Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On flying to Germany to write songs for new album “Haven” with keyboardist Oliver Palotai:
“We worked really hard on the core songs. We sent them over to Sweden where our singer Tommy [Karevik] worked on melodies and lyrics, and the final touches were done in Germany at our producer’s place. That’s sort of the way the songwriting’s been for the last two albums. The inspiration, I had a little kick on some of these older post-apocalyptic-type movies. We’re really seeing that those things are coming to fruition when it comes to technology, so we kind of wanted to incorporate that into the album — into the lyrics, and some of the themes for the songs.”
On recording previous album “Silverthorn” with a new vocalist:
“I’m the kind of person that whenever there’s an issue or any kind of situation, I address it immediately and then I never look back. I think with that situation, that was the perfect and only way to deal with it. We went into the ‘Silverthorn’ album a hundred percent confident. It took a lot of work and a lot of analysis in terms of what we felt was the right decision, and at the end of the day, we definitely made the right decision with Tommy. I’m never one of those guys who dwells too much on the past. It’s a good lesson to never let anybody else sort of determine where you’re going in life, whether it be some asshole at work, or whoever it might be, or a boss keeping you down. Take control of the situation, and make things happen.”
On why previous vocalist Roy Khan parted ways with KAMELOT in 2011:
“I don’t know. I still don’t know the full explanation, and it’s not something that I’m even interested in talking about anymore because we’ve basically moved on from that. We definitely made sure that we kept everything classy when it came to talking about it, though. We wish him hundred percent the best, and I’m totally happy for him because he’s happy. That’s really all that matters, is the guy’s happy. We had to cancel a tour. That was kind of messed up, but other than that, people have to make decisions in their lives. For us, if that’s what it takes to be a happy person, then go for it.”
On past KAMELOT album mixes he likes and dislikes:
“The ‘Siége Perilous’ mix [August 1998] I’ve never really liked. That was done in Germany. I don’t need to mention the mix guy, but I was never really happy with that mix. I just felt that the balances were kind of unusual. One of my favorite mixes was for ‘The Black Halo’ [March 2005]; there’s something about that one that is unique and special. A lot of the time, it has to do with the songs. The songs are sometimes different, and so we want each record to sound different. Otherwise, it sounds like it’s coming out of a factory. What I mean with some bands — their records sounding like they come out of a factory — every record has the same sound… I don’t think that’s cool, when the drums always have the same sound on each album. Each song has the same guitar sound. There’s a certain sound for guitars, and eighty percent of the bands have this exact same sound — same drum sound, for example — which is safe, but is it really cool? Is it unique? Is it artistic? We want a killer guitar sound and we want a killer drum sound, but we also want it to be unique. I kind of like the old-school way, when bands like QUEEN and even DEEP PURPLE or LED ZEPPELIN were, like, ‘This song needs a different snare,’ or ‘Let’s use a different amp on this song than we did on the other song.’ That old kind of approach to creating different pictures with the music.”
On whether he would form a band in today’s climate:
“I don’t think if I was starting now I’d go for it, because it’s just really difficult. Luckily, though, we have a foot in the door. We’re able to tour, and that’s where most bands are able to survive, is touring. With the new bands, you won’t see the same growth. I don’t think you’ll see the same uniqueness that you did before, because there are less labels taking risks with artists and stuff. At the same time though, maybe there are too many bands out there. Too many bands that are just clogging up the whole thing, so maybe that will weed out some of that. I don’t know.”
Read the entire interview at MetalForcesMagazine.com.