Jon Oliva Says No To Savatage Reunion
Jon Oliva has poured cold water upon the rumours of a Savatage reunion.
Words: Dave Ling
Famous for such albums as Hall Of The Mountain King (1987), Gutter Ballet (’89) and Streets – A Rock Opera (’91), the Floridian progressive-power-metal band has lain dormant for the past eight years.
Vocalist Oliva and various group members past and present have focussed their efforts instead upon the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
In a recent interview TSO mastermind Paul O’Neill, who also produced the classic Savatage records, hinted that the band were considering coming out of mothballs to promote a new anthology called Still The Orchestra Plays: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, when it appears in March.
2001’s Poets and Madmen, the final Savatage album is also set to be re-released, and Oliva and O’Neill are working on a Broadway musical version of Gutter Ballet. No wonder Jon says there simply isn’t the time for a reunion.
“Paul was misquoted, there is not going to be a Savatage reunion tour – even a one-off show,” he insists.
“The idea was discussed, but logistically and time-wise it’s impossible. There are three TSO projects on the go, and that’s six years worth of work – even for someone like Paul O’Neill.
“It would make no sense to shut down everything else and put together a Savatage show,” he continues. “Savatage wasn’t even a million-selling band when it was together, so why jeopardise what everyone else is doing right now?
“It wouldn’t be real; just a bunch of guys who’d got back together for two weeks in order to cash in by recreating something (from the past). It would cheapen everything.”
However, Oliva does recommend that Savatage fans check out Festival, the fourth album from his band Jon Oliva’s Pain, which is issued via AFM Records on February 19.
He says: “If you like Savatage then you will definitely like Jon Oliva’s Pain because besides my vocals, every album has music from Criss Oliva (his guitar-playing brother, who was killed in a car accident in 1993) and they sound more like Savatage circa Power Of The Night (1985) or Hall Of The Mountain King than anything we did (as Savatage) after Criss died.”
Jon is also among the many guests to feature on the new Avantasia album, Angel Of Babylon, to be released in April.
In related news, Trans-Siberian Orchestra are set to play their first European live shows this spring. We will pass on the dates as soon as they are confirmed.
For further info, go to www.trans-siberian.com