Norwegian singer Roy Khan (full name: Roy Sætre Khantatat) has officially announced his departure from the American melodic metal band KAMELOT. His statement on the matter follows below.
"Dear fans and friends,
"There have been a lot of speculations around why I am not touring with KAMELOT and I want to make a statement although it may not prevent further guessing as to what's actually going on. It is a fact, however, that I told the guys in the band already last fall (well after my burnout) that I was leaving the band. Naturally enough, they were shocked (as was the label and everyone else working with KAMELOT). In addition to risk of dropping ticket sales, they wanted to give me time to think things over, and so I did. My decision still stands; it is finished.
"I am currently spending time with my family in Norway taking it easy and wondering profoundly what the future is going to bring. Communication with the outer world has been so and so, but I have had several talks with Thomas [Youngblood, KAMELOT guitarist/mainman] along the way, although I am still called in sick.
"I am terribly sorry that my decision is affecting so many others and I want you to know I wish the band and associates all the best for the future and that I enjoyed every second in the spotlight. How could I not?! They were nourished by the best fans in the world!
"I am eternally thankful for everything you and KAMELOT have given me and equally sorry that it has to end here. The good news is; God was there after all...
"Love you to death!!!"
KAMELOT kicked off its South American tour on April 7 at Teatro Teletón in Santiago, Chile. Simone Simons (EPICA) and Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) made guest appearances during the show, which marked KAMELOT's first-ever performance with singer Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE).
KAMELOT's setlist was follows:
01. Rule The World
02. Ghost Opera
03. The Great Pandemonium
04. The Human Stain
05. Center Of The Universe
06. Nights Of Arabia
07. A Sailorman's Hymn
08. When The Lights Are Down
09. Soul Society
10. Keyboard Solo
11. Hunter's Season
12. Eden Echo
14. The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)
15. Drum Solo
17. Bass Solo
19. Don't You Cry
20. March of Mephisto
Check out photos of the concert at PowerMetal.cl. Fan-filmed video footage is available below.
In a recent interview with PowerMetal.cl, KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood stated about the band's decision to recruit
Lione to fill in for longtime KAMELOT frontman Roy Khan, "I've heard some songs with Fabio singing — some KAMELOT songs like 'Ghost Opera' — and he sings quite different than he does with RHAPSODY for KAMELOT, which also, of course, makes sense, because it's a different approach to vocals.
"The idea [to hire Fabio for the tour] came from Sascha Paeth, our producer, who also produces RHAPSODY. He suggested it because he has worked with Fabio and knows his abilities. But, obviously, the high range that he can do with songs like 'Center Of The Universe' or 'Nights Of Arabia', these are songs that we… I think over the years, Roy, his range has dropped, so a song like 'Nights Of Arabia' is no problem for Fabio to sing. So we're gonna add some songs [to the upcoming tour's setlist] that we haven't been able to play over the past few years that I think fans have been wanting to hear."
When asked about the rumor that Roy Khan's "religious conversion" played a major part in his decision to sit out KAMELOT's current world tour, Youngblood said, "This is what we do, this is what we love doing — the band loves performing, we love touring. And I don't know if Roy has lost that… in his heart, in terms of what he likes doing. I know that there are some other issues. I know that there is a religious aspect to it now that I can't really 100 percent explain. Obviously, we were disappointed, and I'm not gonna lie, I was a little bit pissed off about it, but at the same time, we — the whole band, together — decided, 'Listen, we're not gonna slow down! We've got this new album and we wanna come to South America.' And that's what we're doing."
"Whenever we had a day or two off in Europe [on previous KAMELOT tours], [Roy] needed to fly home, which I thought was kind of extreme, to fly home, but that kind of was a sign was that I should have noticed that maybe the touring part was not for him. But the religious aspect of it is something that I want him to kind of talk about, but I know that he had been going to religious classes, for whatever reason. Obviously, over the years of working together and being, at times, best friends and things like that, we have discussed all kinds of topics about religion, so it's actually very surprising to me that this is where we are at now with him. But I don't really wanna talk too much more about it, because that's really something, I think, that he should come out about, in terms of what he believes or doesn't believe or whatever. All I can say is right now the band is unified and we're just not gonna slow down."
Regarding the possibility that KAMELOT may need to look for a new permanent singer, Youngblood said, "I don't really wanna think about that until this touring cycle is over. All I can say is we're not gonna fire him; that's not my position and I... It is my position, but I'm not gonna do that. . . If Roy decides that he doesn't wanna do this anymore, he has to make an announcement. But right now, I think the smartest thing for us, and the most compassionate thing, is to just give him the time until the next record, until we start really working hard on the next album, and if by that time he is not ready to work and doesn't wanna work, then we have to look at the possibility of getting another singer, which is, obviously, something we are willing to do, if we have to do that."