Metal Blast recently conducted an interview with SAVATAGE and JON OLIVA'S PAIN mastermind Jon Oliva. You can watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow.Metal Blast: Why did you decide to do a tour focused on SAVATAGE's "The Hall Of The Mountain King", instead of playing material from JON OLIVA'S PAIN?
Jon Oliva: "It was an idea that Chris [Kinder; drums] and our tour manager came up with and they told me about it. I thought about it and I was, like, 'You know, that would be fun.' Because we haven't done a new JOP record since Matt [LaPorte, guitar] passed away. We really didn't know what we wanted to do, but we wanted to come out and play a little bit. I thought that since the old albums are just reissued by Edel, it would be good to give them a little kick in the butt. Plus I've never done it before. I've been doing this a long time, so it's something I've never done before, and that was kind of exciting to me. I was like, 'Wow, this is different.' And the fans have been loving it. It's been going over really good, so I'm really happy about it."
Metal Blast: Is SAVATAGE now really over? Jon Oliva: "Everyone keeps saying that, but what I don't think people realize is that SAVATAGE is still really together, it's just a different band [TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA] with more people. But if you look at it, it's Jon Oliva, Paul O'Neill, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Johnny Middleton, Jeff Plate… I mean, everyone from SAVATAGE is there on all the records, and on the road, most of us are there. And [TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA] is doing so well, it just doesn't make sense to stop it to do a SAVATAGE thing. If you wanna hear SAVATAGE stuff, come see me, because I'm the original singer, so me doing SAVATAGE is gonna sound more like SAVATAGE than anybody but SAVATAGE. That's why I come out and do it; it's for the SAVATAGE fans. I play the SAVATAGE stuff because I love to play it, and don't really see a SAVATAGE thing happening, just because of how popular the [TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA] has become and the time that it takes to do this stuff. It's just really not feasible. Unless you're gonna do an album and then do a tour, but there you're talking about a year. 'Cause we're not just gonna throw something together just for the money, because we don't need the money. SAVATAGE, believe me, was never about the money, and neither is JOP about the money. It's about the love of playing and for the people and playing the songs. I'm not making any money out here — I'm losing my ass. But I don't care — I'm smiling and I'm having a good fucking time.
Metal Blast: What's in the future now for JON OLIVA'S PAIN? Jon Oliva: "We're gonna do an album, but I've got some weird ideas that I wanna try. I just don't wanna do 'another' JOP record, I've done four of those already. I wanna do something different. I've got some material that I've wanted to put out for a while that I'm gonna have a talk with the record company about, maybe putting something out quickly, like in the next four or five months, to give me more time to do this next JOP record, because I want that to be special, and I've got some guest friends from other bands that are gonna come in and play on certain [songs]. I'm gonna do a double… I'm gonna do a regular JOP record and then a bonus disc with guest stars, kind of like the AVANTASIA thing but not like a whole story and all that. [Tobias Sammet] does a magnificent job, but I don't have that much fucking time [laughs] to write a whole story, so I'm just gonna have some friends that I've talked to from various bands come in." Read the entire interview from Metal Blast.