SAVATAGE: To Reunite For Appearance At Next Year's WACKEN OPEN AIR Festival

Classic American metal bandSAVATAGE, which was active from 1978 until 2002, will reunite for an […]
August 3, 2014

Classic American metal bandSAVATAGE, which was active from 1978 until 2002, will reunite for an exclusive European appearance at next year's edition of theWacken Open Airfestival, set to take place July 30 - August 1, 2015 in Wacken, Germany. Also scheduled to appear at the event isTRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, the project founded bySAVATAGEmastermindJon Olivaand producer/composerPaul O'Neill.

SAVATAGE's last album release,"Poets And Madmen", in 2001 was highlighted byJon Oliva's return as lead vocalist, replacingZak Stevens, who left the band citing family reasons, and the departure ofAl Pitrelli, who accepted an offer to joinMEGADETHin 2000.Pitrellidid record solos for some songs prior to his departure. Another very limited U.S. tour followed, supported byFATES WARNINGin the early shows, and thenNEVERMOREfor the remainder. Around this time,JonchoseZak's replacement in the form ofDamond Jiniya(DIET OF WORMS).DamondperformedZak's parts on tour, withJonhaving an increased vocal role in proceedings.

Asked in a 2013 interview why he thinks thatTRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRAhas reached such a huge audience butSAVATAGEin the '80s didn't,OlivatoldSongfacts: "Well, I think what happened with that mainly is that the nameSAVATAGE, we ran the course with it. And because of some bad mistakes that we made business-wise in our younger days beforePaul O'Neill, we never could quite recover from that and get into the bigger level. I mean, we did well. We did really good in Europe. But we never gotSAVATAGEto that level, and after 20-some odd years and then losingCriss[Oliva, guitar] in the middle of that, we just weren't ready to continue. The fatal thing that happened was with the song '12/24' off the'Dead Winter Dead'album [1995]. We sent the song out around Christmastime, and a station down in Florida started playing it, and it became a hit down here.Atlantic Recordssent that CD to every radio station in America and nobody would play it. They said, 'Why didn't you play the song?' It's like, 'Well,SAVATAGE, that's a heavy metal band from the '80s. We don't play that shit.' They never even listened to it. You know how we know? Because the next year we sent the exact same song and put a Christmas tree on the cover and an angel and called it 'TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA,' and it was #1 on 500 radio stations. So that just goes to show you that what was holdingSAVATAGEback wasSAVATAGE. It wasn't the songwriting. It was the same,Pauland I, and before that,Criss,Paul, and I. You know, the proof was in the pudding.'12/24', which is technically aSAVATAGEsong from the album"Dead Winter Dead", has sold millions of records. I've got them hanging on my wall. But when it was released asSAVATAGE, it sold 30,000. So what does that tell you? It tells you that the name's turning people off for some reason, and that's what it was. Now look at what's happened.TSOis one of the biggest bands in the world, it's unbelievable."

He continued: "It's funny to me, because it'sSAVATAGE. [laughs] I get a kick out of this. I'm like, 'It'sSAVATAGEwith tuxedos and a bunch of other people from all around the world.' We bring in people from all around the world, which makes us kind of international, which I think is cool. But the thing that sells it is the music,Paul's stories, andPaul's poetry and the lyrics, and the way thatPauland I work together when we write. There's a chemistry there."

First confirmed acts forWacken Open Air2015:

(special orchestra show)
(special "Tales From The Thousand Lakes" show)

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