Jon Oliva's Pain is a band helmed by the ubiquitous vocalist, keyboardist, guitarist, and composer who originally made his name as the leader of top American heavy metal band Savatage, before enjoying even greater success as one of the masterminds behind the hugely popular holiday music machine, Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
But the Tampa, Florida-based Oliva's proud career achievements were forever spoiled by the tragic death of his younger brother and Savatage band mate, Criss, in a 1993 car crash, leaving Jon to carry on with Savatage alone throughout the 1990s, despite the band's steadily faltering commercial success. So by 2001, Oliva felt ready to put Savatage on indefinite hold and launch a new group created in its musical image -- progressive heavy metal with a flair for the theatrical -- that he named, brazenly enough, Jon Oliva's Pain. And, ironically, his cohorts for this new endeavor -- guitarists Matt LaPorte and Shane French, keyboardist John Zahner, bassist Kevin Rothney, and drummer Christopher Kinder -- were all plucked from a band named Circle II Circle, founded by former Savatage part-time vocalist Zachary Stevens, but apparently with no animosity involved. In fact, Circle II Circle continued to tour and record even as Jon Oliva's Pain produced albums like 2004's Tage Mahal, 2006's Maniacal Renderings, 2008's Global Warning and 2010's Festival -- all of which allowed Jon to channel his grief into music while incorporating leftover song snippets survived by his brother, along the way. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia