Browse by Title
V W X Y Z #  

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
You can't judge a book by its cover. This age old proverb perfectly pertains to heavy metallists Savatage when they first issued the song "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," which was met with resistance from radio program directors... only to see the tune become a massive hit once it was reissued under a different band name: Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But the happy ending to the story is that it finally gave longtime Savatage singer/songwriter Jon Oliva and producer Paul O'Neill their big breaks in the music biz.

If anyone dare think that "arena rock" is a dead dinosaur, then they have never seen TSO in full concert flight. There's pyro, lasers, an expansive light show, and a string section - all to supplement the bombastic rock that Oliva and O'Neill create. The crowds continue to flock to see them year after year: TSO was certified by both Billboard and Pollstar as one of the top ten ticket-selling bands of the '00s.

And now, despite TSO's busy schedule, Oliva has found the time to issue his first-ever solo album, Raise the Curtain, where he focuses on some unmistakably vintage prog rock sounds. Jon told us about the new disc, and gave us the story behind "12/24," their perennial hit that almost wasn't. He also let us in on the complex songwriting strategy within the band (turns out O'Neill is quite the perfectionist), and talked about the legacy of his late brother, Criss Oliva, who was Savatage's original guitarist.
Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Greg Prato (Songfacts): From what I understand, Raise the Curtain is your first ever solo album.

Jon Oliva: Officially, yeah.

Songfacts: How did it come about that you're doing a solo album now?

Jon: When we lost Matt LaPorte after the Festival album for Jon Oliva's Pain [Jon's side project], that was really the thing that started it all off. Because at that time it was very traumatic, I didn't know what I wanted to do for once. I was kind of like, "Well, what do I do? Do I try to replace Matt? I don't want to think about this shit right now."

My friend Dan [Fasciano] had a studio in his house and I just started coming down to his house early in the mornings, like 9, 10 o'clock in the morning before I had to go to work with TSO in the afternoon. And we just started writing together. It was weird. He played me some stuff he had that was unfinished and I had stuff that was unfinished. I had the last of Criss' riffs that were unfinished. I just figured with everything that's gone on and if I'm going to ever do this, this is the time to do it. That's how it started.

Songfacts: The album has a vintage prog vibe to it, especially the album-opening title track. Is that something that you were consciously going for?

Jon: I think that's because Dan wrote that in like 1940. [Laughing] The album has that feel, and I'll tell you why for several reasons. One is that we used all vintage equipment. I didn't want to use a bunch of processing guitar - V-Amps and ProMaxes and all that shit. I decided to use straight Vox 31 watt amplifiers, an old 50 watt Marshall amplifier, and a Mesa Boogie style that Pete Townsend from The Who used in the '70s. And we didn't use a lot of effects on the guitars. The bass, believe it or not, is a duplicate 1963 Paul McCartney violin Hofner bass. That's what I played, but I played it through an old SVP amplifier that was from the '60s.

So the album has that vibe because the instrumentation that's used on it was all vintage: all tube mikes, all tube amps, not a lot of gizmo toys on guitars or anything like that. Everything was old school. And I'll tell you, I'm going to be happy with the way the album sounds. It has a very big, warm sound to it that I think a lot of records nowadays are missing.

Songfacts: From a songwriting point of view, what are some of your favorite tracks on Raise the Curtain?

Jon: That's a tough one. "Father Time" has to be one, just because it's the second riff Criss ever wrote in his life, so that song holds a special meaning to me. I love the song "Ten Years." I love the brass. We brought in real horn players - we didn't use fake horns.

I love the song "Soldier." I think that's a really deep song. Man, I like them all. I love the bonus track. Track eleven is another very popular one with me, the song "Can't Get Away," because that was some older music that Criss and I had from a long time ago that I kind of modernized and sped it up a little bit and changed the key. Then we added the real horn players. So those songs kind of stand out.

But the hardest song to me on the album is the first song, "Raise the Curtain," because that was mainly Dan's song, and we couldn't figure out what to play on guitar to it. He had played it for other guitar players before I ever even heard it, and no one could figure out what to play, so they would tell him, "No, this song's no good." But I spent months coming up with the guitar part for that. That was the hardest song for me on the album to play. I was trying to figure out what the hell to play, and there was no way I was playing that riff. I was like, "I can't play that fuckin' riff, dude. I'm not that good. Okay?" [Laughing] He's like, "Well, you gotta play something." I'm like, "Well, I'm going to come up with my own part that sounds as cool as your part, but has nothing to do with your part whatsoever. How does that sound?" He's like, "Go for it." And it worked, perfectly.

It took months of grueling aggravation, but we got it to work. That's a special track.

Songfacts: As far as the songwriting in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, how does it work? Is it a collaboration or do you come in with ideas?

Jon: Writing with Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a whoooooole different world. It's very difficult. TSO is a very intricate setup. We have a lot of people, so you have to be aware that you're writing within the capabilities of the people that you have. And Paul [O'Neill] is a perfectionist. And he's also insane. So you have this mixture of insanity and perfection and we have some long sessions. I mean, we're talking 17 hours sometimes, and then we'll come back the next day and he'll change everything around. "Well, nope, sorry. We're going to try this now!" And we're like, "We're going to kill you! We've been here 17 fuckin' hours."

But, you know what, the man's always right. I can't argue with my walls; my walls have platinum albums all over them and they all say Trans-Siberian Orchestra. So if I proved him wrong one time, it would be great. But I can't. Every time, he ends up being right. But he's difficult to work with. He demands a lot from you. But he also takes care of the people that work with him very, very well. It's very difficult working with a band that's got 60 people involved in it. It's bad enough being a band with three other guys, try 58 other guys.

Songfacts: I can only imagine.

Jon: No, you can't dude. I'm telling you, you can't. [Laughing] I'll have to film something for you one day if Dustin [Hardman, AFM Records] will send it to you. Because you would get a chuckle out of some of the insanity that goes on out at adventureland.

Songfacts: Who would you say are some of your favorite singers and also songwriters?

Jon: Beatles, obviously. Freddie Mercury - the earlier Queen stuff I liked a lot. Man, there's so many. Pete Townsend is a brilliant songwriter. A lot of the Deep Purple. I mean, Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi, god, he's the hard rock riff master, he's the messiah. I don't think there would be heavy metal if it wasn't for Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath. They were very inspirational to me.

Sabbath was the band that turned me on to heavy music. Before I heard Sabbath, all I did was play the Beatle records and learn. The Beatles taught me how to sing and how to play instruments, but it was Sabbath that turned in to where we started cranking out songs like "Sirens" and "City Beneath the Surface" and things like that, which were waaaay heavier than anything we had ever done. They were like the teachers of the hard rock. And Deep Purple, as well. It was a very tough competition there going on with who I liked more. Some albums of Sabbath I liked better, then Deep Purple's album came out and I didn't like it as much. And then they would switch, the next Sabbath album would come out, and then they'd put another album out and I'd like that one better.

Not sure who were the guys that I really respect as writers. Obviously the Beatles started all of that stuff.

Songfacts: Something that I've always liked about Freddie Mercury and Queen is that they pretty much could do any type of style and also pull it off very well.

Jon: Exactly. And their harmonies. Those harmonies, I've studied that band left and right. I had a friend of mine who used to work for us with JOP named Greg Marchak, who was our assistant producer and live engineer. He had acquired CDs of Queen in the studio - just vocal tracks - and it was the most amazing thing I've ever heard in my life. It's just them singing; you hear a little of the music coming out of their headphones. It was unbelievable how these guys sang. It was just unbelievable.

Songfacts: If you go on YouTube, I think they have clips of that. They'll have the recordings of Queen where it's just strictly the vocals.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraJon: No, this is before they started doing that stuff on YouTube. This was probably 2002 or something, when this friend of mine started playing that stuff for me. I was like, "Where did you get this?" He goes, "Oh, I got it sent from a friend of mine." But I was blown away when I heard that stuff. Now you can hear that stuff all the time. They have that all over where they call decoded or something. Or stripped down, "Here's this song with just the bass track." But ten years ago or so they didn't really have that.

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 Queensr├┐che, 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.

Songfacts: You just mentioned the songs "Hall of the Mountain King" and also "Gutter Ballet." What do you remember about the writing and recording of those two tracks?

Jon: Well, "Mountain King" was the first time we recorded anything with an orchestral type of situation, which was basically Paul's idea. My brother Criss and I thought he was out of his mind. We were like, "We just did Fight for the Rock, right. And the first time we get into the studio, he's got to go, "Well, we're going to do this song with a 50 piece orchestra. [Laughing] We were like, "We're doomed."

But it was a great idea, and all he asked us to do was try it. Just try it. And we did. He took the tape away, and it came back with orchestra stuff all over it. They put it up on these big speakers and we listened to it cranked up with the lights shut off, and it blew me away. I was like, "Wow." So that was kind of the start of it.

The song "Gutter Ballet," I was out at the Record Plant in New York and I was playing this piano that was covered with a cloth. This guy that worked there comes up, and he goes, "You know whose piano that is?" I'm like, "No." He goes, "Dude, that's John Lennon's piano." I'm like, "Get the fuck outta here." He took the packing blanket off and lifted up the top, and underneath the top cover of the piano it says, "John and Yoko," that he had scratched into the piano. I just flipped out. I remember I had to go out and have a drink.

Paul used to make us carry these little Dictaphone cassette things with us wherever we went. I just sat on this piano and the first thing that came out was the intro for "Gutter Ballet." I remember Paul and my brother coming out - they must have heard me playing it through the glass or something, or maybe they turned on a mic. They came running out, "That's great, that's great! We're going to do something with that! It's great!" I was like, "What? I'm just fuckin' around." I didn't even know what I was doing.

But they got it and we got it, and then we built a song around it. But that was another one where we brought real string players into the Record Plant. For that song and "When the Crowds Are Gone," we brought in New York Philharmonic Orchestra guys. This was intense for me. I mean, I've never played with an orchestra guy before, and now you've got these guys 60 years old who've been playing for 30 years in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra playing hard rock music. It was very intense, exciting, and it was a great confidence booster when we actually heard the final things and we were like, "Wow! This is cool."

And from that point on, after "Gutter," the gloves were off. We weren't afraid to try anything anymore.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra was formed when fickle radio programmers and record label hot shots couldn't see past the "Savatage" moniker, stylistically pigeonholing the band. TSO lists two Savatage members in its ranks: singer Oliva and guitarist Al Pitrelli, as well as Savatage's longtime producer and songwriting collaborator, Paul O'Neill. Along with keyboardist/co-producer Robert Kinkell, these four members are the creative core of TSO. In addition to the quartet, countless singers and musicians join the band when they tour the world, spreading the TSO gospel every November and December (with a sometimes deleterious effect on bands who surrender a member for a few months every winter). Over the years, many names that are well known to metalheads have toured as part of TSO, including Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick and ex-Yngwie Malmsteen singer Jeff Scott Soto. Among the creative quartet, only Pitrelli and Kinkell hit the road with TSO - Oliva and O'Neill stay behind in the studio.

Songfacts: Why do you think that TSO has reached such a huge audience, but Savatage in the '80s didn't? Do you think it was just a matter of timing or just listeners' tastes at the time?

Jon: Well, I think what happened with that mainly is that the name Savatage, we ran the course with it. And because of some bad mistakes that we made business-wise in our younger days before Paul 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 got Savatage to that level, and after 20 some odd years and then losing Criss in the middle of that, we just weren't ready to continue.

The fatal thing that happened was with the song "12/24" off of 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 Records sent 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 holding Savatage back was Savatage. It wasn't the songwriting. It was the same, Paul and I, and before that, Criss, Paul, and I. You know, the proof was in the pudding. "12/24," which is technically a Savatage song from the album Dead Winter Dead, has sold millions of records. I've got them hanging on my wall. But when it was released as Savatage, 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. TSO is one of the biggest bands in the world, it's unbelievable. It's funny to me, because it's Savatage. [Laughing] I get a kick out of this. I'm like, "It's Savatage with 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, and Paul's poetry and the lyrics, and the way that Paul and I work together when we write. There's a chemistry there.

Songfacts: Do you think it's possible for TSO to ever go too far over-the-top musically?

Jon: I don't know. He's constantly challenging everybody - especially me - to come up with something. He'll say, "Here's Brahms' Piano Concerto in A minor, write something to go along with it." "I've never even heard that - what are you talking about? Brahms' 48 Concerto Symphony to the 10th power, all right. You'd better give me a day on this, Paul."

I can't read music, so I have to listen to this stuff. You get the track, they burn the track and the thing's 37 minutes long. I'm like, "Where do you want me to write what? It's already a half hour long!" "No, I want you to do something between this riff and this riff and make it hard rock." I'm like, "You'd better give me a day on this."

It's very difficult. That TSO stuff is very hard work.

The 1990s had its fair share of tragic rock musician deaths, but one that tends to get sadly overlooked was the passing of Jon's younger brother: Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva. Jon and Criss formed their first band together in the late 1970s before debuting Savatage in the early '80s. Subsequent O'Neill-produced releases, including 1987's Hall of the Mountain King, 1989's Gutter Ballet, and 1991's Streets: A Rock Opera helped build a cult following for Savatage, but on October 17, 1993, Criss was killed in an automobile accident when a drunk driver crashed into his car. He was just 30 years old.

Songfacts: What do you think Criss would have gone on to do musically if he had lived?

Jon: Musically? He would have been known as one of the best guitar players in the world, which he still is. And I think he would have shot me and Paul by now. Criss was a special talent. He's a guy who had no idea what he was doing. Didn't care. Was very fast mentally. We'd be playing in A and he'd be playing a solo in A flat, and before the audience could hear that he was playing in the wrong key, he would bend the notes into tune, but do it fast enough to where it never sounded like he was playing out of tune. It used to piss me off watching him do that, because I'm playing an A chord and I'm like, "There's no way he can play there. It's going to be a train wreck." It was amazing. He would have been one of the best, ever. For sure.

September 4, 2013. Get more on TSO at

Comments: 1

Jon is one of the nicest I've met in the business and has such unique talents, 'Hall of the Mountain King' and 'Streets' are two of my all time favourites.
Amazingly his voice doesn't seem to have changed over the decades, something that even the greats like Halford and Dickinson have conceded to over the years...
-Brendan from London UK

Where are you from?
Your Comment
 security code

Zakk WyldeZakk Wylde
When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.
Tom Keifer of CinderellaTom Keifer of Cinderella
Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.
Dino Cazares of Fear FactoryDino Cazares of Fear Factory
The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.
Dean PitchfordDean Pitchford
Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Search in Songwriter Interviews
Songwriter Interviews titles
Aaron Beam of Red Fang
Aaron Gillespie
Aaron Lewis
Adam Duritz of Counting Crows
Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne
Adam Young of Owl City
Al Anderson of NRBQ
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
Al Kooper
Alan Merrill of The Arrows
Alex Call (867-5309)
Allee Willis: Boogie Wonderland, Friends theme
Amanda Palmer
Amy Grant
Andy McClusky of OMD
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
Angelo Moore of Fishbone
Ann Hampton Callaway
Anna Canoni about Woody Guthrie
Annie Haslam of Renaissance
Anthony Raneri of Bayside
Antigone Rising
Art Alexakis of Everclear
Asher Roth
Badi Assad
Bart Millard of MercyMe
Becca Stevens
Ben Watt of Everything But The Girl
Benny Mardones
Biff Byford of Saxon
Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers
Bill Withers
Billy Gould of Faith No More
Billy Joe Shaver
Billy Montana ("More Than A Memory" - Garth Brooks)
Billy Steinberg
Bo Bice
Bob Daisley
Bobby Liebling of Pentagram
Bobby Whitlock
Boz Scaggs
Brad Arnold from 3 Doors Down
Brad Smith of Blind Melon
Brandi Carlile
Brandon Heath
Brenda Russell
Brian "Head" Welch of Korn, Love and Death
Bronze Radio Return
Bruce Robison
Bryan Adams
Butch Vig
Buzz Osborne of the Melvins
Carol Kaye
Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)
Chad Urmston of Dispatch
Chan Kinchla of Blues Traveler
Charles Fox
Charlie Benante of Anthrax
Charlie Daniels
Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's
Chris August
Chris Fehn of Slipknot
Chris Isaak
Chris Knight
Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes
Chris Squire of Yes
Chris Tomlin
Chris Willis
Chris Wilson of The Flamin' Groovies
Christopher Cross
Chuck Billy of Testament
Cody Hanson of Hinder
Colbie Caillat
Corey Hart
Craig Goldy of Dio
Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets
Cy Curnin of The Fixx
Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay
Dan Reed
Daniel Moore ("Shambala," "My Maria")
Danko Jones
Danny Kortchmar
Dar Williams
Darren King of MUTEMATH
Darryl Worley
Dave Clark
Dave Innis of Restless Heart
Dave Mason
Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Dave Stewart of Eurythmics
Dave Wakeling of The English Beat
Dean Pitchford
Denny Randell
Desmond Child
Devin Townsend
Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)
Dez Fafara of DevilDriver and Coal Chamber
Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)
Dino Cazares of Fear Factory
Don Brewer of Grand Funk
Don Felder
Donald Fagen
Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)
Dr. John
Dropkick Murphys
dUg Pinnick of King's X
Duncan Phillips of Newsboys
Dwight Twilley
Eddie Carswell of NewSong
Eddie Reeves
Edwin McCain
El Sloan of Crossfade
Elvin Bishop
Emilio Castillo from Tower of Power
Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls
Emmylou Harris
Eric Burdon
Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots
Francesca Battistelli
Francis Rossi of Status Quo
Gary Brooker of Procol Harum
Gary Lewis
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
Gary Numan
Gentle Giant
Georgia Middleman of Blue Sky Riders
Gilby Clarke
Glen Burtnik
Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket
Gordon Bahary
Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)
Graham Parker
Graham Russell of Air Supply
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Greg Puciato of Killer Be Killed and Dillinger Escape Plan
Gretchen Peters (Independence Day)
Guy Clark
Gym Class Heroes
Hal Ketchum
Harold Brown of War
Harry Shearer
Hayes Carll
Henry McCullough
Henry Paul of The Outlaws, Blackhawk
Holly Knight
Holly Williams
Howard Bellamy
Howard Jones
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"
Ian Astbury of The Cult
Ian Thornley of Big Wreck
Ingrid Croce
J.D. Souther
Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees
Jake Owen
James Williamson of Iggy & the Stooges
Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed
Jamie O'Neal
Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go`s
Janis Ian
Jann Klose
Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup
Jason Michael Carroll
Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)
Jason Reeves
Jason Roy of Building 429
Jay Graydon
Jeff Walker of Carcass
Jello Biafra
Jeph Howard of The Used
Jeremy DePoyster of The Devil Wears Prada
Jess Origliasso of The Veronicas
Jesse Valenzuela of Gin Blossoms
Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds
Jimbeau Hinson
Jimmy Jam
Jimmy Webb
JJ Burnel of The Stranglers
Jo Dee Messina
Joe Elliott of Def Leppard
Joe Ely
Joe Grushecky
Joe Jackson
Joe King Carrasco
Joe Rickard of Red
Joel Crouse
Joey + Rory
Joey Burns of Calexico
John Doe of X
John Gallagher of Raven
John Lee Hooker
John Oates
John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls
John Waite
John Wheeler of Hayseed Dixie
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde
Johnny Winter
Jon Anderson of Yes
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot
Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Jon Tiven
Josh Kelley
Josh Shilling
Josh Thompson
Judas Priest
Julian Lennon
Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues
Kasim Sulton (Utopia, Meat Loaf)
Keith Morris of Black Flag and OFF!
Keith Reid of Procol Harum
Kelvin Swaby of The Heavy
Ken Block of Sister Hazel
Kenneth Nixon of Framing Hanley
Kenny Vance
Kerry Livgren of Kansas
Kim Thayil of Soundgarden
Kip Winger
Kirk Franklin
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristine W
Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust
Larry Burnett of Firefall
Larry Wiegand of Crow
Laura Bell Bundy
Lee Ranaldo
Les Claypool
Leslie West of Mountain
Lindi Ortega
Lisa Loeb
Lita Ford
Little Big Town
Lori McKenna
Loudon Wainwright III
Louie Perez of Los Lobos
Lukas Nelson
Mac Powell of Third Day
Marc Roberge of O.A.R. (Of A Revolution)
Marcy Playground
Maria Muldaur
Maria Neckam
Mark Arm of Mudhoney
Marshall Crenshaw
Martin Gordon
Martin Page
Martin Smith of Delirous?
Martyn Ware of Heaven 17
Marvin Etzioni of Lone Justice
Mary Gauthier
Mat Kearney
Matt Pike of High On Fire
Matt Pryor of Get Up Kids
Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon
Matt Sorum
Matt Thiessen of Relient K
Matthew West
Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)
Meshell Ndegeocello
Mia Doi Todd
Michael Bolton
Michael Franti
Michael Gilbert of Flotsam and Jetsam
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael Schenker
Michael Sweet of Stryper
Michael W. Smith
Mick Jones of Foreigner
Mike Campbell
Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North
Mike Love of The Beach Boys
Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies
Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater
Miles Doughty of Slightly Stoopid
Millie Jackson
Mitch Myers about Shel Silverstein
Mitts of Madball
Mountain Heart
Neil Fallon of Clutch
Neil Giraldo
Nick Van Eede from Cutting Crew
Nick Waterhouse
Nick Wheeler of The All-American Rejects
Nina Persson of The Cardigans
Nona Hendryx
Oliver Leiber
Our Lady Peace
Pam Tillis
Pat Alger ("The Thunder Rolls", "Unanswered Prayers")
Paul Dean of Loverboy
Paul Evans
Paul Williams
Pegi Young
Penny Ford of Snap!
Pete Anderson
Peter Lord
Petula Clark
Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")
Philip Cody
Queensr├┐che founder Geoff Tate
Radney Foster
Ralph Casale - Session Pro
Randy Goodrum (Oh Sherrie)
Randy Houser
Randy Montana
Randy Newman
Randy Sharp (From Glen Campbell to Edgar Winter)
Randy Stonehill
Rebecca St. James
Reverend Horton Heat
Rhonda Vincent
Richard Hell
Richard Marx
Richard Patrick of Filter
Richie McDonald of Lonestar
Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)
Rick Finch
Rick Springfield
Rick Wartell of Trouble
Rik Emmett of Triumph
Robert Ellis
Roger Clyne
Rosanne Cash
Rupert Hine
Ryan Star
Sam Phillips
Sandy Chapin
Sarah Brightman
Scorpions Rudolf Schenker
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders
Scott Jason of Thriving Ivory
Scott Stapp
Scotty Emerick (Beer For My Horses)
Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities
Serena Ryder
Seth Swirsky
Shane Volk of One Bad Son
Shaun Morgan of Seether
Shawn Smith of Brad
Shelby Lynne
Skip Ewing ("Love, Me," "The Gospel According To Luke")
Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D.
Speech of Arrested Development
Spooner Oldham
Squeeze: Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford
Stan Ridgway
Steel Magnolia
Stephen Christian of Anberlin
Steve "Zetro" Souza of Exodus and Hatriot
Steve Azar
Steve Hindalong of The Choir
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai
Sum 41
Sunny Sweeney
Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson
Tanita Tikaram
Taylor Dayne
Terry Cashman
Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")
Terry Taylor of Daniel Amos and Lost Dogs
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
The Dandy Warhols
The Fratellis
The Limousines
They Might Be Giants
Thomas Dolby
Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs
Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles
Tina Shafer
Tobin Esperance of Papa Roach
Toby Lightman
Todd Harrell of 3 Doors Down and 7dayBinge
Tom Gabel of Against Me!
Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers
Tom Keifer of Cinderella
Tommy James
Tommy Lee James ("She's My Kind Of Rain")
Toni Wine
Tonio K
Tony Hiller and Brotherhood of Man
Tony Joe White
Travis Stever of Coheed and Cambria
Trent Wagler of The Steel Wheels
Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept)
Van Dyke Parks
Vanessa Carlton
Ville Valo of HIM
Vince Clarke
Vince Gill
Vinny May of Kodaline
Vonda Shepard
Wayne Hussey of The Mission
Wayne Swinny of Saliva
Wednesday 13
Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit and Black Light Burns
Will Jennings
Yael Naim
Yoko Ono
Zac Hanson
Zakk Wylde
Other Songfacts Blogs
Songwriter Interviews
Song Writing
Music Quiz
Fact or Fiction
They're Playing My Song