Australian metal enthusiasts have been spoilt for choice during 2013 and it doesn’t look like the indulgence will be stopping anytime soon as one of the forefathers of symphonic metal will presently be providing the ambient atmosphere not many others can compete with. For the past six years, Kamelot have been battered by Australian fans, pleading with them to head our way…… With the announcement of a world tour promoting their latest album Silverthorn Australians rejoiced as dates for Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane were making their way through the newsfeeds…. Metal As Fuck caught up with guitarist Thomas Youngblood to chat about the world tour, the new album and to confirm rumorus for Thomas on those rabid Australian moshpits….
It's been busy days of late – you're currently on a world tour promoting the band’s latest album Silverthorn and the recruitment of a new vocalist, how is it all going so far? “It’s all going really great, its going very fast but I can’t complain, we have been making this latest album for over three years, so we plan to tour throughout 2013. We are actually planning 2014 already”. [Laughs] Care to give us any clues? “Sure, we’ve signed on for 70,000 tons of metal as well as a few other summer festivals in Europe; during all this time we hope to get some great footage for the next DVD”.
The band does have a few DVD’s under its belt – do you prefer shooting a live DVD production as appose to recording an album? “Yeah it’s great to work on them, it’s our calling card, a way to show to fans who can’t necessarily see us play live – can’t get to a show. We like to create them in a more documentary style with a lot of behind the scenes footage. We hope to shoot a lot of it during out time in Australia – so big smiles and horns up guys!”
Getting onto the latest album, Silverthorn, what was your original vision for the album? “We have a lot of albums, so the main goal was to stay true to our signature sound. Keep to the melodies, the production quality and slamming in a lot of great riffs – we didn’t want to jump right in with like some radical new instrument or something, we want to get back to familiarity for the fans”. So the band has a new vocalist [Tommy Karevik] - what has he given to the music of Kamelot – has he enhanced the aesthetic and maintained that signature sound that is obviously very important to the band? “He has made an amazing difference to the band, and added a great dimension to our live shows also. Tommy jumped right into the new album with no hesitation – he has this ability to capture the old and new Kamelot. This is our first album with him and we couldn’t be more pleased with the result”. There have been subtle changes to the overall sound of Kamelot over the past several years – how do you keep it fresh and adapt your signature style to these changes? “I think it’s a matter of personal feeling, if we were to write another Poetry..., we would become super bored, we need to keep it interesting for ourselves and the fans – for instance the feature of a female growler for one of the songs on the album – if we like it so should the fans hopefully”.
Evaluating Silverthorn next to Poetry... for instance; it has been stated that the signature sound and familiarity of Kamelot is the melodic element and that this was something you wanted to reintroduce to the music – do you feel you have achieved this with the latest album? “This record has exceeded my expectations, with the music that we have created and the ideas that were put into the album I said to myself this is really good we have great chart positions with the release, we are taking the music to a range of new countries; we have surpassed our initial goal and more”. What challenges were faced with writing this album if any? “Honestly it went so smoothly, the new album has a lot of energy and I think that aided the process. Recording Poetry... was difficult; I guess it’s hard to avoid difficulty when you’re writing in the unknown. We used producers we had worked with in the past that were extremely beneficial to the end product, this album just held the right parts”. You mention the unknown – what would be leaving your comfort zone? “Well I think experimenting is important, fans expect that you know, we didn’t with Silverthorn though, not with this record. We wanted the familiarity of Kamelot to have the foundations for the album. I could see the next album for Kamelot testing ourselves and fans though”.
Do you ever find the style has limitations or the complete opposite – you can find both uniqueness and versatility “Unless your day job was pop rock like Nickelback for instance you’re sealed in, it’s a risk, some bands do it – take a risk and hope for the best with Tommy now in the band though we feel like we can take more liberties and stretch out of our progressive borders”.
Kamelot always offer a great stage show be it with the use of Pyrotechnics, guest vocalists – what makes Kamelot’s stage show something you want to see? “I don’t know really [Laughs] I guess that we just send off a great energy and atmosphere mixed with a great setting, it’s hard to say – I surround myself with great musicians. I’ll watch some of our DVDs and be like wow this is great! [Laughs] not because I’m on it that would be cheesy but because of the fans interacting with the music and the members….. I hear that Australian fans are pretty crazy yeah?” We have been known to get a little excited yes…. And being Kamelot’s first time to the country, how do you feel about that? “We are totally excited! We have been talking about a tour in Australia! For five to six years we have been hammered by fans to tour, at the end of the day that really makes a statement. We were just waiting on the right offer, something that would have benefitted everybody. We can’t wait for our first Australian tour – big smiles and horns up!!”