It’s like the scab-picking, Ren Faire attending, Xena-fancying, heavy metal dude you went to school with joined a band….that played Christmas music
I’ve tried in multiple holiday party situations to really make people understand what Trans-Siberian Orchestra is about, and the title of this post is pretty much the best I can come up with…..but it doesn’t even begin to explain these guys.
Most people know them from this song (sorry for the poor quality, but it shows how ridiculous their live shows are):
It’s like if someone in 1988 decided to make Christmas music hip and rock-n-roll but forgot that people were already tired of prog rock.
Wanna learn more? Ok, let’s do!
The band was formed in 1996 by Paul O’Neill, and weirdly, nowhere in the lengthy biography is it mentioned that they make money playing Christmas music. Instead, they say that they write “rock operas”. It also says this:
Once when asked what Trans-Siberian Orchestra was about, Paul O’Neill replied, “It’s about creating great art. When asked to define what great art was, Paul said, “The purpose of art is to create an emotional response in the person that is exposed to that art. And there are three categories of art; bad art, good art and great art. Bad art will elicit no emotional response in the person that is exposed to it… Good art will make you feel an emotion that you have felt before… Great art will make you feel an emotion you have never felt before…Anyone can do it. Go into the street, throw a rock at someone, you will make them angry. The emotions of love, empathy and laughter are much harder to trigger, but since they operate on a deeper level, they bring a much greater reward.
Yeah, I’m hating on them a little bit, but their four albums went double platinum, platinum, gold, and platinum. So really, I’m impressed. I’m also impressed that they managed to find so many band members with early 90s hair.
TSO is single-handedly keeping guys like this rolling in tons and tons of money. Merry Christmas.
And as my present to you, here is a taste of what they look like when performing on live national TV: