JON OLIVA Says SAVATAGE Was One Of First Progressive Metal Bands

Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, JON OLIVA'S PAIN). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Songfacts: Would you agree that SAVATAGE was one of the first-ever true prog metal bands? Jon: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I think that really started with "Hall Of The Mountain King", but then definitely from "Gutter Ballet" on, we definitely expanded. We had done three or four records that were basically the same, except for "Fight For The Rock", which we don't count. That's like the red-headed stepchild. But yeah, we started going that route, definitely with "Gutter" and "Streets". I had never heard of the term prog rock until a few years ago. I didn't know what it was. Back in 1987 I don't remember that term being around. Was it? Songfacts: The only other band that may have been described that way is maybe QUEENSRŸCHE, but I really don't remember them being described like that around the time that also SAVATAGE was around, back in '87. Jon: Yeah, it's weird. I'm wondering when that prog base first started popping up as a new genre. I've got to check that out. That's going to bother me all day now. I want to know when the first time someone said "prog rock." Songfacts: I think DREAM THEATER may have been the first band to be called prog metal. Jon: If you really think about it, the first prog-type band was probably ELP. But I see what you're saying. DREAM THEATER to me, I like that band a lot. I think the drummer is amazing, just too many solos for me. I can't help it, man. They're great players. You can't take away the talent. These guys are unbelievably talented. Some of those solo sections are just like, "Okaaaay," but great band. People like 'em, so people like 20-minute guitar solos.

JON LORD: ‘All Those Years Ago’ Photobook Due Before End Of Year

Rufus Stone Limited Editions has announced a new, lavishly produced photobook on the life and career of the late DEEP PURPLE keyboardistJon Lord. Currently in production, the book will feature exclusive, never-before-seen, personal family photographs, contributions from Jon's colleagues, friends and family, unpublished professional images and new, previously unreleased music and a live DVD. Says the company: "At Rufus Stone, we always wanted to produce a large format, mostly photographic book of Jon Lord's incredible and respected career in the music industry. Jon's illness put this plan on hold but though he is no longer with us to contribute in person, it has been decided by [Jon's wife] Vicky Lord to produce a book, with the family, friends and musicians

Ex-SLAYER Fill-In Drummer: ‘It Was An Honor And Privilege To Be Part Of Their History Again’

Raquel Figlo of Heavy Metal Hill conducted an interview with drummerJon Dette (TESTAMENT, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, ANIMETAL USA) at Thomas Lang's Big Drum Bonanza, which was held July 3-7 at Drum Channel Studios in Oxnard, California. You can now watch the chat below. On doing double duty with SLAYER and ANTHRAX during this year's Soundwave festival in Australia: Dette: "Well, I had just gotten off tour [with ANTHRAX] before [the Soundwave] tour started, so I really familiar with… I had already been into their music, and just knowing it for so many years. And the same with the SLAYER thing. I had three days to rehearse with them before going to Australia to do that tour. But I had known the songs for years, and [since] I [previously] played with SLAYER back in the '90s, I was very familiar with playing those songs. And when I listened to them again, it was like riding a bike; it was like I'd never forgotten [how to play it]. Again, it just falls back to the fact that I'm such a fan that I listened to their music not just to try to learn the drumming; it was part of my daily [routine]… When I was listening to metal [most of the time], not even daily, but every hour; it was, like, non-stop. And those were the bands that I listened to:METALLICA, ANTHRAX, SLAYER, MEGADETH, TESTAMENT… So it's definitely helped as far as memory retention in learning the songs."

JON OLIVA Says European Fans Seem To Be ‘More Into The Live-Performance Thing’

Matt Coe of recently conducted an interview with JON OLIVA'S PAIN and SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva. A few excerpts from the chat follow below: "Raise The Curtain" is the first solo album in your career. Can you inform the readers why now is the right time to release a solo record and what type of guidelines did you put on the songwriting that maybe differentiate this release from your work in SAVATAGE or JON OLIVA'S PAIN? Jon Oliva: The idea actually came to do the solo record when guitaristMatt LaPorte passed away. A friend of mine, Dan Fasciano, who you see on the record, co-wrote a lot of the material with me. I was working withTSO (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) in the afternoons and Dan and I would hang out in the mornings and we just started writing material. I had a few riffs of [late SAVATAGE guitarist and Jon's brother] Criss's [Oliva] left that I wanted to do something with and it wasn't really planned that way. Losing Matt, I didn'

JON OLIVA: More Solo Album Details Revealed

JON OLIVA'S PAIN and SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva will release his first-ever solo album, "Raise The Curtain", on June 5 via AFM Records. The 11-song CD, which contains ideas collected over the course of the last four or five years, was tracked this past winter at Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida with producer Tom Morris, with Jon handling laying down nearly all the instrument tracks and vocals himself as well as playing drums on three songs.