Bryan Reesman of The Aquarian Weekly recently conducted an interview with guitarist Thomas Youngblood of American/German/Swedish symphonic metallers KAMELOT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On KAMELOT‘s new singer Tommy Karevik:
Youngblood: “He was capturing the essence of KAMELOT from the past but was bringing in his emotion and a style of his own. He toured with us in Europe and came out for one song every night, so we were kind of grooming him for the role. His first show as KAMELOT‘s frontman was at the Masters Of Rock festival in the Czech Republic in front of 30,000 people, and he totally killed it. We were really happy that day, and everybody was drinking champagne.”
“We already did some big festival shows like Wacken, which was in front of 80,000 people. The guy was killer. There’s an exciting feeling and a renewed energy within the band in terms of touring, and it just seems fun again.”
On the recording process for the new KAMELOT album, “Silverthorn”:
Youngblood: “[Tommy‘s] a perfectionist, so he flew back and forth between Sweden and Germany and spent 14 hours a day working on songs with [longtime producer] Sascha [Paeth]. We were all really surprised at what was coming back from those guys when it came to vocal ideas. The music was pretty much done, and it was important for me to write the songs and music like we’ve always done. We didn’t change keys for any vocal type, and he assimilated into the band perfectly with his marriage of the past and the future.”
On KAMELOT‘s 2010 album, “Poetry For The Poisoned”, which Youngblood deems “a little too experimental”:
Youngblood: “We got to a point where certain people within the band didn’t want to work on the record anymore. There was a little more of a monotone vibe on that record. (Specifically, the modern rock approach of crafting choruses based on only one chord.) Even though I still love the album, I wanted to get back to the more melodic side of KAMELOT, mixing this melancholy feeling underneath. But also at the end of the record you don’t want to slit your wrists. You want to have a little bit more of a positive feeling about the record, about your life, or whatever it might be. That was one of the cool things that we were establishing with records before that, like [2001’s] ‘Karma’ and [2007’s] ‘Ghost Opera’, and I think on ‘Poetry’, it was a little bit too depressing. Bringing back some of those melodic elements on ‘Silverthorn’ was important.”
On “Silverthorn” being a concept album, telling the story of a young girl named Jolee who dies in the arms of her twin brothers and takes their secret to their grave:
Youngblood: “I think if you look at any classic concept record — and for me it’s like PINK FLOYD‘s records or [QUEENSRŸCHE‘s] ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ — you don’t really reveal too much about it. That makes it interesting for the fans to analyze things. We have a book that has a more detailed outline about the family in the story and about the time period, which is the 19th century. It’s more descriptive but still leaves a lot of the mystery in the story that you want to have there.”
Read the entire interview from The Aquarian Weekly.