Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Holiday Rock
The incredible Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a rock orchestra founded by Paul O’Neill, Robert Kinkel, and Jon Oliva in 1996. O’Neill had managed and produced rock bands including Aerosmith, Humble Pie and Scorpions, later writing for and producing Savatage, where he began working with Kinkel and Oliva.
The roots of TSO are found in Savatage, a traditional heavy metal band that gradually progressed into an operatic metal act. Savatage’s rock operas, starting with STREETS, began the experimentation with what would become TSO culminating on the track “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24” from DEAD WINTER DEAD. This track was a minor hit for the struggling band, and demonstrated that there might be an audience for the symphonic metal approach to holiday themes.
The concept for a band playing Christmas carols in a rock opera style was not received warmly by the industry, but quickly proved a success with adults as well as young people.
In the recording studio, Trans-Siberian Orchestra uses a full 60+ piece orchestra and a choir. Trans-Siberian Orchestra released their debut album Christmas Eve and Other Stories in 1996, and it remains their best-selling album. Their 1998 release The Christmas Attic was similarly a concept album with a Christmas theme.
In 2000, they released their first (and to date only) non-Christmas album, Beethoven’s Last Night. Beethoven’s Last Night is a concept album about Ludwig van Beethoven’s last night on earth, during which he meets Mephistopheles.
In 2001, TSO released The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, followed by The Lost Christmas Eve in 2004. Also in 2004, the band released a box set titled, The Christmas Trilogy. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is currently working on a new release, Night Castle.
Once when asked what Trans-Siberian Orchestra was about, Paul O’Neill replied, “It’s about creating great art. When asked to define what great art was, Paul said, “The purpose of art is to create an emotional response in the person that is exposed to that art. And there are three categories of art; bad art, good art and great art. Bad art will elicit no emotional response in the person that is exposed to it, i.e.; a song you hear in an elevator and it does nothing to you, a picture on a wall that gives you the same emotional response as if the wall had been blank, a movie that chews up time. Good art will make you feel an emotion that you have felt before; you see a picture of a forest and you remember the last time you went fishing with your dad, you hear a song about love and you remember the last time you were in love. Great art will make you feel an emotion you have never felt before; seeing the pieta, the world famous sculpture by Michelangelo, can cause someone to feel the pain of losing a child even if they’ve never had one. And when you’re trying for these emotions the easiest one to trigger is anger.”
Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s main web site is http://www.trans-siberian.com
The group recently launched a new “Fan Club” web site http://www.trans-siberianexpress.com to visit.
Seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert is a must. Their shows are an amazing array of lights, lasers and music. First timers will never forget the moving experience. Loyal concert returners will remember why they keep coming back for more TSO, year after year.