NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Guitarists Chris Caffery (L) and Joel Hoekstra of Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform onstage during an exclusive performance at The iHeartRadio Theater in New York at iHeartRadio Theater on November 17, 2014 in New York City.

While the show must always go on, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s upcoming “The Ghost of Christmas Eve” tour will certainly feel different in light of the passing of founder Paul O’Neill.

Guitarist Joel Hoekstra talked about the late TSO leader in a recent conversation with WRIF’s Meltdown and also touched on what fans can expect on this year’s tour:

“Paul was extremely giving.  One of the nicest guys I ever met in my life, so it’s very sad…TSO was his life.  In terms of being a band member and the way we feel is Paul lifted us all up.  He believed in all of us to the point where he believed in us more than we believed in ourselves sometimes.  It always made you feel like you didn’t want to let him down, and it makes us feel even more like that this year.  Thankfully, he had already passed along what he already wanted to have happen in terms of production and musically this year.  It’s essentially like every note you hear is going to be a tribute to him.  It’s very sad to continue on without him, but it is indeed what Paul wanted…He was like the type of guy who started up the car in fifth gear.  He wanted TSO on ten the whole time in terms of what was happening production wise and in terms of the music.  He likes the sensory overload thing, and it was just an honor to get to know him over the years.  He was just such a wonderful guy.”

For a complete list of “Ghost of Christmas Eve” tour dates, check out

To listen to this interview in its entirety, go to


Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.