Whatever the weather, you can rest assured the holidays are right around the corner when Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) goes on the road. The 2018 Ghosts of Christmas Eve tour kicks off November 14, 2018, promising more classic TSO music and pyrotechnic effects. This year, American Idol’s Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson joins the TSO team for a blast of holiday spirit. Parade.com caught up with Johnson to find out more about his TSO experience.
With over two decades of music and electrifying magic, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a holiday institution. What is it like being part of this extraordinary tradition?
It is an absolute honor and a privilege! This show changes people’s lives and has brought joy to so many people for so many years. There is a lot of magic and spirit within this show, and it’s amazing to see it evolve from the studio to rehearsals to the arena stage.
What can fans expect from Caleb Johnson and TSO during this season’s Ghosts of Christmas Eve tour?
I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m very excited about the song they have chosen for me to sing and can’t wait for people to hear it live. The show itself is gonna blow people’s minds! [I’m] really excited about this tour.
From snow, fog and fire to lasers, TSO is notorious for grand scale special effects. Is there a specific special effect that is your favorite?
Haha—all of them!
For audience members, the TSO experience is a visual and auditory celebration that is almost unexplainable. What is it like being onstage and part of the musical component?
It is absolutely amazing! It’s almost like an out-of-body experience up there. You just get lost in it.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (photo by Bob Carey, 2017)
TSO creator, the late Paul O’Neill is very much missed. Had you ever had the opportunity to meet him early in your career?
Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet him personally. He did get to hear me sing a couple of years ago before he passed, but I never got to meet him face-to-face. I would have loved to have met him.
Your American Idol journey began years before you became the Season 13 winner. What advice do you have for those who are trying to achieve their creative dreams?
My advice to upcoming artists is, “Stay true to yourself, be humble and work hard.”
What’s next for Caleb Johnson?
I just released a new single, “Born and Raised” which is available everywhere. Also, I have a new album coming out February 22, 2019, called Caleb Johnson and The Ramblin Saints—Born From Southern Ground and [I] will be hitting the road later that year.
Get tour information for Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Nancy Berk, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, comic and entertainment analyst. The host of the showbiz podcast Whine At 9, Nancy digs a little deeper as she chats with fascinating celebrities and industry insiders. Her book College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind can be seen in the feature film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.