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Criss Oliva

Jon Oliva's Pain (sometimes referred to as JOP) is a project of Savatage co-founder, composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Jon Oliva. (John Nicolas Oliva, Bronx, New York, 1960.) It was a project first, but after the first album a second album, a third album and a fourth album followed.

Pain refers, among other things, to the death of Jon Oliva's brother, Criss Oliva, (Christopher Michael "Criss" Oliva april 3, 1963 - October 17, 1993) he also was a part of Savatage. On the albums of Jon Oliva's Pain, lyrics and guitar riffs of Criss Oliva can still be heard. Criss Oliva died in a car accident in 1993.

On October 17, 1993, at around 3:30 a.m., Criss and his wife Dawn were driving north on Highway 301 on their way to the Fourth Annual Livestock Festival held in Zephyrhills, Florida, just north of Tampa. An oncoming car operated by a drunk driver crossed the median and struck Criss's 1992 Mazda RX-7 head-on. Dawn survived the crash, but Criss was killed instantly. The drunk driver, who had seven prior drunk driving  (DUI) convictions, survived with minor injuries and was later found guilty of DUI manslaughter, DUI serious injury and vehicular homicide, and served 18 months in prison of a five-year sentence.

Every live performance by Jon Oliva's Pain ends traditionally with an instrumental guitar song from his brother Criss.

Since Savatage has stopped, some fans are seeing Jon Oliva's Pain as the follow-up of Savatage. The latest album, Festival, released in February 2010, confirmed that it goes back to the roots of the old Savatage. There is also a crowd fans that savatage wants. Jon, together with his brother Criss were always the brain behind the Savatage group. Jon Oliva's Pain often plays music from Savatage at Live concerts next to their own songs, of which many sounds like Savatage.
According to Jon
Oliva himself, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the follow-up of Savatage.

Originally, the project consisted entirely of solo recordings by Jon Oliva, but after several months of work he was joined by former members of Circle II Circle to form a band.

The band's first performance was at the Criss Oliva Memorial Concert in 2003, where Jon Oliva played a set of 6 songs from his solo catalog plus "In the Dream" from Power of the Night, "Hey Bulldog" by The Beatles and a cover of "Wishing Well" by the band Free (which was covered by Savatage on their album Fight for the Rock). Joining Jon on stage that night were Matt LaPorte (guitar), John Zahner (keyboards), Jason Jennings (bass), and Christopher Kinder (drums). Initially, the band went out on tour in December 2003 under the name "The Jon Oliva Project", but this was later changed to "'Tage Mahal". The band's name was changed after discovering the Blues musician Taj Mahal. Because of the laws surrounding consumer confusion, Jon Oliva instructed the band's name be changed to Jon Oliva's Pain, "Pain" being the working title of the band's first album.     The music and themes bear comparison with the likes of Alice Cooper, focusing as they do on elements of obsession, pain, confusion and insanity. Oliva himself cites The BeatlesQueen and The Who amongst the band's influences.

After hearing the results of their earliest studio sessions together, Jon Oliva then decided to repeat the solo work from scratch with the band.        The band embraced the opportunity without hesitation, and brought in former Circle II Circle bass player Kevin Rothney to solidify the line-up.  The band released their first album 'Tage Mahal on the SPV label in 2004. Originally slated to be released on the same label in May 2006, JOP subsequently signed to AFM Records for the release of the follow-up entitled Maniacal Renderings, which was due for release on September 4, 2006. Jon Oliva cites SPV's reluctance to promote the previous record as a major factor in his decision to move labels. Jon Oliva credits his late brother Criss (with whom he founded Savatage) as co-writing some of the work on the album (particularly the track "The Answer"), after finding some working tapes they had recorded together shortly before Criss's death.

A tour taking them through most of the Summer of 2006, and saw the band appearing at festivals in Europe. The tour reportedly included the performance of two Savatage songs at each concert. During a performance at the UK's ProgPower festival in March 2007, Jon and the band paid tribute to one of Savatage's works, Streets: A Rock Opera, by playing a majority of the album in running order for the first time as a "gift" to the fans. Jon Oliva remarked that some of the songs had never been performed live in the 16 years since the album's first release.

Interviews pointed to a third album being recorded by the band in late 2007 ready for a release by AFM Records in January or February 2008.        In January 2008, a release date in April via AFM was confirmed for the new album, entitled Global Warning, with the band announcing that the new album has now been both mixed and mastered. After the album's release, the band embarked on a tour of North America and Europe with new guitarist Tom McDyne along with Circle II Circle and Manticora. The tour meant that Jon Oliva shared the stage with Zachary Stevens for the first time in almost 10 years. At the conclusion of the tour, the band announced that it had commenced pre-production on its fourth release, with a due date of 2009. The band toured the United States and Europe once more in 2009.

The fourth release, entitled Festival, was released in February 2010. Plans for a live DVD to be filmed in 2009 were rescheduled, with a concert at 013 in Tilburgthe Netherlands in October 2010 being tentatively scheduled for filming with a view to a live-DVD release in 2011. A live DVD release will mark the first time that Jon Oliva will handle solo lead vocal material over much of his material. In September 2010, it was announced that due to "undisclosed personal reasons", both Tom McDyne and Kevin Rothney would be forced to sit-out the band's European tour and DVD filming. Former touring guitar player from the 'Tage Mahal-tour, Jerry Outlaw was tapped to play guitars, with Jason Gaines, described as "Tampa's phenom bass player" replacing Kevin Rothney for the duration of the tour. As yet the DVD has still not been released. The band did however record their show in Florida in April 2012, the first night of a short tour celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Savatage's Hall of The Mountain King album, for a DVD release, and it now looks likely this will be released before the Festival tour.

Jon Oliva revealed that he would not travel with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra during their European tour in a statement released in March 2011.   On April 20, 2011; guitarist Matt LaPorte died suddenly at his home.


In addition to Jon Oliva's Pain, Jon Oliva released his first real solo album, as Oliva. On December 14, 2012 Christopher Kinder and Jon Oliva completed the drums in Morrisound Studios, led by Jim and Tom Morris. Jon Oliva got a drum kit as a gift from drum party manufacturer,        Drum Crush, where Jon Oliva played two songs and that he will use with live concerts. The very last material of the guitarist Criss Oliva has been used with a few songs on the new album. On March 24, 2013, Christopher Kinder reported that the music was on the way to the label and the story of the album, the 'artwork' on the cover and the 'credits' (thanks to all kinds of people) were now completed. The new album, was presented, on Saturday 6 April (a "listening party") in the United States, but the release date was 5 June 2013 and has been postponed until 19 June. The first single was already posted on YouTube by Christopher Kinder. The title of the album was announced on April 29, 2013, Raise The Curtain. Around 20 June the album came out, with different types of music and some flats of Jon Oliva's Pain and Savatage. Furthermore, the album is experimentally called, and just within the Metal, here and there a little softer.

Behind the album, a whole story lies because of the death of three loved ones from Jon Oliva, two pretty recent and his brother in 1993.                  One, a doctor who plays keyboard in his spare time, had an idea for a few songs and wrote it ultimately also. Oliva himself wrote the rest of the album and played all the instruments and asked Alex Skolnick from Testament for a number of guitar solos and Zachary Stevens (Savatage) for the final singing of a few songs and Jon Oliva did the drum work together with Christopher Kinder, he also kept the fans informed, who loved the developments around Jon Oliva and this album.

Jon Oliva stated in a 2019 interview for "The Sound Affect Show" that the group will no longer exited after the tragic loss of Matt LaPorte and his busy schedule.

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'Tage Mahal (2004)

Straight Jacket Memoirs (2006) ep

Maniacal Renderings (2006)

Global Warning (2008)

Reflections (2008) live

Festival (2010)

Raise the Curtain (2012) solo

Former members

Jon Oliva — vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar (2003–2019)

Bill Hudson — guitar (2014–2019)

Joe Diaz — guitar (2012–2019)

Jason Jennings — bass (2012–2019)

Christopher Kinder — drums, backing vocals (2003–2019)

Matt LaPorte — guitar (2003–2011; died 2011)

Shane French — guitar (2005–2007)

Tom McDyne — guitar (2007–2010)

Jerry Outlaw — guitar (2004–2005, 2010–2011, 2012–2014)

Kevin Rothney — bass, backing vocals (2003–2012)

John Zahner — keyboards (2004–2009) 

Touring member

Jason Gaines — bass (2010–2011)


Guest members

Steve "Doc" Wacholz (drums) (guest on 'Tage Mahal)

Ralph Santolla (guitars) (guest on Global Warning)


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