Chris Caffery: ‘There’s No Reason Why Savatage Should Not Be Playing Now’
Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery recently released his new solo album, ‘House Of Insanity.’ The cover art (at left) depicts Caffery – in a ragged straightjacket – standing in the pouring rain in front of a spooky looking house. In the front yard of that house is a tombstone with a wreath and gargoyle.
“I had a different cover of a house that was a weird, alive version of The White House,” Caffery told Noisecreep. “It was kind of neat but the whole thing about this record was, this is the record I did by myself.” In addition to singing lead vocals, Caffery also played guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards and guitar synth. Furthermore, he self-produced, recorded, engineered and mixed the 13 songs. “The reason I called it ‘House Of Insanity’ is I literally was going frickin’ crazy recording and writing this album. I spent so many hours, by myself, doing this thing. I was literally going nuts. When I got in touch with this graphic artist Rory about doing this, he just came up with it and it really fit.”
Caffery admits that the artwork contains, “A lot of what still fuels me emotionally in the fact that Savatage has not been playing, for whatever reasons you may read in the press – true or not. There’s no reason why Savatage should not be playing right now. The guys in the band might get pissed at me for saying that, but Savatage should and could be playing. It drives me nuts that we’re not! Even if it’s one gig, if we all get together and rehearse and play a gig once a year, Savatage could be playing and that’s where the rose and the gargoyle and the graveyard and me being by myself – I don’t want to play in another band. I don’t want to put another band together. I have TSO, which is a tremendous thing and I’m really proud to be a part of, but my heart and soul and everything is in Savatage. It frustrates the hell out of me that we’re not playing.”
“God bless Jon and what he’s doing with Jon Oliva’s Pain and Zak (Stevens) is doing Circle II Circle. But the bottom line is, we could be doing Savatage. There’s no reason why we couldn’t and shouldn’t. No matter what anybody says, no matter how they try to rationalize it. People can hate me, fire me – whatever they want to do for what I’m saying about it, but Savatage could and should be playing. Even if it’s in a parking lot or in somebody’s basement – nothing stops Savatage from playing Savatage. You can’t say this guy’s too busy with TSO. If the band really wanted to play, even if it was for no money, even if it was for somebody’s birthday party, we would be playing. The band isn’t playing because the band doesn’t want to play. If the band wanted to play, it would! Money or no money, TSO or no TSO – whatever the case may be; we’re the only people that are stopping the band from playing. What I hope eventually is that Savatage wants to be Savatage. That’s what kills me because I would do it in a second. If everybody called me and said, ‘Chris, get on a plane now. We want to play Sirens in front of six people at a tiki bar in Puerto Rico,’ I’d get on a plane now and I would do it for pizza. It has nothing to do with money. It has nothing to do with anything and that’s what eats me up about this. I know there’s hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Savatage fans around the world, that would love to see the band play. It eats me apart when it doesn’t.”
“I love everybody involved. I’m not trying to piss anybody off, but you can’t keep trying to make excuses for it. Now it’s been seven years since we’ve done a show; you can do a show in seven years. There’s not a point in time in seven years where you’re too busy not to do a show, a festival, something. You can’t tell anybody that; that’s wrong. There’s something holding Savatage back and the bottom line is, it’s Savatage itself. Not anybody in particular, the unit as a whole. It’s not putting itself together. I really think the band owes it to the fans to go and play. If people get mad at me for speaking what I’m feeling, then I was wrong for believing in the band the way I did in the first place. If you’re going to get mad at me for expressing how much I love the band and want to play, then shoot me in the head and call it day. That’s how I feel.”