Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Album Reviews: Karjajuht by Metsatöll

Metsatöll is a folk metal band located in the heart of Estonia. I remember when I first heard this band, it was back in 1999 when they released Terast Mis Hangund Me Hinge. Now it is 2014 and they are releasing a new album which I am excited about. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to Karjajuht, Metsatöll's newest album which comes out May 27th. What did I think?

I absolutely love Külmking, the first track. The instrumentals are insanely epic during the bridge part of this tune. This song is not in English, so the story will be hard to understand if you don't understand Estonian. 

Metal music is all about excitement and Lööme Mesti is definitely an exciting song. The instrumentals are exceptionally amazing. I love the use of the flutes, torupill, kannel, and goathorn in this tune. Of course Markus brings the song to life with his rocking vocals.

See On See Maa starts out slow. The flutes in this tune really stand out, along with the mouth harp. I am really loving the vocal delivery, along with the story itself. I have to be honest, when I first heard this song, I was highly reminded of Rammstein meets Il Divo.

The flute arrangement in Must Hunt is so epic. I do love the vocals in this song because they are polished and I how they go so well with the instrumental arrangement. The story is also quite exciting. 

Estonian as a language is so beautiful. Terasest Taotud Tee is an exciting song. I know that I keep talking about how great the instrumental is, but I cannot help it. The story line is awesome, but the vocals really bring it to life. 

The drums are really exciting in Öö. I actually find myself imagining an Irish dancer, dancing to metal music when I first heard this amazing addition to Karjajuht. I am really loving the use of the stink drum in this tune.

Sometimes the heaviest of metal can be so incredibly beautiful. What I love about Tôrrede Kôhtudes is the instrumental arrangement. I love how the song starts out so fluidly innocent and gets dark once Markus comes in. 

When I first heard Metslase Veri, I was reminded of the army. The drums are insanely solid in this tune, making it quite memorable. I also love the use of the flutes, along with the mouth harp, goathorn, ängipill, torupill, and kannel. 

Folk metal is one of those subgenres that really brings out an artist's creativity. And Surmamüür is proof of this. The story line is quite pronounced in this tune. The vocals are quite raw, as well.

The tenth track is Mullast. When it comes to heavy metal, this song really does deliver a strong message. The vocal delivery it outstanding, which I really like. The use of the flutes and ängipill is something to appreciate, as well.

Karjajuht is not only the album title, but the eleventh song on the album. And what an exciting song it is. In fact, I cannot stop listening to this tune. This is definitely my favorite song on the entire album. 

Talisman is the final track on Karjajuht. It's softer than most of the songs on this album, but still remains true to it's roots. As a strong ballad, this song is the most beautiful song on the album. Metsatöll saved the best for last.

Karjajuht by Metsatöll is available on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Would I recommend this album to a friend? Absolutely. Especially if you love metal music. This album epitomizes folk metal at it's finest. Would I purchase this album for myself? Yes. For more information about Metsatöll, please visit today.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Music Talk: Exclusive Interview with Lil Jon

Lil Jon is a rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, international DJ, husband, father, and musical genius. Born in the heart of Atlanta, he has worked with everyone from Usher to Ludacris to David Guetta to the Ying Yang Twins to R. Kelly to Soulja Boy to LMFAO and more. He has appeared in an array of movies such as Soul Plane, Date Movie, and Scary Movie 4.

He has also made various guest appearances on shows such as Ridiculousness, Chappelle's Show, and The Jenny McCarthy Show. He was also on the 11th Season of Celebrity Apprentice where he then, appeared again for the All-Star show which was the 6th installment of the reality series.

When it comes to Lil Jon and music, it just never stops. Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with him about his music including his latest hit 'Turn Down For What' and his future projects, including a potential movie. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Behind every musical genius lies a major source of inspiration. Tell me a little more about who influenced you to get involved with music...
Music was always played in my house growing up. My uncle lived with us and was a DJ. He had a big collection of records. Also, my parents had house parties a lot. Even if it was a Saturday morning, mom would be playin' music while cleaning. As I got older, I had a house party one day and was amazed at the way the DJ could control the crowd, so I asked him to teach me. He's still a friend to this day and we basically grew up together. Emporer Searcy from Hot 107.9 in Atlanta.

(Q) Music is more than just art. It is a language. When you are writing music, do you listen to any music?

I get inspiration from various stuff. It depends on what I'm going for. Sometimes it just comes out of no where and really just I'm going through that day or the vibe in the studio.

(Q) You have worked with everyone from Usher to Ludacris to the Ying Yang Twins to Too Short to LMFAO and many more. Is there a specific artist or band you haven't worked with, that you want to work with?

I want to do some shit with Jay and Kanye. I think we could do some incredible shit.

(Q) In 2013, you collaborated with DJ Snake and released "Turn Down For What". I absolutely love the song! What would you say is different about this tune versus the other stuff you have created?
There isn't that much difference. Same formula really. A catchy phrase and a lot of energy! Something that people can really connect with in their life.

(Q) Your music has touched into various genres, but I am curious Jon, is there is a specific genre that you have always wanted to work with, but haven't?

Shit...I think I've done everything. HAHAHA!

(Q) Aretha or Etta?
Aretha, man!

(Q) The question on every fans mind is, what is next for Lil Jon? Tell me a little more about what you have in store us...

I wanna drop a new album this year. I also wanna do more TV. Me and Aoki are talkin' about doin' a movie!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Victoria's Secret Shopping: Very Sexy Orange Ombre

I bought this bra from the Victoria's Secret website. In the picture on the website, it looks like a cross between neon peach and sunset glow. However; this is what it looks like in person. I actually think it's prettier in person than in the picture on the website. The ombre style, the color morphing is stunning.


5 Great Vegan Barbecue Recipes For Memorial Day

Memorial Day is approaching us. With only a few weeks away, it is tradition to honor the people of the United States Armed Forces who have fought and died for our country. This special day occurs the last Monday in May, making it an honorable federal holiday. Every year, millions of Americans gather with family, friends, and other loved ones to celebrate by having various cookouts and barbecues which rely on great company, great entertainment, and most important, great food. So what are the best vegan barbecue recipes for Memorial Day?

1. Lightlife Smoked Sausage Kabobs with Beer-Mustard Sauce. A barbecue without kabobs and beer is like sunshine without the sun, I would say. This vegan recipe really epitomizes what good barbecue is all about. Substitute the butter in this recipe for vegan butter and you are good to go.
2. Lightlife Smart Wings with Blue Cheese Dip. Some of the greatest foods at barbecues are those traditional specialties that you would never think would ever be vegan. One of them being wings. Although I have to add, instead of using mayo to make the dip, substitute it with non-dairy ingredients.
3. Daiya Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. Is there anyone on earth that hates macaroni and cheese? What if I told you that you can enjoy this classic without any dairy or eggs. And it is still tastes delicious? Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods and this, my friends, is one of my favorite barbecue recipes.

4. Gardein Chipotle Chick'n Kebabs. Some of the greatest food I have ever enjoyed at a barbecue or outdoor event has been seasoned with chipotle. What I love about this amazing Gardein addition is that it can work as both an entrée and an appetizer.
5. Tofurky Andouille Po Boy. Some of the greatest barbecue food I have ever enjoyed is influenced by New Orleans and this Cajun classic proves why it is one of the greatest vegan barbecue recipes to enjoy this Memorial Day.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Album Reviews: Living On Borrowed Time by Sworn Enemy

Sworn Enemy is a hardcore metal band located in the heart of the big apple. Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to their latest album, Living On Borrowed Time. What did I think?

The first track, Do Or Die is a very uplifting hardcore tune. It is definitely a great way to start the album. I love everything from the actual delivery of this song to the guitar parts to the exciting chorus line - "It's Do Or Die!"

Have you ever heard a song so exciting you start to find yourself head banging? Hard Way is one of those songs. I love this song because it's exhilirating, it's angry, and it's intoxicating.

I am loving the guitar parts in these songs and with Broken Hope the use of heavy riffs continues. The bridge isn't as hardcore as one can expect, but the vocal delivery makes this song come to life. I love the lyrical part in this song.

When I first heard Slipping Away, I was immediately reminded of Disturbed meets Cannibal Corpse. The story in this song is quite moving. Although I am loving the guitar parts, including the riffs, I have to be honest, the beats in this song are what makes this tune exciting.

The excitement continues with No Apologies. I am loving the beats, along with the strong bass line. The lyrical delivery is awesome, but the story itself is something special. This is one of the strongest tunes on the album.

As I continue listening to this album, I am at the sixth track, One Eye Open. This song sends a powerful message. I love how the beginning of the song embraces the use of strings. It's as if it is balancing dark and light. This is one of my favorite songs I have heard yet on the album.

The beginning of this song is so exciting. I cannot stop head banging. Whenever you listen to No Mercy, you cannot help but head bang. The story is incredible and I am loving the vocal delivery, along with the strong chorus long. It is one of the most exciting songs yet on the album. "No Mercy, No Mercy, No Mercy!"

When you think of something you have experienced in life, do you ever forget it? We can try to forget, but I don't think we can. Never Forget is a tune that embraces that concept. The screaming in this song is polished. I am totally loving this tune.

Stand And Deliver is one of those strong uptempo numbers that really embraces the power of anger while delivering it effectively on the listener. This hardcore addition reminds me of Rage Against The Machines meets Faith No More.

Does life change or is it a part of our imagination? We are at track ten. I absolutely love Nothing Changes because the lyrical delivery goes effortlessly with the story line.

The final song, is Rise Above. I am loving the guitar parts immensely in this tune. The chorus line is really strong and I am loving how the beats come out of no where to surprise you.
Living On Borrowed Time by Sworn Enemy was released on Tuesday, May 13th. Would I recommend this album to a friend? Yes, but only if you like hardcore music. If you do not like screamers, you aren't gonna love this album. Would I purchase this album? Absolutely. For more information about Sworn Enemy, please visit today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Victoria's Secret Shopping: Bombshell Deco Fan Foil Bikini

Say hello to my newest swimwear addition. Victoria's Secret Bombshell Deco Fan Foil with Pink and Gold. Absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to wear this. Everything from the unique style to the amazing design. I'm traveling soon to Bora Bora so this is going to be perfect. VS not only makes beautiful bra and panty sets, but swimwear too.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Victoria's Secret Shopping: Very Sexy Pink Daisy

When I walked into Victoria's Secret in Bozeman, MT I found myself leaving with a Very Sexy bra in Pink Daisy. As I proceeded to shop for matching panties, I could not find any  panties to match in my size, as they were either in a small or a large (I am a medium). So I decided to browse online. It was then that I noticed they were available in a medium. I ordered the panties to match from the official website. I love the color collaboration of bubble gum pink and bright red. Quite fun yet seductive at the same time. Not only perfect for Valentine's Day, but any day of the week.

5 reasons why Adam Lambert is perfect for Queen

Adam Lambert is a singer, songwriter, and actor who struck instant fame when he auditioned for the reality hit series, American Idol. He became a world-class sensation virtually instantly and as a result, became one of the greatest forces in the music industry.

Lambert recently made headlines when Queen announced that Adam would be joining them for a special tour, where he sold out shows. Although the tour was originally 19 dates, an additional 5 days have been added. As much as I love Freddie Mercury, the original front man, I do believe Adam Lambert is perfect for Queen. Why?

1. Voice. When a singer can deliver every single performance and still have polished passaggio, as well as, timbre, you know they are serious. Not only does Lambert have excellent control of his voice, but his power and range are ultimately incredible.

2. Projection. What I love about Lambert goes beyond his amazing vocals, it is the fact that he can deliver and engage the crowd in a sense. When he sings, not only do you know it's him, but he makes you believe what he is singing.

3. Style and Image. Lambert epitomizes individualism when it comes to his style and image. Although it is somewhat eccentric, it is never scandalous nor boring. This is how Mercury was, which makes Lambert right for the band.

4. Personality and Charisma. His personality, as well as, charisma is a lot like Farrokh Bulsara's in many ways. When someone is a good person naturally, their personality effects everyone around them.

5. Influence. When someone knows the material, it is highly beneficial. Lambert has stated various times how he has been influenced by Queen and Freddie Mercury. When someone respects the artists they work with, before working with them, you know they are right for the band.

Music Talk: Exclusive Interview with Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a progressive rock band founded in 1993 by Paul O'Neill. I think this band is one of the greatest acts in the history of music. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to the founder of the band, Paul O'Neill about the music, the final installment of the Christmas Trilogy - The Lost Christmas Eve, and life. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Tell me a little more about Trans-Siberian Orchestra...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is technically a progressive rock band, but in reality it is an idea and an ideal. The band is musically driven rather than celebrity driven, a phenomenon that seemed to have taken off in the early 80’s with the birth of MTV. To our knowledge, we are the first band to draw our members from every genre of music, be it rock, classical, theatrical, R&B, gospel, etc. We draw our members from countries all over the world: America, Germany, Korea, Ukraine, Great Britain, Holland, as well as every generation. We have members as young as seventeen and I’m the oldest one in the band. The band was designed to push the boundaries of what a rock band could do both on recordings as well as in concert. Our goal is to make the best albums and live concert experiences as possible, sparing no amount of time or expense while charging fans the lowest possible price.

(Q) Behind every great genius lies a source of inspiration. Tell me a little more about who or what inspired you to create Trans-Siberian Orchestra…

When I was a kid growing up in New York City and first began to play guitar, we would try to write songs where the lyrics were so good they didn’t need melody and would stand up as just poetry by themselves. We’d then try to write a melody that was so infectious that it didn’t need the lyrics, so that when you combined the two they would create an alloy where the sum of the parts was greater than the whole. When you heard the lyric and melody combined, you couldn’t imagine them apart. Once we had done that to the best of our ability, we were always trying to find a way to make the music have more emotional impact.

The band, in my opinion, that first came up with a way to do that was "The Who" when they did the first rock opera, "Tommy". When I first heard "Pinball Wizard" I loved it, and when I bought the album and figured out the pinball champion was deaf dumb and blind, it was even better. When I first heard "Heaven on their Minds" on the radio I loved the song, but when I picked up the album Jesus Christ Superstar and found out that it was sung by Judas, the song was even more intense. That was why, when we first started Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the original concept was to do six rock operas, a trilogy about Christmas, and the occasional non-rock opera album. We try to write the songs so that, like "Tommy" or "The Wall", they stand up individually, but when woven together create a tapestry that has a story, thus giving the album more emotional impact, and if we are lucky cause the listener to feel an emotion they never felt before.

(Q) Queen, The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Aerosmith. Tell me a little more about how these bands influenced you…

I’ve never heard of any of these bands, let alone any of their music… Only kidding. Had the bands you just mentioned not existed, TSO would not exist in it’s present format. It’s a little scary how dead on you are with the biggest musical influences of my life. The rock opera: blatantly from "The Who". The marriage of classical and rock: blatantly from "Emerson, Lake & Palmer" and "Queen". The budget-be-damned light shows from "Pink Floyd", and the street edginess of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. TSO is fortunate enough to have Greg Lake appear with us both as a special guest live and on the album. In my mind, Greg Lake is the father of progressive rock just as Black Sabbath is the father of heavy metal.

Greg is very generous in sharing his wisdom from his years with King Crimson and ELP. He once told me that progressive rock is the ultimate form of music, the only form of music that has no boundaries. It’s part of the name, ‘progressive’, it is always pushing the edge. If you’re in a blues band and you play jazz, it’s no longer a blues band. If you’re in a jazz band and you play reggae, it’s no longer a jazz band. If you’re in a reggae band and you play a Strauss Waltz, it’s no longer a reggae band. But progressive rock does not have to abide by any normal rules, which is why bands like Rush on ‘Spirit of the Radio’ can go from rock to reggae and back to rock and nobody says ‘boo’." Greg Lake is like the Aristotle of rock and roll, everytime he speaks, I feel like I should be taking notes.

(Q) I am a huge fan of you. In fact, I think last year alone, the song 'Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24' was both my ringtone and ring back tone for the entire year. I just never changed it because I couldn't.

First of all, thank you very much. Hearing things like that is the best part of being in this industry. When new members join, especially kids, we always tell them that the fans own TSO, and the minute we forget that is the minute we start to decline.

(Q) When it comes to music, I think of it as a language. I don't think the world could live without it, to be honest. Going back to inspiration, I have to ask, whenever you write, what inspires you most when you create music?

Wow. Great question. Complicated answer. I’ll take it in sections. First, I totally agree with you that music is a universal language that when done right needs no translation. I truly appreciated this over the years with one song in particular, "Carmina Burana" a song whose lyrics were written in the dark ages by a barbarian monk and the melody in the 1930’s by a classical composer. I first heard it performed in Germany in the ‘70’s with a full symphony and choir in an audience of mostly rich, older, upper crust blue bloods and it totally blew my mind. Later on in the ‘80’s I was seeing Ozzy Osbourne in concert, and before Ozzy took the stage, a tape started to play. It was "Carmina Burana" and the place went nuts. In the ‘90’s a friend asked me to go see a rap group in an inner city club, before the group went on stage, a tape went on and the place went nuts, it was "Carmina Burana". I was thinking, "here’s a song whose lyrics were written in the 1800’s the melody during the great depression and it was effortlessly leaping the atlantic ocean to blow away aristocrats in Europe, Suburban kids in an arena, and inner city kids in a rap club". Those who don’t know it, the lyrics are in Latin, which I’m fairly sure most of Ozzy Osbourne’s fans don’t speak. Only music has that kind of power.

The second part of your question, about the world not being able to live without music, I agree. Music has the ability to bring peace to the tortured mind, inspire crowds of people to feel as one. After the Greeks in Delphi had discovered the Chromatic Scale during the Sixth century, they said very famously that "music soothes the savage breast." They did not know why, but when people with mental illness heard melodies played on a harp, they calmed down. Now for the third, and hardest, part of your question. Ever since I started working in this industry in the mid-70’s there was a basic belief in the industry that when an artist reached a certain level of financial success they lost the drive to create. This is why so many bands that had done great albums early in their career haven’t done a great record in decades. But that never made any sense to me, because not only am I a fan of music, but I’m also a big fan of the Greek philosophers who said "to use reason and logic and it will always lead you to the truth". The theory that I just mentioned did not hold up to reason and logic, because in the 1800’s Beethoven, Dickens, Victor Hugo, etc. were all household names around the world, their works universally known, and they were all financially successful.

But these individuals not only created great works of art when they were young, but also when they were middle aged and later on elderly. Beethoven wrote the Ninth Symphony right before he died. So I wondered, how were these artists in the 1800’s able to create great art throughout their entire lives, and artists in the 1900’s did not seem to be able to? This is just my own pet theory, but I believe it’s because of mass media. Even though everyone knew Beethoven’s, Dicken’s, and Hugo’s name, no one knew what they looked like. Dickens could see an individual arguing with a pawn-broker and get an idea for a story. Hugo could see a police man chasing a burglar and get an idea for a novel. Beethoven could see a couple falling in love, and get an idea for a sonata. I believe that they, like most artists, got their inspiration by observing the constantly changing world around them. However, with the birth and total saturation of the western world in modern media, a great many artists lost that ability. I’m going to use Michael Jackson as an example. I thought he was a truly great and gifted artist who gave great works of art that brought joy and happiness to countless human beings. However, Michael became so famous that he lost the ability to be able to just observe people.

If you, Sarah, fifteen years ago threw a New Years Eve party and say, one friend was a little bit arrogant, one was a little condescending, your friend from elementary school was a practical joker, and you invited Michael Jackson. When Michael walked into that room the condescending person would not be condescending, the arrogant person would not be arrogant, and the practical joker probably would not tie Michael’s shoes together. Michael lost the ability to observe the world, because when he walked into the room, the world revolved around him. This is one of the reasons that in TSO the covers of our albums have artwork as opposed to pictures of band members. I got this idea from watching Pink Floyd. I worship Pink Floyd, I think Waters and Gilmour are geniuses. However, if they were to walk into a room right now, I’d have no idea who they were. In Pink Floyd the music is the celebrity, we try to keep the same true in Trans-Siberian Orchestra.I felt this theory was vindicated a number of years ago when I was standing on a corner and there were two ladies in their mid-twenties standing next to me. One of the women said "My husband came home so drunk last night that he slapped me. I threw him down hard and opened his chest with a can opener." I wanted to say "Hey ladies could you slow down so I can write all this down?", it was a great idea for a story. If I had been Michael Jackson, I never would have even overheard this. So, to come full circle and answer your question, I get the inspiration for my writing from the world around me.

(Q) Tell me a little more about 'The Lost Christmas Eve'…

The Lost Christmas Eve was the final installment of the Christmas Trilogy. I personally love that story. There is something about Christmas Eve that allows people to undo mistakes that they never thought they could undo. If you live long enough, everyone knows someone, a friend a parent a grandparent, that they haven’t talked to in a long time. On Christmas Eve, you can pick up the phone, and individuals that haven’t talked to each other in so long that they can’t even remember what they were fighting about, will leave the past in the past and start over.

(Q) Criss Oliva, a talented guitarist who is also the younger brother of Jon died tragically and so unexpectedly.Tell me a little more about how the death of Criss Oliva impacted the band…

Criss Oliva was one of the greatest guitar players I ever met. And also one of the nicest humans. You know that old cliche, "treat everyone as though this is the last time you are going to see them"? Criss would treat everyone that way. For someone of his talent level, he was always very kind, humble, and looking out for other people. As you may or may not be aware, TSO’s first album was supposed to come out in 1994. Jon and I were well on our way into delivering the first TSO album, but when Criss died, we put everything on hold to stabilize Savatage, because it was very important to us that his music lived on. The only way to insure that was to make sure that Savatage continued as a band. I miss him terribly to this day, and I cannot imagine how hard it must have been, and still is, for Jon.

(Q) What advice do you have for any artist or band that suffers such a traumatic and unpredictable loss?

To basically take all that emotion and steer it into your art. Writing and recording "Handful of Rain" and "Dead Winter Dead" helped Jon and myself get over that initial first couple of years. Jon, to me, is one of the greatest singers I’ve ever worked with, always had the ability to capture emotions when he sang. I didn’t think that could get any better, but even more emotion actually came out of him after Criss passed away.

(Q) Ticketmaster is known as the world's biggest ticket seller. As of March 1st 2013 you have had over 25,000 fan reviews on the Ticketmaster fan reviews site, and you held the #1 spot by over 10,000 reviews. That is quite an accomplishment, I would say. How does that make you feel?

It’s the ultimate compliment from the fans. We don’t take it for granted and we try to re-earn it with every tour. Because our fan base is so wide, both in age group and economic class, we try to build each concert and album like an old medieval castle. If you’re seven or 107, when you see a medieval castle, it’s cool. No matter how close you are, it’s cool. And then as you approach the castle, the way you enjoy it depends on your age. If you’re a teenager, you tend to run around the battlements and ramparts. If you’re in the middle of your life you may go into the throne room or the library. If you’re up there in age and you just want to relax, you may go to the highest tower and look out over the pastoral setting. The more times you visit it, the more you explore, the more there is to find. Performing live, the band’s motto is "Fog it, light it, blow it up, just don’t let the audience get bored."

(Q) For those bands and artists who have to endure critics, what advice do you have for them? How do you handle your critics?

Of course one wants everyone to like their art, but the only critic that we really worry about, the only critic that you can’t fool, is "Time". Mozart and Beethoven’s music has gotten past the ultimate critic and is as relevant today as it was in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. For the record, I’ve always considered Mozart the world's first rock star. He lived like a rock star, died young like a rock star, and died penniless like a rock star. And Beethoven was the world’s first heavy metal rock star. When you think of the opening lines of the Fifth Symphony, if Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin had written those riffs, everyone would have believed it, he was centuries ahead of his time.

(Q) You are known for your philanthropic activities. In fact, it's a well known fact you have donated over $10 million to a combination of both local and national charities. Tell me a little more about this…

If you’re born in western civilization, you’ve won the lottery in life. And if you get to do what you love for a living, you’ve won it twice. We have been very fortunate and doing this is our pleasure and our way of giving something back to the communities that allow TSO to exist. I don’t think anybody in TSO was born with a silver spoon. A lot of us had kindness’s done to us as we were building our careers. Some acts were downright charitable, so it’s our pleasure to pass it on.

(Q) I have been to quite a few concerts. Out of the many I have frequented, I have to say, your concert was one of the best I have ever been to in my life. The music is one thing, but seeing you live, a fan can discover a whole new experience.

Once again, thank you very much. In Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it’s not only the singers and musicians on the flight deck that are members of the band, it’s the hundreds of people in the crew, and management that are considered band members as well. They tend to be the first ones awake and the last ones to go to sleep. If it wasn’t for them, not only do they help us to create these new visual spectacles ever year, they agonize to find ways to keep the tickets affordable. Because what’s the point of having a great concert if only corporations and sovereign wealth funds can afford tickets. That’s why Trans-Siberian Orchestra keeps it’s tickets between $25 and $75, never higher. We have no VIP tickets, or elite seating.When new kids join the band, we explain to them that a lot of people in the audience can easily afford these tickets, but for some, it might be their only entertainment of the year, and we don’t have the right to not give them the very best show possible. To make sure that I’m getting through to the younger ones I’ve sometimes explained it from another angle. I say "make believe one year we play for exactly a million people. The concert is three hours long and everyone lives thirty minutes from their doorstep to their seat, thirty minutes from their seat back to their house. We don’t have the right to waste four hours of their lives without giving them the very best show possible." This is why we rent a coliseum for a month before the tour and rehearse. The show must come out of the gate strong, there are no warm up shows for TSO. And towards the end of the tour Al Pitrelli will take the band aside and remind them "this may be our last show, but to everyone out there, this is their first show, so we need to act like it’s ours too."

(Q) From past to present, you have accomplished so much. Now, I have to ask, what are your present plans and future projects? What is next for Trans-Siberian Orchestra?

The one thing that Trans-Siberian Orchestra has taught me is that whatever you plan, something is going to change, because life has a way of just throwing boulders in the roadway. You just have to improvise, adapt, and overcome. Fortunately, TSO was designed to be constantly morphing and changing as the times change, and our biggest fear is that we never want to let the fans down.

(Q) For all of your fans reading this interview, what would you like them to know?

We’d like to thank them. For the support over all the years, through thick and thin. When albums have been late, you guys have been unbelievably patient. As I’ve said once before, the energy we feel from the audience when we play live is as important if not more important than the energy we pull from the local electric companies. When we first started touring in 1999, we never dreamt that it would still be growing fifteen years later. Once again, we thank you.

For more information about Trans-Siberian Orchestra, please visit today.