Tagged: Jon Oliva

Metal non stop

I haven’t posted anything in a while – and it’s not because nothing’s been happening. Quite the opposite. When too much is happening, I don’t have time for blogging, other than very short updates in social media at best.

This past week I’ve spent at Sweden Rock Festival, followed by three days in Tampa, Florida meeting up with the Savatage/TSO guys Paul O’Neill, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli and Jeff Plate. Had a chat with Chris Caffery over the phone when I got home, and have spent three days transcribing 3 hours worth of interviews. And listening to Gus G’s new album “Brand New Revolution” for review as well…

Everything has been about music. And it strikes me that THAT is where I’m home and that’s where I belong. I find it very hard to relate to people who don’t share that passion. Or rather, who don’t like music particularly at all.

I do wish that I was on tour all year round, that would be my idea of a perfect life. Not because it’s easy or anything – I do know the pros and cons, but it’s where I’m supposed to be. I can talk about music, listen to music and watch gigs day in and day out, and never get tired of it.

Anyway, there will be photos, videos, stories, interviews, the works, but it might be a few more weeks until I’ve handed in the articles that I have a deadline on and had a chance to breathe. :)

No rest for the wicked! :D

GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2012 – Last Day memories and reviews (Part 5)

Sunday – last day of the festival – started out as a total nightmare. The last thing you want when you’re in a field in the middle of nowhere – is rain! And it was pissing down. Vera didn’t even have a rain poncho or umbrella or anything, so we had to wait until the worst rain passed to we could go and get her a poncho asap. She would have been soaked without it.

And this last day we didn’t get any VIP-treatment, no backstage passes like the day before. Well – I had my press pass, I had that all 3 days, but Vera didn’t so we were out in the rain. I wanted to see Sebastian Bach but as the rain kept getting worse, even I wondered if I really wanted to see that show that bad…

The minute he got on stage, I knew what to do. I didn’t want to watch it. Actually, I was pissed off. No disrespect to Sebastian as an entertainer but the “problem” in this case was that I’ve seen SO many shows with Sebastian since 1989, I lost count already in 1992… He has ALWAYS been this bundle of energy, TNT dynamite on stage – I’ve come to expect that. When it was pissing down like this at Donington 1992 he ran out on stage, slid and fell on his ass – but continued singing! That’s what a true artist does.

But at Graspop he looked like a primadonna who didn’t want to get his hair wet! I’ve NEVER seen Sebastian act like that before. In 23 years this was the first time he had that attitude and I was disappointed.

When he just stood there, doing nothing, looking like he just wanted to go back to the backstage area it felt like it was anything BUT rock’n’roll. And when he stated “Belgium! This SUCKS!” I was even more pissed off because I was thinking to myself, as the water kept running into my eyes and my clothes were about to get soaked even through the rain poncho – “It’s not YOU standing out here getting soaked mothertrucker! I’m not gonna stand here if you’re not going to make it worth the trouble!”

[Seriously – what the hell was THIS all about…?]

THESE VIDEOS (each was less  than a minute long) WERE REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE BY “GET OFF MY BACH PRODUCTIONS INC” (=Sebastian Bach).
Further comments not necessary…..

So I left. The first time ever that I walked out on a Sebastian Bach or Skid Row show. Later on I heard from somebody who had stayed through the whole thing, that it got better towards the end of the show… Well, too bad my patience or the lack thereof, got the best of me in the rain and the cold. The last thing I need is an artist with a bad attitude.

The Marquee tent was a lot better. I had no idea who was playing in there, I didn’t care. I just wanted to stand somewhere where it wasn’t raining. The only problem was all the SMOKING in there. I felt like I was gonna puke. I get sick from cigarette-smoke, I really can’t handle it, it makes me panic. And people were smoking EVERYWHERE.

Smoke

I couldn’t hide from it, it was the same outside actually. Every time I wanted to take a deep breath of fresh air, I got a cloud of someone’s SMOKE in my lungs instead, which almost made me faint a few times. Smokers just don’t understand what it’s like to be subjected to their smoke. Some chick at Sweden Rock told me that “this is a festival, we SMOKE here!”. Okay – people pass out in their puke on festivals too, so what’s that got to do with anything?!

So I had my nose stuck in my jacket the whole time, the only way to avoid taking a deep breath of nicotine when I least expect it… Shouldn’t have to be that way. Maybe someday smoking will be a thing of the past.

Jan from JOP showed up, they had just arrived. Had a short chat with him, then he took off to check out the sound board the would be working with. I texted JOP’s former tour manager Anett to ask if she was there cause I knew she was going to the festival. She texted back saying she was up on the stage (Ugly Kid Joe’s stage).

Everybody’s impressed with UKJ – it’s like time stood still with those guys. They are still as cool and as valid as they ever were. There is still the naughty boyishness in them, the middle-finger teenage punkish attitude. They sound great and most of all I’m super impressed by drummer Yael Biz. She is freaking amazing!

Here she is with Alex Skolnick in a different project, she kicks major ass:

Whitfield Crane sounds great still, so all in all it was great seeing them live again. It was raining when they were playing Sweden Rock Festival as well, but at least this time they were in a tent. :)

When they finished their set I RAN out of the tent cause I could hear that EUROPE had started playing. It was still raining but I absolutely wanted to see them. Here is my shaky video of the powerwalk from the tent to the main stage – prepare to get sea sick! ;))

To be honest, I haven’t seeen Europe in many years because I chose NOT to. I remember them from their hayday, from the “hair-days” when they were on top and I didn’t want to ruin my good memories by seeing a bunch of old(er) family-guys with short hair. Just didn’t feel right. However, seeing them at Graspop was different somehow, it was a festival so I decided to go check it out. 

Now I regret that I wasted so many opportunities the past few years to go and see them. They REALLY made me proud to be Swedish! There was nothing about them that felt “old” in any way, they are still great on a big stage.

Joey Tempest was strutting – owning that stage. Unlike Sebastian he didn’t give a fuck about the rain. He put on a show like there WAS no rain! And he looked like he loved every second of it!

It sounded great – Europe is a perfect old-school arena-band. They know how to handle a large crowd and a big stage. I’m glad that I went to see them and it was WORTH standing in the rain for! Joey Tempest still knows how to entertain, I’ll be back for more. 

[Still kicking butt!]

After their show, I met up with Anett for just a few minutes and took a walk around the area. It was cold and damp so I decided to go back to the tent. Jon Oliva’s Pain was coming up.

Jan was busy working, Hanneke (light-tech) as well but she was so glad to see me, she jumped down to give me a hug. “You are welcome to join me up there if you want“, she said, so when she show was about to begin, I went up there. Hanneke rocks, always happy always up to something, it’s impossible not to like that girl. :)

Saw guitar-tech Fabio on the stage, haven’t seen him in ages, hoped to be able to get together with “the family” later and catch up a little! That didn’t happen though. I don’t know why, but at least I got to hang with the funniest bunch in the backstage bar afterwards – Fabio, Hanneke and Anett. We were laughing and having a great time, always a pleasure to hang out with them! :-D

The Jon Oliva’s Pain show…. Jon lost a lot of weight since I last saw him, he looked good. The new band sounded good but… I’m not sure why the band (or Jon) has chosen to just play songs from one album (Hall of The Mountain King).

Personally, I think it’s a step back, because this band has created some great music under the name Jon Oliva’s Pain since 2005 and I missed hearing those songs. Going back to the Savatage years feels unnecessary and wasn’t my cup of tea at all. Maybe it pleases the hardcore Savatage-fans but evenso they must have followed Jon’s work the past few years and learned to appreciate what he does now, so I don’t know who this was for, really.

But that’s only my personal opinion, it has nothing to do with the execution of the songs or the quality of the musicians. That is, as always, top-notch.

A bit sad and disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Jon this time. Maybe some other time.

Instead, I went to check out the merch, it had stopped raining. Met up with Vera, grabbed a bite and got ready to see Motorhead. But by the time they went onstage, it was raining again. I went to the VIP-bar and for the first time noticed that they had direct streaming of the show on the TV:s back there. Couldn’t be more perfect! I was under a roof and I could still watch the show! :)

What can I say about Lemmy…? Not too many surprises there. He is cool. He is very cool. He sounds like Lemmy and he gives the crowd what they want. Motorhead is a sure thing. You always know that they’re gonna deliver and WHAT they’re gonna deliver.

After Motorhead, I met up with Anett, Hanneke and Fabio in the backstage bar and nobody was particularly eager to see Guns n’Roses. First of all, we all expected them to be late as fuck, as usual. Then – we expected them to suck, like they have the past few years. Everyone I talked to that day hadn’t planned on seeing GnR. “Maybe the first two songs or something…”  – that was the general attitude. Nobody had high hopes for Axl & co.

No wonder, he’s screwed up so badly so many times that people just got tired of it. You can’t act any way you want nowadays because there’s always gonna be some other band that will steal your fans. Not even if you’re Axl Rose, will you get away with just anything.

We were just taking it easy back there when suddenly we heard this BANG and music from the stage. We all stood there with puzzled faces. “They started – already???” It was 20 minutes too early..???

I went out there to check if it was indeed GnR or something else. It WAS Guns…! They had opened with Chinese Democracy. I still didn’t think that they would deliver anything that would be worth staying for, so I stood there, far away from the stage with no intention of moving closer. I was sceptical.

The set continued with Welcome To The Jungle. At this point I was beginning to realize that Axl sounded freaking GREAT. He looked a lot better than the last time too – he lost weight and was actually MOVING on stage. Whooah!

A few songs later I was hooked. This was a different Axl than I remembered, and definitely a different Axl than I expected! It was as if he was pissed off at the criticism and had something to prove. 

So you think I’m fat?
You think I can’t sing anymore?
You think I can’t deliver the goods?
WELL – TAKE THIS MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

He was on a mission and I was blown away! I’ve never even been a GnR-fan ever. Never in a million years did I think that Axl Rose, of all people, would get my attention and even have me contemplating to miss the early flight home…!

We had to leave but first Vera wanted to see “just one more song“. And then I ended up thinking the same “just ONE more song…”. And Anett, who was supposed to go with us so we could drive her to her hotel, didn’t want to leave at all..! She said she would grab a shuttle or something – at the time nobody cared HOW they would get back to their hotels or airports, it was just a show that you didn’t want to walk out from…!

It dawned on me, for the first time ever, why Guns n’Roses once became the biggest rock band in the world. THIS was the reason. Axl had a fantastic evening – he created magic!

I read a review in Metal Hammer UK that said he “had the passion of a dead sheep” at some other gig, and I had to wonder if this show at Graspop was just ONE great show that we would see in years…? Cause if the band would continue to sound like THAT and Axl continue to sing flawless – and communicate with the crowd – I would GLADLY travel to see GnR again. 

But I guess you never know with that man. I’m glad and feel privileged that we got to witness a great GnR show that actually made people STAY and enjoy the show! I dragged Vera away from there somewhere after “Civil War” cause we HAD to beat the crowds and get out of there before all those thousands of people started heading for the exit.

We could hear Knockin’ on Heavens Door, Whole Lotta Rosie and Patience as we were walking to the parking lot.

The PERFECT ending to a PERFECT festival.

THE GRASPOP BLOGS:

GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2012 –  memories and reviews (Part 1)  

 

 

GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2012 – memories and reviews (Part 2)

 

GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2012 – MEGADETH memories and reviews (Part 3)

 

GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2012 – TWISTED SISTER memories and reviews (Part 4)

GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2012 – Last Day memories and reviews (Part 5)

 

Next up – Bang Your Head festival in Germany……….!

Graspop-here I come! :-)

It’s a little bit frustrating when you have so many things to tell – photos, memories, videos, all that, to share – and you just don’t have time…! :-(

It’s been work, work, work this week, you get home feeling totally beat, pass out early almost every day…
But I have everything in my head – I just need the time, peace and quiet to write it all down. Soon – when I have a whole weekend without any other obligations, there will be tons of shit on here!

Tomorrow it’s time for GRASPOP METAL MEETING in Belgium! Three days of non-stop rock, lots of great acts – and my “family” Jon Oliva’s Pain. So looking forward to all of that. Vera is joining me this time too, at least Saturday and Sunday. Then I haven’t planned anything until July when I’m off to Thessaloniki, Greece again to see Firewind. :-)

So – the Satchel-story and the day when we spent all day on somebody’s stage (Ugly Kid Joe‘s, Motorhead’s, Twisted Sister‘s….) hanging with Hell’s Angels and what not – all that will end up here eventually.

Just stick around. :-)

Belgium, here I come!

 

From one of the many Jon Oliva-shows I’ve been “paparazzi-ing” – ProgPower Atlanta, 2008 – featuring Zak Stevens (Savatage/Circle II Circle) :

On the road with Jon Oliva’s Pain – 2007

This road report was originally written for a magazine, but was never published for various reasons. I think part of it had to do with that the editor at the time, had a different idea of what he wanted a tour report to be. He prefered interviews on the bus instead of the “fly-on-the-wall“-approach. Either way, it was never used.

To me however, it is still, to this day, one of MY favorite pieces. And now, in 2012, it’s also a piece of untold history.

Two people who were on the 2007 tour are not with us anymore. Greg Marchak (sound engineer and producer) passed in September 2007 from a brain aneurism. Matt LaPorte (lead guitarist) passed away in April last year.

When this was written, Jon Oliva’s Pain was still a family well held together in a way that I’ve never seen or experienced with any other band ever before. It brings back some great memories.

So here it is – tour of 2007, Scandinavia, on the road with Jon Oliva’s Pain.

ON TOUR WITH THE MOUNTAIN KING
Text & photos Daniela P

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It’s an early, damp and chilly morning in Halmstad, Sweden. Jon Oliva’s Pain, band and crew, have just enjoyed a day off and now it’s time for the equipage to start heading to the next destination: Oslo, Norway.

The band’s bassplayer Kevin Rothney is helping me get my heavy, bulky Sweden Rock Magazine-bag up on the bus. When I finally get my ass up on the bus, I’m greeted with smiles that make me feel right at home, like an old friend.

 

One of the first things a first-time visitor on a tourbus must learn, is how to use the toilet.
Well…if it’s absolutely necessary to use it at ALL, that is. Cause you don’t go unless there’s just no other option. Somebody starts laughing and mentions the word “pissfoot” and everybody seems to know what that is. I’m about to learn that as well.

The bus-toilet must have been designed for pygmies, cause whoever tries to get in there will have to grease their hips and practice advanced yoga to get in and out.

Some of the guys ended up standing OUTSIDE trying to aim, well you get the picture – and with a bus that drives 90 km/h on the highway, brakes and passes other cars, you can probably figure out what happens. The piss doesn’t end up where it’s supposed to. So, whoever enters the loo next, can expect an unpleasant surprise. SPLASH! Sock + cold piss = Pissfoot.
Then, when the piss dries on the sock, it spreads a certain…odor on the bus. So, that was the very first introduction I got to “life on the road”. Might as well be informed of the worst parts right away and get it over with.

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The bus starts rolling, and the two Italians – drum tech Rig and guitar tech Fabio, start yapping in Italian, while eagerly filming everything through the bus window.

THE KING LIVES IN THE “ELVIS ROOM”
The curtains of one of the bunks are drawn to the side and a sleepy light tech peeks out – the Dutch girl Hanneke. Suddenly drummer Chris goes: “HEEY!” while looking at something behind me. I turn around and there’s the man himself, mr Jon Oliva. The guy who’s been the face and voice of Savatage for over 20 years, whose fans worship the ground he walks on. He smiles. He’s cool and he’s damn funny. You can’t help but instantly like the guy. He sleeps way in the back of the bus – in the Elvis room. There’s much more space back there than in any of the other coffin-like bunks that the rest of us are sleeping in.

We are approaching Oslo and the video cameras are rolling, everybody’s admiring the stunning view. Jon is just smiling. He doesn’t look particularly impressed. He’s used to this.

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When we reach Oslo, and park outside the venue, it’s like somebody hit a button. Everyone knows what to do, and like worker ants they unload everything in a matter of minutes. People are running back and forth, pushing anything with wheels on it. Inside the black-painted rock club Johnny Dee, things are going very quickly. It doesn’t take long before everything is up and running and the sound check is ready to commence. Efficiency, that’s the word of honor. Tour manager Anett is all over the place, making sure that everything works. She is like a school-teacher telling the students about things they need to know and remember – anything from dressing rooms, showers, food, schedule….

LETHAL VEGGIES
Someone put a veggie-plate in one of the dressing rooms. The guys are looking sceptically at it. You can probably die from veggies. So, broccoli and all that other stuff, ends up being used as ammunition in a food fight. Jon Oliva however, is sitting in his own dressing room with a viking helmet on his head. He is just taking it easy, greeting journalists with that Oliva-smile that we know so well.

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The club is jam packed when it’s time for the band to hit the stage. The craziest die-hard fans are already hanging at the barricades. As expected, the classic Savatage songs are the ones that gets people to sing-along, But it’s also clear that the Oliva-fans are loyal and they keep buying the records no matter what name is on the label.

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After the gig it’s full speed again. The crew is rolling out the gear fast, The bus has a deadline to meet, so gear, band and crew all need to be ready for “takeoff” on time.

The noise level on the bus is all the way up to eleven, you can hear roaring laughter and hi-fiving all over the place, The adrenaline is still pumping through everybody’s veins after the successful show. But the bags need to be packed and that’s done while the chatter with the guests backstage continues.

[One of the guests in Oslo – from Pagan’s Mind]

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When it’s a few minutes past midnight, everybody’s on the bus cracking jokes, laughing. Some are a little buzzed, others are crawling into their bunks falling asleep pretty much right away. It’s easy to tell the crew from the band at this point. The “foot soldiers” are the ones who have a tendency to be in bed way before the band.

FIRST COME FIRST SERVED SHOWERS
It’s five thirty in the morning, and there are still people up partying. Soundguy Greg and a few more people from the crew, have crawled into their bunks and drawn the curtains. It’s cozy in the bunks, there’s a little lamp in there and everything. The kind of place you would have loved to have as a kid. But you have to twist and turn like a rubber-circus to try get your clothes on or off, cause there’s not exactly lots of space in there.

It’s like a cradle – a dark, humming bus that just rocks you to sleep in no time. Perfect. Well…If it hadn’t been for the fact that musicians aren’t exactly the type of people who are known for keeping their mouths shut and even less for sleeping at any time of day – at all.
Those who decide to go to bed and get some sleep, will do it to the sounds of laughter.

The next morning, I get bright sunlight in my eyes, even through the curtains. We are in Gothenburg, apparently. The guys in the other nightliner, opening acts Nostradameus and Dionysos, are running back and forth like a shuttle service to the two showers that are on the second floor, near the dressing-rooms. Two bus loads of people means that time and shower facilities aren’t always enough. It’s simply the first come first served rule that applies.

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In the meantime, it’s totally dead on the Oliva bus. People were up all night last night, so it will be quiet most of the afternoon. The only ones that are up and about are the people in the crew who went to bed early last night.

Breakfast is a luxury. Someone made coffee, you can smell it throughout the bus, but if you’re looking for actual food – forget it. People simply grab whatever lies on the table from the night before, which could be anything from chips to chocolate. Breakfast in this context usually means a smoke and a beer, or, in best case scenario, coffee.

One after the other they are waking up, and it doesn’t take long until the front part of the bus starts looking like it’s being populated by characters from “The Night Of The Living Dead“.

Keyboardist John Zahner is standing with his newly purchased digital camera ready to be tested. He announces that he’s going out for a little sightseeing tour.

 

BEER IS NOT ONLY GOOD FOR YOUR HAIR…
Once back on the bus, there’s a grunt from one of the bunks and it’s Kevin who’s come to life. He’s about to give a lesson of how to take care of your dental hygiene on the road. He takes out his toothbrush, squeezes out a bit of toothpaste on it, whips it around in his mouth then takes a mouthful of yesterday’s Heineken, gargles and….swallows. All done! Dental hygiene á la tourbus!

Everything is set up and ready inside the club, it’s time for sound check. Soundguy Greg is angry because the sound board is crap, some junk that looks like something you would find at a recreation center – it will be a challenge to make anything sound good with what he’s got to work with.

Light tech Hanneke is shaking her head also, the stuff she’s got to work with is a joke too. It basically consists of THREE buttons that a three-year-old could handle. She laughs and says that it’s easily earned money that night.

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There’s a sign in the dressing room that says something about smoking being prohibited and no alcohol. Jon’s eyes are as big as plates, he starts laughing. I had to explain that it wasn’t a joke, it’s for real. Welcome to Sweden!

NO REST FOR THE PARTY ANIMALS
It’s party time again on the bus after the show. Half of the working force is totally beat though, so they crawl into their bunks and fall asleep pretty much instantly. At four in the morning there’s still a lot of noise in the front of the bus, which makes some give up the idea of getting any sleep anyway, so they decide to crawl out of their bunks to join the others – which results in them not getting back to bed before six in the morning…

Three hours later, tour manager Anett starts kicking people out of the bus and up on the ferry. She doesn’t care who’s hungover, everybody must leave the bus right now. There’s a lot of grunting and grumbling, but they all eventually get out and light up when they see and smell the coffee in the cafeteria.

Bassist-Kevin, the band’s party animal, plonks down on the nearest couch and passes out again. That guy can fall asleep anywhere. The others are sitting there crosseyed, trying to perk up. Musicians don’t like being up at this hour, that’s for damn sure.

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When the bus arrives at The Rock in Copenhagen later that morning, nothing is working as planned. The promotor doesn’t know which band he booked, the elevator is out of order and the gear has to be carried down steep steps, the sound system is not the one that has been promised, and the irritation is noticable. Anett is pissed off, Jan is shaking his head. But they are all professionals and used to this sort of thing. They have learned how to work miracles with whatever is thrown at them.

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All the problems have been fixed by the time the doors open several hours later.
But guitarist Matt LaPorte gets the very sad news only minutes before he’s due on stage… His father has passed away. It lowers the mood of the whole band, it’s tough to be so far away from those that are close to you. The band is the only family you can turn to in times of crisis. But the crowd won’t notice anything, because Matt goes up there and he plays, just like he does any other night.
Because the show…must go on…

VIDEOS…

[Greg Marchak and Jan Janvier trying to get the best out of the sound equipment at The Rock, Copenhagen, 2007]

[On the bus to Oslo, beautiful view, crew filming]

[1:14 – Probably the biggest Oliva-fan in Oslo!]

“The Savatage-thing needs some kind of closure” [Chris Caffery]

First of all – Happy New 2012 everyone, hope you had a great start of this new and exciting year in Rock! :-)

On New Year’s Eve, there was an announcement on Blabbermouth that former Savatage-guitarist Chris Caffery was joining Jon Oliva on stage in Europe later this year – read more HERE.

That made a lot of Oliva-fans happy. :-)

It’s not the first time after the “breakup” of Savatage that Chris and Jon have shared the stage though. The last time I saw it was in Belgium, the indoor-festival Pestpop back in October 2007 when I joined Oliva & co on their European tour. Caffery and Zak Stevens (ex-Savatage vocalist) were both at Pestpop festival playing their own sets (Zak with Circle II Circle and Chris doing his solo thing).  

Chris and Jon have played together after that in FL, but as far as I know this was the last time they shared the stage in Europe. Correct me if I’m wrong. :)

Sorry about the sound in the beginning of this video – I think I was standing a little bit too close to the stage monitors…It gets better a few minutes into the song though.

There is an unmistakeble comradery still when these guys get together. I was sitting in the dressing room after the show that night in Wieze, Belgium, when Zak and Chris came by to say hi to Jon. Lots of laughs and hugs, I just sat there quietly, smiling to myself. You just don’t see that kind of affection in bands anymore, there’s definitely something special about Oliva. :-)

2012 will be an interesting year for Savatage-fans, I’m sure. So…. In the name of that – I dug up an interview I did with Chris Caffery at Sweden Rock Festival back in 2009 – another one of those recordings that I never used for anything, so this is the first time anyone will get to hear it. 

He was visiting the festival with Ripper Owens that year, and his solo-album House of Insanity, had just been released . The interview was supposed to be about that, but ended up being a lot about his feelings for Savatage.

He stated that he would gladly play in a garage for no money, if he got a chance to play with his friends (Savatage) again, because the band was his life. He was doing solo albums simply because “his band” wasn’t playing and he had to do something. It’s as if he was waiting for Savatage to wrap it up at some point, because as Oliva himself stated in an interview I did with him that same year, Savatage never officially split up. It’s been on hold for many years. And in the interview with Chris, you will hear him talk about how he feels about that:

“The Savatage-thing needs some kind of closure….”

So, there’s no question that Savatage really is what’s closest to Chris’ heart, so what you’ll get to see on stage this summer will certainly be sincere. 

You can listen to the whole interview here. My apologies for the bad sound, it was a very windy day and we were standing in the backstage bar at Sweden Rock Festival, with all the noise coming from everywhere. It’s a miracle that anything was recorded at all. :-)

I truly enjoyed talking to Chris, he’s cool guy.

1,52The reason for me doing this is because my band is not playing. If Savatage was playing, I would not be doing solo records…

2,23 My band, my life, my whole soul, is with Savatage.

7,25  Even if the band played in this TENT for five minutes, I don’t care what the circumstances are, I don’t care what the reason is, or the money… I just wanna play with my friends, play that music again. I really miss it.

8,00 Jon Oliva is one of the best songwriters that Ive ever seen, he’s a genious. 

8,10The Savatage thing nees to get some kind of closure.

 

[Savatage from back in the day – one of my favorite songs, and one of the craziest drummers! Check this out!]