On October 7, DaBelly conducted an interview with guitarist Thomas Youngblood of American/German/Swedish symphonic metallers KAMELOT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
DaBelly: Whether intended or not, [new singer Tommy] Karevik‘s voice is reminiscent to [former KAMELOT singer] Roy Khan‘s and I’m eager to hear Karevik‘s interpretation of your older works.
Youngblood: One of the reasons we hired Tommy is because his voice had a similar quality and when it came to writing the new record we wanted to keep the KAMELOT sound. But also we want to grow. We want to show that Tommy is his own vocalist with his own thing going on. We know the fans will see that.
DaBelly: Did you write [the new KAMELOT album] “Silverthorn” with Karevik or was most of the record in place before he arrived?
Youngblood: Most of “Silverthorn” was written by myself and Oliver [Palotai], our keyboard player. We presented the songs to Tommy to work on vocal melodies and lyrics. So yeah, Tommy wrote all the vocal melodies and lyrics. I think Sascha [Paeth], our producer, helped a little bit, but for the most part Tommy is already been assimilated into KAMELOT. To me, it’s a really good sign for the future. I know that we will be able to invest a lot more time into writing the next album.
DaBelly: This was the first time you’ve entered the studio with a new singer in a long time. What was the preparation like? Did you approach writing music any differently?
Youngblood: My goal from day one was to make a KAMELOT record, so we didn’t do anything differently. We wrote the songs in the same keys. The only real difference was that some else was writing the melodies and lyrics and Tommy did an amazing job. He worked a little with Sascha on it. I wasn’t in the studio when they recorded vocals. Once Oliver and I started working together on this album, I knew that the music was going to be KAMELOT. The next step was to make sure the vocals fit in with what we’ve done in the past but also that they offered hints of what is yet to come.
DaBelly: I felt your last album, “Poetry For The Poisoned”, was heavier, especially in the lyrics. It was certainly heavier than “Karma”, my favorite. The new record seems heavier as well. The music has the old “Karma” feel, but the vocals seemed more like “Poetry”. Do you think that is a fair description on the new record?
Youngblood: I think one of the things I missed in “Poetry” was the melody, like you said. You know, like with “Karma” and “Black Halo”, the chorus had a melodic sense to it that we didn’t have on “Poetry”; it was something that I was missing and it was one of the first things that I talked to Tommy about — bringing more of a melodic sense to the song. He’s really great at writing melodies. Almost every chorus on the new record has a significant melodic feel to it. But at the same time I don’t want to abandon the melancholy undertones that I personally like in our music. I think it’s an important component that helps make us unique — blending uplifting choruses with a verse or mid-part sections that are darker and make you feel a little sad. But at the end of the record I want people to feel good about life, I don’t want to leave them feeling like they want to cut their wrists! That’s one of the things that I thought we missed on “Poetry” and it’s certainly one of the things that I think people liked about albums like “Black Halo”. Even though it had some darker elements, it also had this uplifting release as well.
Read the entire interview from DaBelly.
“Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)” video: