Posts Tagged ‘SAVATAGE’

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SAVATAGE / TSO Guitarist CHRIS CAFFERY to fill in on guitar for upcoming METAL CHURCH tour

March 3rd, 2016
Chris Caffery

Chris Caffery: Photo via Facebook

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and SAVATAGE guitarist Chris Caffery will fill in for METAL CHURCH’s Rick Van Zandt on the latter band’s upcoming U.S. tour, which commences March 24 in Portland, Maine. Rick had to go in for emergency eye surgery to repair a detached retina and will be unable to join the group on the road for several weeks.

Says Caffery: “I’m really excited to announce that I will be playing guitar with the mighty METAL CHURCH on their upcoming U.S. tour. Their guitarist Rick had a serious eye condition develop that needed surgery and we all pray for his continued, speedy and successful recovery.”

He continues: “It will be a lot of fun to play with my longtime bandmate Jeff Plate and the guys.

“The first time I toured with Kurdt (Vanderhoof)  when his band VANDERHOOF was opening for SAVATAGE. Then my solo band opened for METAL CHURCH on my ‘Faces’ tour!

“All of these guys are amazing musicians.

“It’s gonna be so awesome to hear  Mike Howe every night! I watched him on the [Monsters Of Rock] cruise and was blown away at how incredible his voice is!

“If you don’t have your tickets yet…what are you waiting for! It’s time to go to CHURCH!

“Lots of work on my end in the next few weeks but I can’t wait to play this stuff live! See you soon!”

Metal Church

Metal Church

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SAVATAGE/TSO – Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery and Paul O’Neill

October 28th, 2015



Savatage and Trans Siberian Orchestra literally blew the two stages away by offering a huge visual spectacle at Wacken Open Air this August. The whole show was beyond  normal human comprehension and understanding. Seeing this one of kind spectacle can’t be compared to any other show in the music industry. After gasping some air we sat down with Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, and the mastermind of both the outfits, Paul O’Neil, to discuss the return of Savatage to Wacken and above all Trans Siberian Orchestra, whom enjoy tremendous success in North America.

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Wacken Open Air 2015

September 29th, 2015


Wacken being sold out is a kind of mystery, for sure. The event is somehow sold out every year, but this year’s sell out wasn’t a surprise as Savatage with Trans Siberian Orchestra and Judas Priest were headliners. Thousands and thousands of metal fans from every corner of the world arrived at Wacken to have fun and enjoy metal. Instead the weather gods didn’t show much support towards the festival and all its visitors. The hard rains literally ruined the ground and soil of the festival area. The whole Wacken village and large area of fields became the ultimate mud war field. The weekend at Wacken was one hell of a surviving camp.

Despite the tremendous problems and brutal field of mud, the people still gathered to witness the return and resurrection of Savatage and the massive show from Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Article and pics by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala

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JEFF PLATE – Metal Church, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Savatage

August 19th, 2014

Metal Church




New York native Jeff Plate is a professional drummer who’s best known for his drumming for legendary metal band Savatage which went to hiatus in 2002. Plate appeared on four Savatage albums including the classic DEAD WINTER DEAD (1995) and WAKE OF MAGELLAN (1997). Plate’s currently plays with Trans-Siberian Orchestra which was formed in 1993. The band is highly successful and they’re annually playing sold out Xmas tours mainly across the USA. The band mostly consists of current and former members of Savatage including the bands co-founder and main composer Jon Oliva. Plate is also a member classic metal band Metal Church. He first joined that band in 2006 and stayed until they disbanded in 2009. Only three years later the band was back and in 2013 they released GENERATION NOTHING, which was their first studio album in five years. Metal Church made their first ever performance in Finland in June 2014 when they arrived to the Tuska Festival in Helsinki. There we had the chance to sit down with Jeff and discuss Metal Church, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and of course, Savatage.

EDIT: After this interview was arranged, Savatage officially announced that they will do their long-awaited re-union show next year at the Wacken Open Air Festival. See ya there!

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OLIVA: “Raise The Curtain” – the first ever solo album of SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva!

May 20th, 2013


More than thirty years after the start of his career with Savatage, and successive projects/bands like  Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Jon Oliva’s Pain, now legendary songwriter und performer Jon Oliva releases his first ever solo album, titled „Raise The Curtain”.

On  June 21st (USA: July 2nd) the master’s new piece of work will be available as CD Digipak (first edition) and 2-vinyl (gatefold, limited to 800 copies worldwide).

The album will be released simply under the banner „OLIVA“ and you can expect a mixture of Jon Oliva’s early influences and the material he wrote and recorded throughout his whole artistic career.

01. Raise The Curtain
02. Soul Chaser
03. Ten Years
04. Father Time
05. I Know
06. Big Brother
07. Armageddon
08. Soldier
09. Stalker
10. The Witch
11. Can’t Get Away
12. The Truth (Bonus Track)

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CHRIS CAFFERY – Plans To Record A New Solo CD

December 26th, 2012


“Well, the Christmas Story marathon has ended…the TSO marathon continues!!! Hard to believe it was 1999 when we first played here in Cleveland. Such an amazing ride so far! I remember the first post Christmas show we ever did was December 26 in Cleveland a couple years later! We had already played like 4 shows here and the demand was so huge we came back after Christmas as well! I remember sitting in my hotel room that night with Daryl Pediford. We were laughing, saying some silly jokes about something we only understood. I remember him talking about the ghosts. He said there were ghosts there. As I travel around and look back at the friends I have lost who I have worked with in this business I know for sure the ghosts are here. I feel them at different times. Onstage and offstage. Daryl, Criss, Ray Gillen…the list goes on. Amazing musicians and friends who are no longer with me this Christmas but are always there in spirit. Thank you so much for these past 25 years. That was the first time I played a December 26th show…my first show with Savatage on the Mountain King Tour in Providence. Since then I have traveled about 1/2 million miles, played for close to ten million people. I have truly been blessed. I know I am not a perfect person. But I always try to learn from my experiences and hope to leave each day making people smile. Every day I take a look here and see the thousands of you that stop by to say hi it makes me smile. Thank you for being my friends! I look forward to next year…I am planning on recording a new solo CD, it really seems to be what everyone is asking me to do when I see them on this tour. Savatage? I still am as hopeful as you guys, but you know how that one goes!!! TSO…studio and more touring of course…what and when? Always a mystery like the man behind TSO itself! That’s what makes it magical! This journey is never written in stone. As long as Paul is at the wheel I know it will be an amazing adventure! I, like you, can’t wait to see what comes up! But I am blessed to be a part of it and blessed to have your friendship and support! I am going to go walk and look at Christmas lights! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!”

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JON OLIVA’S PAIN Have “24 Hours To Go” – Hall Of The Mountain King Spectacle To Be Filmed For DVD

June 16th, 2012
A Celebration of Savatage

A Celebration of Savatage

JON OLIVA’S PAIN, featuring legendary frontman Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) have issued the following tour rehearsal update:
“24 Hours To Go!

Final rehearsals are done and JOP is ready! In a little over 24 hours we will have the honor of performing (in it’s entirety) one of the greatest metal records ever recorded…and the Ritz Theatre in Ybor City (Tampa, Florida) will be the place.

The Hall Of The Mountain King record holds a very special place in the hearts of Savatage fans and heavy metalheads all over the world. We will bring it to you live on stage…your only chance to see this celebration in the US.

Tickets will be available at the door while they last.
Doors open to the general public at 7:30.
RETRIBUTION featuring Damond Jinya begins at 7:45.
JET CITY at 10:00
JOP: til close

We are filming this show and want to see everyone there. The Ritz is such a great venue. Thanks to them and Rich Rubin of Maximum Bands for making this possible.

See you in a few hours….oh yeah!”


Jon Oliva’s Pain’s schedule is as follows::

16 – Ritz Theatre – Tampa/Ybor City, Florida
23 – Brückenforum – Bonn, Germany
24 – Graspop Festival – Dessel, Belgium
26 – Club Sensation – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
29 – Turock – Essen, Germany
30 – Dokkem Festival – Raard, Netherlands

3 – Colos-Saal – Aschaffenburg, Germany
4 – Zoetermeer – Boerderij, Netherlands
5 – Biebob – Vosselaar, Belgium
7 – Sticky Fingers – Gothenburg, Sweden
9 – Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland
10 – Live Club – Milan, Italy
12 – Bang Your Head Festival – Balingen, Germany
13 – 013 – Tilburg, Netherlands
15 – Garage – London, UK

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JON OLIVA On Upcoming Hall Of The Mountain King 25th Anniversary Tour – “We Will Perform What I Consider One Of The Best And Most Important Records Of SAVATAGE’s Career”

April 23rd, 2012
Hall Of The Mountain King 25th Anniversary Tour

Hall Of The Mountain King 25th Anniversary Tour

JON OLIVA’S PAIN frontman Jon Oliva (ex-SAVATAGE) issues update as band gears up for their European tour and warm-up show in Tampa, FL:

“With the passing of our dear friend and guitarist Matt LaPorte just a year ago, it is time to get the machine back up and running. I miss performing live, and the timing of the 25th anniversary of Hall Of The Mountain King makes this the perfect opportunity. We will perform what I consider one of the best and most important records of Savatage’s career, and this is of course another chance I get to honor my brother Criss, one of the greatest guitar players ever. I am still going through old tapes and recordings, and can’t believe what a talent he was and how he continues to inspire me. I hope you can attend this special show, we will be leaving it all on stage every night with you, the legions, by our sides. See you soon and much love to all!”

Drummer/producer Christopher Kinder adds: “This is a celebration of the life and music that we feel is worthy of this tour. Hall Of The Mountain King is a staple to many heavy metal fans around the globe, and it certainly deserves a party. The band has been in rehearsal mode for quite some time now, and really sounds fantastic. A few more weeks and we will all be on auto-pilot. It’s going to be epic! This opportunity — and there will only be these 15 shows — comes along once in a lifetime, and we have prepared a very special night for all who attend.”

The band’s schedule is now as follows:

16 – Ritz Theatre – Tampa/Ybor City, Florida
23 – Brückenforum – Bonn, Germany
24 – Graspop Festival – Dessel, Belgium
25 – Biebob – Vosselaar, Belgium
27 – venue tba – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
29 – Turock – Essen, Germany
30 – Dokkem Festival – Raard, Netherlands

3 – Colos-Saal – Aschaffenburg, Germany
4 – Zoetermeer – Boerderij, Netherlands ,
5 – Biebob – Vosselaar, Belgium
7 – Byscenen – Haugesund, Norway
9 – Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland
10 – Live Club – Milan, Italy
12 – Bang Your Head Festival – Balingen, Germany
13 – 013 – Tilburg, Netherlands
15 – Garage – London, UK

Following is a rundown of the VIP package details for the Tampa show on June 16th:

“In order to give fans a more direct and special experience to this upcoming celebration, we have decided to offer a very limited number of VIP packages. One hundred (100) tickets total will be made available. It will be offered on a first come/first serve basis. Payment for this package can only be made through PayPal.

Details: VIP Ticket Package $75.00

Package includes:
– 1 general admission ticket to the show
– 1 25th Anniversary HOTMK tour T-shirt (large or extra large only)
– 1 VIP laminate
– 1 signed photo
– entrance into the venue for JOP’s soundcheck
– priority entrance into the venue when public doors open.

Note: Time of entrance and when to pick up your VIP package will be made available one week before show date. All VIP ticket holders will need to exit the venue after soundcheck and then re-enter when official doors open. You must specify when you pay for your package(s) what size t-shirt you want ( L or XL only). NO changes to shirt sizes will be honored once payment has been made. Payment is through PayPal only and there are no refunds for any reason. This is limited to 100 tickets…period!

Important: Those that have already purchased tickets can send $50.00 via PayPal and you will be added to the VIP will-call list. You must have
your paid ticket to enter the venue for this event. No concert ticket, no entrance. And we are not responsible for any ticket problems whatsoever.

This is on a firstcome/first serve basis and we make no guarantees. If you pay for a VIP package and it is sold out, your money will be returned to you. We suggest you book it now!

VIP Ticket ordering process:

1. Log on to your paypal account.
2. Click “Send Money”
3. Type: as payment recipient.
4. Fill in: $75.00 as amount to be sent.
5. Comment box: Specify your t-shirt size ( L or XL only ) and the name that tickets will be picked up at will-call. (You cannot change the T-shirt size or the will call name once your order has been placed… you have been warned)
6. Confirm information and send payment…you’re done!

See you soon… and get ready!”

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ZAK STEVENS – “I Am Always In Favor Of SAVATAGE Doing Any Type Of Project”

January 15th, 2012

John Parks from Legendary Rock Interviews spoke with singer Zak Stevens (CIRCLE II CIRCLE, SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) recently about a number of topics. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

LRI: Were you guys all taken aback by what happened with ‘Christmas Eve Sarajevo’ which eventually paved the way for Trans Siberian Orchestra?

Stevens: “Yeah, we were taken aback because we had this rock record, this Savatage record and all of a sudden these two DJ’s, one in Tampa and another guy in New York City got ahold of that song and said “This is a major hit” and just leapt on it and played it. TSO was pretty much born at that point in 1997. That’s what I think about when I think about 1997 for sure. It really created a strange situation because the rest of the album is such hard rock and metal stuff that you really aren’t prepared to have a follow up single for something like that. It really just BECAME this massive Christmas hit and at that point Paul said “Hey, we can make a spinoff and form this Trans Siberian Orchestra and really be prepared in case something like this happens again and we can re-release something every year and be ready. All that good business stuff was very well-considered as you can see from TSO’s 13 year history it really has paid off and worked great which we have all gotten to enjoy and are thankful for. At the time that song took off though it was VERY strange because we were all just looking at each other like “What next single? (laughs)”. It was very unexpected and very weird and to be honest I still think it’s even stranger that hardly any of the majority of TSO fans realize that the Sarajevo song was initially released on a Savatage album that came out in 1996.”

LRI: I have to ask. With the entire catalog being remastered and the DVD/hits package out what would you say to putting Savatage back together for another album or at least some special show dates?

Stevens: “Yeah, definitely John. People have been obviously asking me that question for a long time and the guys in the band know my stance on that. I am always in favor of SAVATAGE doing any type of project. I would love to do it again just for all the memories and to be able to look across the stage and see the guys again. It would be unbelievable after all these years and of course the fans would just love it. I don’t know how much of a chance there is of that happening because I don’t know all of that inside business and the talk of how that’s going as much as Paul or Jon do.”

LRI: Chris Caffery has told me that despite the success of TSO he misses Savatage

Stevens: “I know, as do I. We talked about it about a short while ago on the phone and it’s funny (laughs)…….It seems to me that every time we play a show as TSO it makes it that Savatage is a little bit further and further from going away completely so it’s actually working the opposite as some people might believe (laughs). The funny thing is I would LOVE to do it, they can depend on me for that, hopefully something like that could work out someday like you said, even if it were for a few little things it would be a lot of fun. There is not a question whatsoever about whether I would do it and they know that. It would only take ONE phone call and I’m in.”

Read the entire interview here.

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Machines Of Grace – Guitarist Matt Leff

December 22nd, 2010


Machines Of Grace – Guitarist Matt Leff

Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall

Thanks to Jan Rosenberg at CMM Marketing for the help to get this interview done.

Thanks to CMM Marketing for the promo pictures of the band.




Here is an interview I did with guitarist Matt Leff in the new band Machines Of Grace. The well known Zak Stevens (ex- Savatage, Circle2Circle) and Jeff Plate (Trans Sibiran Orchestra, ex- Savatage, Metal Church) are two of the members of this new group. Leff  and I talked about the band and their debut album amongst other things including the impact that Ronnie James Dio had on Matt Leff and the band. Machines Of Grace plays hardrock and even though their album has been out for about a year now I thought it was time for the band to be featured in

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SAVATAGE LEGENDS REUNITE TO HELP KIDS: Classic line-up performs together for the first time in 10 years!

August 29th, 2010
Rockstar Superstar Project -  “Serenity”

Rockstar Superstar Project - “Serenity”

Chicago, IL- August 28, 2010 – Metal giants Zak Stevens, Jon Olivia and Chris Caffery appear together on a track called “Claws,” off the upcoming “Serenity” CD by Rockstar Superstar Project. “Serenity,” which is the first ever music CD recommended by Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, has taken nearly two years to complete and is almost here, just in time to kick off National Recovery Month 2010.

“My brother and I were and still are HUGE Savatage fans and we thought it was a no-brainer to invite them to participate on this project. “Savatage is one of those bands that will live on forever in the hearts of metal fans all over the world and what better of a band to perform the heaviest track on the CD?” says Super Star

“Our goal with the CD is to send a strong message that living a life without drugs and alcohol is the only way to achieve your dreams,” said Rock Star. “Since we know there are kids who would rather listen to music than read a book, we are using music to reach them in the language they understand.”

Joining the fight via guest appearances on the CD are music icons including Cherie Currie (RUNAWAYS), Stevie Rachelle, (TUFF), George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA), Carlos Cavazo (QUIET RIOT, RATT), Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER), Zak Stevens (SAVATAGE, CIRCLE II CIRCLE), Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA), Bruce Kulick (KISS, UNION), Howard Leese (HEART), Bob Kulick (MEAT LOAF), Lorraine Lewis (ex-FEMME FATALE, ROKTOPUSS), David Schultz (GOO GOO DOLLS, BERLIN), Veronica Freeman (BENEDICTUM), Ted Poley (DANGER DANGER), Todd La Torre (CRIMSON GLORY),and of course Rock Star aka Marc Kancler (Guitars) and Super Star aka Kris Kancler (Drums) and many more.

Check out “Claws” here

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra Live In Vancouver: Nov. 30, 2007

January 3rd, 2008

Friday, November 30, 2007
General Motors Place
Vancouver, BC  Canada


***Live Review By Lord of The Wasteland

(***NOTE: Photo approval was not granted for this show)


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June 20th, 2007




Canadian thrash band Annihilator is the lifework of guitarist Jeff Waters, who founded the band in Vancouver in 1984. It took almost five years and numerous line up changes before band released their 1989 debut, ALICE IN HELL, which was an unqualified triumph and epitomized the state of the art in terms of thinking man’s thrash metal in every aspect. Album was a success but more changes followed. Original singer Randy Rampage decided to leave and he was then replaced by Coburn Pharr who recorded album NEVER NEVERLAND with the band. Album was again very successful and band did a lot of touring across the world with such names as Judas Priest. Third album SET THE WORLD ON FIRE was released in 1993 with Wayne Darley being the only remaining member alongside with Jeff Waters himself. That album was a way different compared to older albums, it was much more oriented into pop/rock but it still did quite well during the time when grunge invasion was about to come. In 1994 band lost their record contract and they broke up but it wasn’t too long when Annihilator resurfaced with another line up. Band released a series of albums: KING OF THE KILL, REFRESH THE DEMON and REMAINS where Jeff handled vocal duties by himself while but Annihilator never again enjoyed anything similar to their original success � despite Water’s’ retreat to thrashier terrain. In 1999 band did another attempt to re-find their glory days when they re-united with their original singer Randy Rampage. Band released album CRITERIA FOR A BLACK WIDOW but reunion didn’t last too long until Randy was out again because of his drug and alcohol problems. It was time of another singer and then Joe Comeau stepped in. Annihilator released two high quality albums CARNIVAL DIABLOS and WAKING THE FURY with Joe before he was surprisingly out after the release of live album DOUBLE LIVE ANNILIATION in 2003. Canadian native Dave Padden replaced Comeau and he�s been in the band since then. Annihilator has lived though many ups and downs in their career but what�s most important, band has always survived and now they�re once again back with their 12�Th studio release called �Metal�. Band visited in Finland, for the first time in sixteen years, on last April while they were on tour as a special guest for U.S band. I had an opportunity to sit down with Jeff Waters in Helsinki before their show in House of Culture and here are the results of our lengthy discussion� ENJOY! 

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Posted in 2007 | Comments (0)

JON OLIVA – Jon Oliva’s Pain,Savatage, TSO

May 1st, 2007



Legendary singer, keybordist, guitarist, songwriter etc Jon Oliva has made a long and successful career in music world. Although he had already played in several bands in the seventies it wasn’t until the mid eighties that he found  real success with Savatage which was originally formed by Jon and his brother Criss Oliva. The band released many highly praised masterpieces like “Gutter Ballet”, “Hall Of The Mountain King” and the rock opera “Streets”. 1993 was a tragic year for Jon and Savatage when Criss Oliva died in a car accident. Despite the huge loss, Savatage decided to continue without Criss. The band released three more high quality studio albums: “Handful of Rain”, “The Wake of Magellan” and “Poets and Madmen” before band slowly went on hiatus in 2004. Although it’s been very quiet in Savatage camp since then there has been a lot of going on in the world of Jon Oliva. He’s been extremely busy with the rock orchestra band TSO (Trans Siberian Orchestra) and his new band Jon Oliva’s Pain. The latter just released their second studio album “Maniacal Renderings”. I had the honor to meet up with the legend while Jon Oliva’s Pain visited in < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Copenhagen last April and here is the latest info concerning Jon’s latest activities and future plans …

Transcription by Andy Osborn

Pictures by Marko Syrjälä and archives


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Posted in 2007 | Comments (0)

Circle II Circle – Vocalist Zak Stevens

January 13th, 2006

Circle II Circle
Circle II Circle – Vocalist Zak Stevens
Interviewed by EvilG

Transcription by Duke
Live Circle II Circle pics from

Circle II Circle’s Zak Stevens attained international fame during his stint as vocalist with metal legends Savatage. Unlike former members of some bands, Zak did not burn any bridges when he decided to take his leave from Savatage. After a short time out of the spotlight, Zak returned with his new band, Circle II Circle. He used the songwriting partners of both Chris Caffery and Jon Oliva (Savatage) for the two albums that Circle II Circle has released. In this lengthy interview, we talk to Zak about his time in Savatage, leaving the band, and the sometimes bumpy road that has been Circle II Circle.


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Posted in 2006 | Comments (0)

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