Interview with Kamelot

Interview with Kamelot
Saturday – Wacken Open Air – 04-08-2012
Guitarist & founder Thomas Youngblood

By Laetitia
Recently Kamelot made some big annoucenements. The band revealed Tommy Karevik as their new vocalist and we can look forward to a new record in October. We met up with Thomas Youngblood at Wacken Open Air to talk about these developments.

I guess you could say that Kamelot started a new chapter. How do you feel about that?
Well, I look at from a different point of view. It’s not so much a new chapter, but a continuation. I mean, the new album is typical Kamelot, even the vocals. The band’s approach is that we are taking another step. We are continuing to work on the goals we want to achieve with Kamelot.

Do you think the change in vocalists will have an effect on you guys as a band?
Yeah, I think our live shows are going to be more dynamic. The interaction between the singer and the audience will be more noticeable. We’ve only done four shows with Tommy (Karevik) and it’s getting to a point for me where I feel super comfortable with him on stage. Fans are really going to enjoy this upcoming tour, hopefully they are going to say: Kamelot forever!

How did the first live shows go?
The first gig with Tommy was a couple of weeks ago. They were amazing, unbelievable, he totally slayed it. Also the response from the fans was good. Of course there will always be people who complain about it. We try to remember them that Roy Khan left. We didn’t fire him. He doesn’t want to this anymore. He probably doesn’t even read the internet on Kamelot.

I’ve talked to a few persons who watched the Kamelot show here at Wacken. They all said that they liked Tommy, but that he acts and sings a lot like Roy Khan used to do. Is that intentionally?
No, they had a similar sound already. We’ve not influenced Tommy at all. Maybe it’s a Scandinavian approach to vocals (red: both Roy Khan and Tommy Karevik are both from Scandinavia). Even when he talks, they sound similar. It’s just coincedental. For himself, as an artist, he wants to be his own singer. Of course if you want to give the old song the proper justice, you try to sing them as close to the original as possible.

Kamelot has a new album coming out in October, called Silverthorn. Do you set goals for each record that you want to reach?
My goal is always to put everything I can into an album within the time period that I have. Music, production, lyrics, everything. But you don’t want to repeat yourself. You want to be original and you want to make songs that sound great live. Those are the goals I have with each record. With the new album I think we’ve achieved more than that. It’s really special.

What can you tell us about Silverthorn?
The record is finished. It’s mastered and we are finalizing the artwork. I think it’s amazing, we did a listening session with some journalists and they all said: this is your best record ever. That wasn’t my goal, but it’s good to hear.

Silverthorn is a concept record. It’s based on a story about a little girl and her twin brother(s). I don’t want to talk to much about the story but it’s got a lot of really cool twists and a lot of mystery in it. When you listen to it, you’ll hear it has a really cinematic vibe.

Do you have any guests on the new album?
Yes we do! We have Elize Ryd, from Amaranthe. We have Amanda Sommerville. We have a cello group from Germany called Ekliptica. We also have a female growler from Canada, Alissa White-Gluz, from The Agonist. She is amazing, she will also be in the first video with Elize (Ryd). We have a few other guests, like an accordion player and Sacha Peath on guitar. We always like to bring in a few special persons for the spice.

To conclude the interview, where do you think Kamelot will be in 10 years?
Headlining the main stage here, haha. I don’t know, it’s hard to say. The band has been growing each year and each year we feel like we are taking steps. It’s not even so much about the goal, but the journey. A few years ago, we were so focused on getting to a certain level instead of enjoying the process. Nowadays we have more fun on stage because we have fun every day that we do this.