Kamelot - Thomas Youngblood

Kamelot - Thomas Youngblood

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A few days before the release of the new KAMELOT album entitled “Silverthorn”, METAL KAOZ got on the phone with Thomas Youngblood to see what is happening behind the scenes and how the band is getting ready for the upcoming European headlining tour.

Kamelot - interview

Hey Thomas, thanks for taking some time to speak to METAL KAOZ.
Hi Dimitris and thank you for having me here.

Since I know you are on a tight schedule, let me start right away by asking you how was the US tour?
Everything went great!

How did the NIGHTWISH fans treat KAMELOT?
Well, every night we had also KAMELOT fans, so again, this was great and I think it was the perfect combo. The music obviously complements each other, the bands got along very well together and so we had almost every night packed venues.

That’s great. So, since “Silverthorn” has not been yet released, can we consider the US tour as a warm-up for a headlining one that will follow?
Oh, yes, definitely! We have been doing headlining US tours for the last six or seven years, so we are coming back in 2013 for a headlining run.

Have you set a specific timetable for this?
No, we have not yet solidified the dates but it will be during late spring or early summer 2013 and we will be visiting similar cities with this one.

That's cool! “Silverthorn” was recorded with a new singer, so was the music already ready before Tommy Karevik had come to the band?
Most of it, yes and I’d say probably 90% was already written before Tommy had come. We basically approached the song writing the same way we always do by adding the vocal melodies after the music is done. So, there was nothing really different in the way we worked on the album.

Does this also mean that you were searching for a specific singer to fit KAMELOT’s music?
Well, we did not have any intention to change the way we write music in terms of the song structures or music key, so whoever was going to be the new singer had to fit KAMELOT. I mean, we did not want to change the music in the way to match the singer. And Tommy was a perfect set for this.

How long did it take to find Tommy? Because you were very secretive during the entire process.
Basically, the process from the day we decided to start looking until the day we announced Tommy as the new KAMELOT singer lasted the last two years.

Did you ever consider or even discuss to make Fabio Lione the new singer for KAMELOT?
I discussed this with Fabio and we both kind of felt that his vocals are very much connected with RHAPSODY and the fact that I wanted to bring somebody who is relatively a new face in the scene. Me and Fabio are really good friends and we have even discussed of doing a side project together.

That sounds interesting, so are there any other details about this?
No, it’s just a rough idea something that we can both blend the two different styles of KAMELOT and RHAPSODY or maybe do something that is kind of cool and new.

That's great Thomas, we will be waiting more info on this. But let’s go back to “Silverthorn”; is there a concept story behind the lyrics?
Yes, it’s a full concept album and in the limited CD edition we have a 44 pages book that kind of analyses the story. This edition has also a bonus CD, a poster and it’s a very cool package for the fans in a really special price; almost the same price with the regular CD. The story is in that book, so we don’t talk much about it.

Obviously there is a connection between the story and the album’s cover artwork, right?
Yeah, the cover artwork shows the girl Jolee from the story itself.

Ok, let’s talk about the setlist you have put together; first of all, are there any older song that Tommy cannot sing?
Tommy can pretty much sing the band's entire back catalogue because his vocal range is very diverse. For the US tour we chose songs that most of the fans want to listen like “Karma”, “Forever”, “Center Of The Universe” but also included our new single “Sacrimony”. After the release of the new album, we will add three or four new songs in the setlist.

Do you think that the fans will compare Tommy Karevik with Roy Khan?
I don’t know but I guess it’s a natural thing to do but so far the reaction has been amazing. Tommy is an amazing singer, he fits KAMELOT perfectly and we are really excited about the choice. I think most of the fans are very happy and relieved for having Tommy behind the mic.

What was Tommy’s input in the making of the new album (apart from singing, of course)?
He wrote most of the vocal melodies and lyrics. So, he contributed a big part on the making of “Silverthorn”.

Does this mean that he wrote the entire story behind the album?
No, it was a collaboration of my idea with him, Sascha Paeth and Oliver.

Musically, where would you place the new album as compared to the previous KAMELOT releases?
I would say that this is a more melodic album in the line with “The Black Halo”, “Karma” and there are also some new for KAMELOT elements. So, it’s like a perfect blend for what we think was missing from “Poetry For The Poisoned” which in most part for me is based on a melodic approach. Then we added the melancholy themes that I think are important to KAMELOT as well.

You have a new video out there for “Sacrimony”…
Yes, it’s based on the story of the album and we filmed that in Serbia with Ivan Colic’s team who also did “Ghost Opera”, “Rule The World” and “Human Stain” so the video came out really cool.

Are there plans to film a second video for the new album?
Yeah, we are probably gonna shoot at least three or four videos in total from this album. In one of the videos we will have the German quartet EKLIPSE group and that is going to be really good.

This is the band that is also in the new album, right?
Correct, we have also Elize Ryd and Alissa White-Gluz on the vocals and Miro who did some orchestral stuff so as usual we have some really cool guests.

So, the European tour is up ahead; what is planned for this?
Of course, we will have the new setlist (with new songs) and new stage setup. This will be probably one of the three headlining tours in Europe for this album.

Thank you Thomas for the nice discussion and have safe travels. See you again on the US headlining tour.
Sounds great man, thank you again for having me here.