Swedish singer Tommy Karevik (SEVENTH WONDER), who recently joined American/German symphonic metallers KAMELOT as the replacement for Roy Khan, has released the following statement regarding his addition to the band:
"It is not a secret that I have been in close contact with the KAMELOT crew for some time now. I played with them on ProgPower 2010 and I joined them on the European part of the tour in the spring of 2011. I learned a lot from this experience and had a great time together with the guys. Of course, musically, it is a bit different from the SEVENTH WONDER style, but to me, that is also what makes it interesting and challenging. Over the past months I have come to love the music and the vibe of the band and when I finally and officially was asked to join as the singer and full-blown member of KAMELOT, I was very happy and gladly accepted! This is something I am really proud of and something I am looking forward to making my own. However, I do want to say this... and this is very important to me... I will not leave SEVENTH WONDER! The SEVENTH WONDER guys and all of you fantastic and supportive fans out there will not get rid of me so easily! I love you all and you are the reason I got to where I am today! We are already working on some stuff for the next SEVENTH WONDER album and really can't wait to show it to you all!"
Karevik also spoke about his musical upbringing and the journey that led him to audition for the KAMELOT singer position.
"I was born on the 1st of November 1981 just south of Stockholm in a suburb called Botkyrka," he said. "Raised with music within the family, my sister Jenny and I were surrounded by the great songs of that time. Growing up I only sang for fun and because it was a natural thing for me. I even joined the school choir as one of the two only boys there... At the age of 12 my mother took me to see 'The Phantom Of The Opera' and I remember being totally floored by the music, the voices and the ambiance... I guess you could say that this is where it all started...
"After elementary school, Jenny was accepted into a musical college but I was more into sports at the time. I was studying nature and science in college and it wasn't until my 2nd year when I was 16 years old, that I 'discovered music' for real.
"In my class, there was a guy called Johan Larsson who was a musician and a guitar player. We instantly became good friends, and inspired by his musicality I picked up the guitar for the first time. During the days that followed I wrote my first song... It was in Swedish and I was really proud. Johan and I wrote a lot of music together during that time and it really helped me to develop my singing as well.
"My first contact with metal music was also through Johan. For me it was a new world of music that opened before me. Coming from musicals and artists like QUEEN, MICHAEL JACKSON and ABBA, I started to interest myself in the more melodic side of metal like DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, SONATA ARCTICA and A.C.T. But my biggest wake-up call was when I heard Jorn Lande [MASTERPLAN] for the first time... I couldn't believe my ears — and I still can't. I started practicing to sing like all the great artists I loved and somehow found my own style in the middle of it.
"In 2004 I was asked to write and sing on a metal project with Stefan Lindholm. The project was called VINDICTIV and the vocals were recorded together with Johan in his home studio. Later that same year I was contacted by the Stockholm-based prog metal band SEVENTH WONDER. They had heard the recordings with VINDICTIV and asked me if I wanted to come and audition for the singer position. They were about to release their first studio album and had just parted ways with their previous singer. I did the audition and a couple of days later they called me on the phone asking me if I wanted in. I happily accepted.
"Since that day I have recorded three studio albums a played a lot of great shows with SEVENTH WONDER and I have a lot to thank the guys in the band for. They are all fantastic musicians and great friends. Apart from the known ones, my musical heroes remain my sister Jenny, Johan Larsson and my SEVENTH WONDER family. As for today I am still in the band and have no intention of leaving.
"In September 2010, we were heading to Atlanta with SEVENTH WONDER to play the well-known festival ProgPower USA. One of the headliners of the festival was KAMELOT. Roy had just left the band prior to the North American tour and I was asked by [KAMELOT guitarist] Thomas Youngblood to perform a song with them on the night of their show. So I did, and joined stage with my friend Michael Eriksen of CIRCUS MAXIMUS who covered for Khan that night.
"Shortly after, Thomas called me again asking if I wanted to join them on the European tour as a guest vocalist together with Fabio Lione. The tour was a lot of fun and I met a lot of nice people and got some good experience. The guys were super-nice and we had a great time together!
"By now I was really into the music of the band and had fallen in love with the amazingly loyal and dedicated fans at every show.
"We kept contact throughout the whole process of auditioning singers, and I sent some demos of new material their way... When I finally was asked if I wanted to be the singer in the band, I was very happy and gladly accepted the offer!
"A lot of time and energy has been poured in the next album to make sure every die-hard KAMELOT fan gets what he/she deserves! I can't wait to share it with all of you! All the best and here is to the next chapter!"
KAMELOT's new album is planned for a September release, which coincides with the beginning a massive world tour that will bring the band to nearly every continent on the planet.
In KAMELOT's search for a new singer, Youngblood found YouTube to be an amazing tool: "I listened to a clip of a studio production featuring Tommy and have to confess that his performance really amazed me," he said. "His approach to melodies and themes suits KAMELOT perfectly, and during our European shows we had plenty of opportunity to find out what a great guy he is."
Youngblood on the style and content of the concept album: "The new songs sound more symphonic and melodic than our last two studio recordings. The material brings to mind albums such as 'Karma' (2001) and 'The Black Halo' (2005). In addition, this will be the best production that KAMELOT have ever delivered. Because while other acts tend to opt for low-budget productions due to the difficult market situation, we have gone the opposite way: the new album will be a real statement, in terms of our compositions as well as in terms of our sound."
KAMELOT performing with Tommy Karevik:
Photo credit: Jenny Hellström