Kamelot Norway recently conducted an interview with KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood and keyboardist Oliver Palotai. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Kamelot Norway: KAMELOT has been growing on an enormous scale ever since the release of "The Black Halo". Are you satisfied about where band stands today if you look back on the days when the band was still fresh in the music industry?
Youngblood: Absolutely. The band is still growing, too, both in terms of fanbase as well as record sales. Our live shows have been a big factor as well since we invest in bringing the fans something unique every time we visit.
Kamelot Norway: Finding a new vocalist seems to be a very tough decision. What would you say are some of the biggest attributes the future vocalist of KAMELOT should have?
Youngblood: Great voice, great stage presence, ability to travel and also getting along with the other members. There are a lot of great singers out there; I've heard so many. But when you dig deeper into their personal situations, it becomes a bit more complex to see them in a professional working band like KAMELOT. Some have a nagging wife, some may be addicted to something, some may not like flying in an airplane. If you want to be in a band, then you cannot have those hang-ups.
Palotai: [It] would be great if he could pass by the keyboards on stage without throwing them off the stand, haha! [I have] had some problems with that in the past. Besides that, I find it important that they are teamworkers. No ego crap. Musicians are always strong individuals, but you have to put some of that aside to be successful.
Kamelot Norway: You have been teasing us all an awful lot about the new singer, and you'll be recording the new album soon. How is the process going?
Youngblood: New songs are going great!! I am in Florida at the moment with Oliver and we are really happy with the results. We will be in Germany soon to start recording the new album. Vocals will be the last thing we do, which is always the case.
Palotai: It will be a real KAMELOT record, that is for sure. Of course, there will be again new things to discover, but I know our fan base would be disappointed if it would be any different. So far I can say there is a killer record coming up! It is only the early production I am listening to right now, but that alone makes us working even harder to deliver it to our fans as soon as possible. I am just looking forward to the feedback from the people who love our music.
Kamelot Norway: The old-school KAMELOT is recognized by the medieval myths and themes. Will these aspects remain in the past of KAMELOT, or do you think that there is still room for these themes in the future?
Youngblood: Those themes came and went with the release of "The Fourth Legacy". From the next album onward, we have kept our ideas and topics varied and modern. At the time, it was fun but we will not return to swords and dragons, that's for sure. I see the next album a mix of "The Black Halo" with new and dark elements and ideas.
Kamelot Norway: It seems that you're a very busy man as you work on several projects outside KAMELOT; do you ever feel that you're running dry on ideas?
Palotai: No. I am a pretty conservative worker regarding that. I get up early, and compose and produce all day until late. I feel more related to the composers of the Baroque era and before, when musicians were considered being more craftsmen or working in the same area like mathematicians or physicians. That whole image of the musical genius is actually a construction of later eras. Which doesn't mean there's no magic in music, though. I am still surprised that of the little steps I do every day there's a finished song or album at the end. Many processes run on a subconscious level; I guess that is what is called musical talent, which is just hard to define.
Kamelot Norway: There have been some changes to the overall sound of KAMELOT these past seven years; how do you keep fresh and adapt your signature style into these changes?
Palotai: Luckily I can do whatever I want — in the end it mostly has that specific personal sound, which is just part of my playing or composing. For me it is just fantastic being in a band like KAMELOT which is reinventing itself again and again, instead of playing it safe. Actually once I quit a band after years because it basically played the same old stuff for years and years. KAMELOT is always keeping its character, but never standing still either.