Few weeks back I had the opportunity to fire up some questions to Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot; back then, they were about to embark on the North American length of the tour. Here’s what he had to say about their new album (reviewed here), musical collaborations and band mates, along other things.
Hi Thomas! I recently had the pleasure to review your newest album Haven and I was pleased to hear that Kamelot creative’s vein is alive and well! Congratulations on delivering another beautiful album. Tommy contributed a lot with the song writing on Kamelot’s Silverthorn, what kind of input did he have on Haven and which other people were involved in the song-writing this time?
Yes, he has now integrated into the band 100% and has all the confidence and support he needs. So with Haven he is showing more of his range and style and doing some of the best vocal work in his career. Of course it really helps that we toured alot with Silverthorn, and that made the band tighter than ever. So now the new era has officially begun and we are ready to rock the planet.
One of most important aspects of a Kamelot album should be the mix emotions on the record. Music is about emotion, and with Haven the listener is taken on a roller-coaster of emotions from start to finish. We touched on many subjects and it seems to have a red line throughout some of the songs. Again we always want to have the ebb and flow of all emotions, and that’s really what music is about, emotion. So on Haven we decided to make the record more in the now and future versus the 17th century as the previous record.
What’s your personal favourite track off the new album?
So many, but at the moment its “Liar Liar”.
We waited about two and a half years for a follow up to Silverthorn, what have you been up during this time?
Touring, living life and writing.
Was having Troy Donockley on the album a collaboration stemming from touring with Nightwish on your last tour for Silverthorn?
Yea, we became good friends and he is a really cool dude. Initially the ballad was more orchestral and did not include Charlotte or Troy, but after listening we really wanted to add some extra spice to the song and I think their contribution certainly made it more special.
What about Charlotte and Alissa? I know you toured with Delain, and Alissa had already provided backing vocals, they are both fantastic vocalists of course but what do you think they respectively add to Kamelot?
Like all our guests, they add a unique spice to the albums. We are fortunate to have some talented friends.
Is there any other vocalist, or musician, that you haven’t crossed paths with that you would love to work with in the future?
Lzzy Hale is on my radar and Lindsey Stirling but nothing is confirmed.
You are about to embark on the North American length of the tour and you are still adding dates for Europe…any chance you can make it to Scotland once again? I can only see the London date though.
We are always looking for more tour dates in the UK but it seems to come down to one or two shows regarding bookers. We will keep our options open of course. The one show we did in Scotland was awesome!
Can you give one word to describe each of your band mates ? Is there a word to describe yourself too?
Tommy is a perfectionist, healthy and quiet and a pure joy to tour with.
Casey is our engine, he leads the songs and is always kicking butt!
Sean is the wild man, always up for an adventure.
Oliver is the studious one, reading before every show while I am having a beer ;)
I would say I am a bit of a control freak but once on stage I like to let it all go full blast!
These days we hear a lot about remote recording. It makes it easier for artists a world apart to write music together, I am sure the advantages are great but I keep thinking that something goes amiss….what do you think?
I think for now it works for song writing and demos. I have seen a scenario yet where we will keep these recordings but its coming. We used VST Connect on Haven.
Does Kamelot still rehearse together or it is now just a question of preparing for a tour together?
We rehearse before a tour, once the tour is going we don’t really need to rehearse unless we are adding a new song.
These days you often hear that most bands don’t even travel together..how do you tour in America and in Europe?
We take a tour bus, in the US we have 12 in Europe we have 14 people.
What do you like most and least about touring?
Most if seeing new cities, worst is being away from family.
When you first started the band in the 90’s in Florida I’m guessing that there weren’t many bands that sounded like yourself around. Florida was very much known for it’s Death Metal scene at that time. What was it like in those early days?
I grew up seeing Savatage and Crimson Glory, so we did have metal bands here.
Have you ever thought to pack it all up and if so, what kept you going and what do you think the secret of the band’s longevity is?
Not any time soon, the band is growing and we have more to offer. The secret is evolution and doing new things without abandoning your roots.
How did you get into metal…do you remember the day you discovered this genre?
My friend had a Judas Priest Live album, I didn’t know metal before that. Only rock, like Kansas, Rush, stuff like that.
You have been talking about releasing a live DVD in the past, are you any closer to organising this release?
Getting closer, still working on the deals for this.
It was good to have you here on Moshville Times and to catch up with the latest news about Kamelot. Good luck with Haven and hopefully we will see you later on this year for more UK dates. Your Scottish fans would love to see you back playing in Scotland again.
Thanks!! See you soon!!