Metal Wani recently conducted an interview with KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood. You can now listen to the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On KAMELOT's musical progression leading up to the band's latest album, "The Shadow Theory":
Thomas: "I think in the beginning we were a little bit more fantasy-based, but I found that to be at some point a little bit cheesy and also kind of limiting. So we didn't wanna paint ourselves into this medieval-band box or singing about dragons and stuff. So probably around the 'Karma' album, we started really digging into more deeper topics, getting a little bit more dark with Elizabeth Bathory and these kinds of things. And from that point, we've basically kind of introduced a little bit more symphonic, gothic elements into the band. And, yeah, it's basically been kind of an interest of mine anyway, so to be able to include that to the music was a good move."
On incorporating a more "futuristic" element into KAMELOT's lyrics and music on "The Shadow Theory":
Thomas: "We would never go totally crazy with changing the music — we still have the symphonic metal — but we have introduced some different sounds in some of the songs to make that whole concept make sense musically. But in terms of the lyrics, all the lyrics are basically metaphors for life and what is going on today. We are interested in A.I. and all these things, and we're also interested in the psychological aspect of what's happening in our lives. So that's also kind of married into the whole process."
On making concept albums:
Thomas: "Well, this is more kind of a hybrid. This is more a mixture of 'Silverthorn' and 'Haven', because there's a concept around the whole album, but it's not a story, like 'Silverthorn'. So it's important that this record, for example, you can pick any song and it's not part of some storyline — you don't have to listen to the whole record front to back to get some kind of a message. So from that aspect, it's a concept — all the songs have some red line through it — but it's not a story-based concept."
On whether he would be interested in re-recording older KAMELOT songs with the band's current lineup:
Thomas: "Not really. I don't see the point, really. One of the reasons that KAMELOT's been around for 15-plus years is because we are about now and the future. We're not a nostalgia band, a tribute band; everything's about the new record. Of course, we still play songs from the old catalogue, but if you look at our setlist now, it's basically mostly 'Haven' and 'Silverthorn', and then we have a few songs like 'March Of Mephisto' and songs like that. But there's really not a really good reason to do that — I mean, other than for people to want to compare. And what is that gonna do? Nothing."
On whether he would ever be interested in performing a classic KAMELOT album from front to back to celebrate an anniversary of its release:
Thomas: "No. I don't find that interesting at all, to be honest with you. I mean, we play enough songs from the back catalogue for that interest, but to go back and just do, for example, 'The Black Halo' in its entirety with a totally different lineup makes zero sense other than making money. And it's also a lose-lose because fans will, like I said, compare. And maybe it's better, maybe it's not, but there's always somebody that's gonna say, 'This is not the same.' What's the point? When you see these big anniversary things, it's just a gimmick to sell tickets. That's not what we're doing."
"The Shadow Theory" will be released on April 6 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Haven" was helmed by acclaimed music producer Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen. Guests on the album include Lauren Hart (ONCE HUMAN), Jennifer Haben (BEYOND THE BLACK) and Sascha Paeth. The cover and artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann.
KAMELOT recently parted ways with longtime drummer Casey Grillo and has replaced him with Johan "Jo" Nunez.
Following the release of "The Shadow Theory", KAMELOT will embark on a massive world tour, starting in North America during April/May 2018, followed by European shows in the summer. The band will return to Europe in September/October for its biggest headlining tour to date.
Photo credit: Tim Tronckoe