Interview with Johnny Lee Middleton of Cold Blooded Sapphire
By Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Johnny Lee Middleton began playing bass with Savatage at the end of 1985, has been part of Trans Siberian Orchestra since its inception in 1995, and recently put together a project called Cold Blooded Sapphire. Cold Blooded Sapphire released their debut album “I Am Sapphire” on November 15th, 2017, which is a concept album that is divided into four parts and tells the journey of Sapphire in life and love. During our interview Johnny elaborated that “Each song on its own stands strong, but collectively it tells a whole story.”
Johnny is no stranger to concept albums. The 1995 Savatage album “Dead Winter Dead” is a story that focused on the Bosnian war and a cellist who played in town square during Christmas and refused to let the city go down while it was being bombed. This ultimately lead to the creation of Trans Siberian Orchestra, which Johnny has been part of for the past twenty-two years. It was an honor to be able to spend some time on the phone with Johnny to learn more about his newest project Cold Blooded Sapphire, and talk a little bit about TSO and Savatage.