THE TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA INTERVIEWS: PAUL O'NEILL

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Interviews: Paul O'Neill by Brad Parmerter
 
As the Trans-Siberian Orchestra European tour was winding down earlier this year, TSO creator and producer Paul O'Neill was back in Florida working in the studio on one of a number of potential projects. I hadn't caught up with O'Neill since May of 2012 and thought it would be a good time to find out his thoughts on the whirlwind eighteen months he and the band had just experienced and to see what might lay ahead for the near future.

The Lost Christmas Eve, the final installment of TSO's Christmas Trilogy, had recently finished its encore presentation as the featured story on the winter tour and that leaves an opportunity open for what might come in 2014. However, to start off the new year, a massive show in Berlin rang in the 2014 with a bang and led directly into a tour of England and mainland Europe which saw TSO performing, for the first time, a more traditional rock concert, sans a rock opera centerpiece. It was on the final day of that tour that Paul and I started our quick catch-up; three hours later we concluded.

We dove head first into the variations between the first and second tours of The Lost Christmas Eve, upcoming ideas for 2014's winter tour, the New Year's Eve show in front of millions live and on TV, what happened to the missing reels of Savatage's Streets recordings, the importance of a good support team and crew, Daryl Pediford, the long-awaited Romanov project, his proudest moment with TSO, if we could ever see a live video release of Savatage, the five-year plan for TSO, what advice he received from John Lennon, and much more.

 
On the importance of putting on an amazing show:
So I explain to them that we don't have the right to take a family's money from a mother, father and two kids without giving them the very best that we can. Especially kids because they're so young. I'm sure you know that great Mark Twain quote, "I don't know why, but my father became so much smarter when I became thirty." To make kids appreciate that just because we're here doesn't mean we're entitled to keep it. I always use round numbers, I say, just pretend that we did one year exactly one million tickets and just say the show is two-and-a-half hours long and everybody lives from their doorstep to the building to their seat, forty-five minutes there and forty-five minutes back, including parking, traffic jams; which adds up to four hours, which isn't possible, but we're doing it very conservatively. So you're averaging four hours per person. We don't have the right to waste four million human hours without giving them something that is really, truly great. When you look in their eyes you can see the sparks going off. When you talk about money you get that blank look, but when you talk about four million human hours, that's a lot and it makes them appreciate
 
 
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