Now that we've subjected Jon Oliva's Pain to our Rapidfirequestions, you might think that it'd be Jon Oliva who'd be answering these. It's not. Jon is a seasoned veteran, who knows when to duck, and he didn't end up in the line of fire. Drummer Chris Kinder did, and the poor fella had to spend what probably seemed like forever answering our questions. In Spinal Tap the drummers only exploded or died in weird gardening accidents... they never had to think who to throw out of a balloon!

Why are we talking to you? It’s new album “Festival”, out now on AFM, of course.

A festival indeed, chap!! The last year and a half of our lives are poured into this crazy ride and it’s coming out right this week!!

How has the reaction to the new album “Festival” been so far?

Amazing, and that’s not just media hype, I tell you…It’s a fact. We felt really strong going into the studio… We knew that we had the makings of something really powerful and certainly well written…. But, it’s only at the end that you get to either admire your efforts or cry…. and we are very happy with the outcome… We’re over-joyed!

How did you get your original band name (and not the Jon Oliva part, obviously)? Pain?

“Well, it wasn’t the easiest thing we’ve ever done, for sure! Jon never wanted to use his own name as the band name, so we had to come up with several ideas. We were initially going to call ourselves “Tage-Mahal”, which finished up being the first album title (for SPV)…. But a prominent blues player from Europe already had that name and we were warned that ‘consumer confusion’ might create some serious legal problems? We came up with JOP as a last resort really, just hours before shipping off the record to the label, but now it’s stuck and I really like it.

What has been your most embarrassing tour moment?

- Honestly, I can’t think of any for me as I am in constant work-mode co-managing the tours…. But, Kevin
(Rothney), our bass player, stumbled onto our bus when our naked German bus driver and his sparkling blue dildo (on the seat) were all in plain view for all to see?? It was a moment of pure comedy, that provided us with endless
comedy for the entire tour…. and something you had to see to believe!

You are in a balloon with Axl Rose, Gene Simmons, Sebastian Bach and Simon Cowell (X Factor, American Idol)- who would you throw out as ballast and why?

Sebastian Bach – no one is allowed to be taller than me, ha! ha!

What is your guilty secret?

Wishing we were 20 years old and not waking up some mornings, on tour, feeling like we just gave birth the night
before…He! He!

How do you feel about gigs being filmed and put onto the net by fans?

Love it! We give 110% on stage every night and are very critical of our own shows and our own performances. We want the fans to be getting their money’s worth every night. It only helps to promote your band if you are good at what you do!

Who do you think is the most overrated band/solo artist ever and why?

- I won’t be specific, but just say, every sh*t commercial band created by recording companies…. Ass-wipes who don’t know anything about or care about good music…just the $$ signs on the recording contract!

What 3 words describe you best? And Jon?

“Genius”, “funny”, and “real” for Jon. “Blessed”, “anxious” and “overwhelmed” for me.

What song (not necessarily yours) do you identify with the most?

Queensryche:" Eyes Of A Stranger”

Who is the sexiest person in Rock?

- The audience!

We know that every town is "The best EVER", but what town is really the best for you?

- “The festival tours are great…but our favourite club venue to play is Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland. Norbert, his staff and the fans treat us like family there. We so love to play that great venue…. the food is out of this world!

What's the worst shithole you've ever played and why?

Definitely a venue in Italy where we had to squat down over a hole in the floor to take a sh*t. We felt like we were living in the Middle Ages…and the stage was an old theatre pitched on a 5-degree angle. It was the strangest feeling! I felt as though I was falling downhill the entire show…great crowd though!

What's your favourite pre 1990 album?

- Rush- “Moving Pictures”!

What's the best thing about being a musician?

- Being able to do what you love! So few people in this world have the ability to fulfil their dream gig or dream job. I love everything about it…., well, almost!

What's the worst thing about being a musician?

- The shit roads we have to travel on, especially through Romania, Turkey, etc. It’s impossible to sleep or relax
when you feel like the bus is nothing more than a giant pinball machine that could go right off the road at any minute. How I hate those roads!

What/whom are your influences and heroes (musicwise)? And Jon's?

- My God, the entire band comes from a very wide variety of musical tastes, so how long do we have? I grew up
with Johnny Cash, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Cars, The Fixx, Rush, AC/DC, The Moody Blues, The Scorpions…. you name it! I just loved great song writing, no matter what the style…. But I didn’t really know that until many years later. Oliva is definitely a Black Sabbath, Beatles, Queen freak.

What song do you want played at your funeral?

- “I Did It My Way” by Frank Sinatra!

What is the best TV theme tune ever?

- The Muppet Show!

Thanks for these!

- That was great…let’s do it again soon. Cheers to everyone and enjoy our FESTIVAL! See you on tour in

interview by R. Fire
Photos provided by Jon Oliva's Pain
07 March 2010
(c) 2010 RockUnited.Com