting on an amazing show:
So I explain to them that we don't have the right to take a family's money from a mother, father and two kids without giving them the very best that we can. Especially kids because they're so young. I'm sure you know that great Mark Twain quote, "I don't know why, but my father became so much smarter when I became thirty." To make kids appreciate that just because we're here doesn't mean we're entitled to keep it. I always use round numbers, I say, just pretend that we did one year exactly one million tickets and just say the show is two-and-a-half hours long and everybody lives from their doorstep to the building to their seat, forty-five minutes there and forty-five minutes back, including parking, traffic jams; which adds up to four hours, which isn't possible, but we're doing it very conservatively. So you're averaging four hours per person. We don't have the right to waste four million human hours without giving them something that is really, truly great. When you look in their eyes you can see the sparks going off. When you talk about money you get that blank look, but when you talk about four million human hours, that's a lot and it makes them appreciate
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