KAMELOT Guitarist On Album Leaks: 'There's Always Somebody Who Wants To Brag That They Got The Record And Put It On The Internet'

March 18, 2018

France's Loud TV 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 record company, Napalm Records, safeguarding the release of the band's forthcoming "The Shadow Theory" album from being leaked online:

Thomas: "I think it's important now with the leaks and the Internet that all the hard work that is done by the artist is protected. There's always somebody who wants to brag that they got the record and they put it on the Internet. Since it's digital, it just takes one person. So, we like to have a little bit of control over that and I think the journalists respect that. We give them enough information so they can get a good idea of what the record is going to be like. I'm thankful that Napalm understands that whole philosophy as well. At the end of the day, it's all about making sure that the promotion and the rollout for the record is respected. The fans, they don't want to hear the whole record on the Internet before it's available to them. A lot of people don't understand the amount of time that goes into making these records. Of course, there's the money aspect, but just forget about the money. The time and the energy and the passion and I've heard about bands who have had their album leaked four months before the album even came out. So, yeah, Napalm understands that and it's one of the reasons we love them."

On whether it was difficult to select the guest appearances for "The Shadow Theory":

Thomas: "No, these are people that we kind of know, like [ONCE HUMAN vocalist] Lauren Hart, for example. She did a show with us with IRON MAIDEN in California over the summer. She's a cool talent, a really nice person. Jennifer Haben [BEYOND THE BLACK] is a singer from Germany and is on the ballad ['In Twilight Hours']. She's friends with [longtime producer] Sascha [Paeth], so all these things happen organically. That's usually how it happens with us. We don't make these big, over-the-top efforts to try to get people. We usually work with people that we know."

On whether "The Shadow Theory" is a concept album:

Thomas: "It's kind of a concept around the whole record, but it's not a concept story. In the past, we did 'The Black Halo' and 'Silverthorn', those were stories based on characters. This, we wanted to have an overall theme, this sort of dystopic theme that kind of lends its way to the melancholy in some of the songs. But, at the end of the day, we always want to convey some sort of hope for humanity and for mankind and a sense of empowerment. It's important, especially with all the negativity that we get daily. Part of the concept is also this division that is created between religions or countries, left, right, all these things that are basically dividing people instead of bringing us together. So, we touch on those subjects a little bit. But at the end of the day, we want people to all feel connected. According to [Swiss psychiatrist] Carl Jung, everybody has a shadow and if you don't acknowledge that, it gets darker and eventually consumes you somehow. That was kind of the genesis for 'The Shadow Theory'. The Carl Jung shadow thing is called 'The Shadow Aspect', but we liked the name 'Theory' better. It's not a big thing in my life. I stumbled upon it and thought it was a really cool subject for the album and we married it with this dystopic ideas that we had, like this future AI thing. It was a good symbiosis between those two worlds that really made sense."

On Jung's idea that people must embrace their own dark side:

Thomas: "Yeah, you have to embrace it somehow. I guess everybody has something in them that is dark. You have to acknowledge that and hopefully control it. My 'shadow' is overthinking making decisions. Whether it's the paint color in my office or the cover, for example. I drove the cover artist [Stefan Heilemann] crazy with revisions and revisions and eventually, it's perfect."

On working with Heilemann for cover art for "The Shadow Theory":

Thomas: "Stefan Heilemann, he did 'Silverthorn', he did 'Haven', he's really good, he's really creative. He is also a really fast worker. He has a really cool outlet to getting models. Like, we had a couple of models do the model shoot and we picked her [points to album cover]. So, we kind of base it on this one model. I really liked her look because she had a bit of an exotic look, which I thought was perfect for the cover."

"The Shadow Theory" will be released on April 6 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Haven" was helmed Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen.

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, followed by European shows in the summer. The band will return to Europe in September/October for its biggest headlining tour to date.

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