Writing Jon Oliva's biography appeared to be a rather difficult thing to do. Putting all the bits and pieces together it's a long and interesting story. But it's very hard to find the right source(s) of information. As for now, I have compiled some questions and answers from recent interviews with Jon. Reading these, you get to know more about Jon as a person; his influences, experiences and interests, both musically and otherwise.
Birth place: Bronx, New York city
Residence: Brooksville, Florida
Hobby's: Playing with my dog Emmit ; watching the stars
When did you start making music? At the age of 6
Musical influences: Beatles, Queen, The Who
Favorite album: Beatles "Abbey Road" and "White Album"
Favorite musician/songwriter: Lennon and McCartney
First concert: Black Sabbath
What jobs did you have before you became a professional musician? I worked in a shop at a golf court for a while
Other bands/ side projects: Doctor Butcher, Trans Siberian Orchestra, the musical The Romanovs.
First professional performance: 1974 in the Trailer Park Rec. Center ( Sherwood Forest Block party ). We played nothing but Kiss songs and the admission fee was the huge amount of $2.50
What equipment do you use? Korg and Yamaha keyboards, Steinway piano's
Which Savatage song is your favorite and why ? " Believe " - because of the atmosphere and because it's such a cool song!
Which Sava-song means the most to you and what was it that inspired you to write it ? " Alone You Breathe ", the inspiration should be obvious.
Most awkward moment onstage ? Blue Moon Circus in Oberhausen, Germany on the "Gutter Ballet" tour. Those who have been there, know exactly why !
Quotation: " Having a wonderful time - where am I ???!!! "
[ From a German fanclub interview ]
Whats the one thing that you havent yet accomplished musically that youd most like to? A solo album. Ive got it written, I just havent had any time to do it. But Id love to get it done one day.
Out of all the songs youve ever written, which one would you say means the most to you? Probably two songs "When The Crowds Are Gone" and "Alone You Breathe".
MB: Why do those stand out? Well, the one is about my brother. It was written for him after he died, which is "Alone You Breathe". And "When The Crowds Are Gone" was just was just one that the message behind that one was very deep. It was like something I think that a lot of people can relate to. A lot of people who are in the entertainment field. Whether they are musicians, actors, whatever, you know. Thats a song thats very, very relatable to. You can relate to it, so I just like the song a lot.
Outside of music what interests you the most? Women, money no! Actually, Im a sports freak, you know. Im so addicted to sports its ridiculous. I love football. I love basketball. I love baseball. I love hockey. I mean, its like I need eighty TVs, you know. I need two satellite dishes. Its ridiculous, but, you know. So, I spend a lot of time when Im not working, my time is spent either at a sports bar, at a stadium, or, you know, something like that. I just love it. So thats how I occupy my time.
Who would you say has been the most influential person on your life? Hmm I dont know. Thats a good question. Probably John Lennon.
When its all said and done, how would you like people to remember you as a musician? I dont know. As an original, you know. An original. Thats all I can think of for that.
[ From a "Heavy Metal at the Mining Company" interview ]