Video footage of legendary hard rock singer Jeff Scott Soto (TALISMAN, JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) performing with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA on November 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada can be viewed below.
In a recent interview with Sweden's Metal Shrine, Soto stated about his involvement with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, "I've known the musical director and guitar player, Al Pitrelli [MEGADETH, SAVATAGE, ALICE COOPER], for about 20 years now. We actually met in Karlskoga in Sweden. We were doing a big festival. He was playing with ALICE COOPER and it was the first TALISMAN tour back in 1990 and we met at the hotel afterwards. We were staying at the same hotel and I'd already been on tour with these guys for a month, so a hotel full of Americans was like, 'Oh, it's like being back home!' and me and Al hit it off and got to be, not really good friends, but we got to be acquaintances and we kept running into each other over the years and I remember running into him about 11 years ago and he was telling me about they were taking this TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA thing on the road and he told me what it was all about and I thought, 'That's an interesting concept! Good luck with that, dude!' (laughs) He walked away and helped turn this thing into an empire along with Paul O'Neill, the guy who founded this. Fast forward to three years ago and they were recording their latest album, 'Night Castle' (2009) and they were trying everybody for the final role, the main role of the rock opera, and Al went to Paul and said, 'What about Jeff Scott Soto?' and he goes, 'Isn't Jeff a tenor?' and, 'No, he's a baritone! Check him out!' They flew me out and I think I got the gig based on meeting them much less actually singing with them and from that it just snowballed into me doing the winter tours and now doing the spring tours and they want me on future albums. I think for the next thing, me and Al are gonna finally get together and start working on some stuff. We have some really cool ideas. We don't know if it's gonna be an actual project or turn into solo stuff for me, but I definitely want to work with this guy. He's one of the greatest guitar players in my eyes that I've ever played with and he's so underrated. Not many people know of him, but I think he's one of those guys that needs to be heard. I've already played with Yngwie Malmsteen and Neal Schon, [so] why not Al Pitrelli?"
Regarding producer/composer Paul O'Neill, who co-founded TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA with SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva, Soto said, "He used to work with AEROSMITH and JOAN JETT back in the '70s and '80s and then he started producing SAVATAGE and he produced the first BADLANDS album. He's basically a producer/songwriter and that's how he turned SAVATAGE into TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. He was already going that direction with the whole rock opera theme and taking a lot of the classics and remaking them with a heavy metal vibe behind them and when SAVATAGE split, he just launched into what is now the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA."