This is an interview Mike Ragogna did with Paul O'Neill, founder of Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 2012.
The massively successful producer/writer/creative force passed away April 5, 2017 after battling a chronic illness. He was 61.
According to Huffpo, O’Neill got his start in the music industry as an assistant to manager David Krebs at Leber-Krebs, a management company that worked with bands like Aerosmith, AC/DC and Def Leppard, Variety notes.
In the mid-1980s, he became close with the heavy-metal band Savatage, which hailed from Tarpon Springs, Florida. O’Neill produced their “Hall of the Mountain King” album in 1987 and worked with them through 2001.
O’Neill, along with Savatage’s guitarist Jon Olivia, wrote “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/14,” a mashup of the Christmas songs “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells.” The track was meant to be released on Savatage’s 1995 album, “Dead Winter Dead.”