Kaaos TV conducted an interview with KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood prior to the band's September 25 concert at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the writing process for the band's 12th studio album, "The Shadow Theory":
Thomas: "Oddly enough, it still feels fresh and we also have kind of a new songwriting team. I fly to Germany and work with our keyboard player [Oliver Palotai] and we work together with our producer [Sascha Paeth] and singer [Tommy Karevik]. They're also based in Germany when we work together. We wanted to make a record that was kind of a little based on the 'shadow' theme from Carl Jung; that's where 'The Shadow Theory' came from."
On whether "The Shadow Theory" is influenced by current events:
Thomas: "Even with the last album, 'Haven', we started to touch a little bit on this dystopic direction the world's going in. Obviously, it's hard to ignore, with global warming and things like that. Even though some people want to ignore science, for us, it's something we wanted to bake into our songwriting. We are not political in any means, but we have a song like 'Burns To Embrace', which has a kids choir, for example, and it's basically telling adults, 'You're leaving us with this terrible world. Get it together.'"
On the musical direction of "The Shadow Theory":
Thomas: "We tried to be a little bit experimental with some of the sounds. We have a song called 'Amnesiac', which is definitely our most modern kind of song. There's a lot of progressive elements that we didn't have on 'Haven'. It's not a direction — who knows what the next record will be, but for this album we wanted to, we try to do that with every record. We try to do things a little bit different. We try to challenge ourselves and challenge the fans; otherwise, you have the same record over and over. That's boring."
On how long he can see KAMELOT continuing its career:
Thomas: "As long as the band is still growing, of course. As long as everyone still feels like doing it. We love doing it. We just shot a new DVD in Tilburg, Holland. It sold out, 3,000 people. The direction is going up. It's a good sign and we still feel like we have more to do musically. Right now, we're starting to build our stage to a different level. If anybody seen any of the shows from the recent shows from Holland and from Norway, so we're building the show that we want to finally give the fans. We like to do that in every city if possible. That's our next goal is to be able to play venues that are big enough to accommodate for our full-scale production. That's obviously a goal we want to do within the next five years."
On the band's recent lineup changes, including Johan Nunez replacing longtime drummer Casey Grillo:
Thomas: "Our drummer before was with us for 20 years, so it's like he's still one of my best friends. It's like if you've committed yourself to 20 years for something and you want to do something new, who can blame the person for that? Now we have a young German guy [Alex Landenburg]. He's enthusiastic. He's an amazing player. It brings a lot of fresh energy to the music. It doesn't really change the songwriting style because most of the songwriting is done by the core songwriters, but it's just a nice change in energy, I think."
On how he chooses the various guest vocalists for both KAMELOT studio albums and live appearances:
Thomas: "I'm always looking, even now I'm looking at different artists for the next cycle. Tonight, we have Noora [Louhimo] from BATTLE BEAST. Their band opened up for us in the U.S. and are actually going to be doing some shows with us in 2019 and we just fell in love with the guys and her, of course. She's an amazing singer. Yeah, she'll join us tonight. And we have Lauren Hart from ONCE HUMAN on the whole tour, and she's amazing. There's a lot of times it's bands we've toured with or I've kind of found out about. I just like to connect and collaborate with different people."
"The Shadow Theory" was released in April via Napalm Records.