Guitarist Thomas Youngblood of American/Norwegian melodic metallers KAMELOT was recently interviewed by the band's official web site, Kamelot.com. A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow below.
Q: It has been a long period to see KAMELOT setting a new standard in the metal scene. Which factors do you think have been importants to make this possible?
Youngblood: Originality is foremost. Also trying to develop new ideas and sounds within the structure of the band. We work very hard on this, trying to avoid repeating something we have done in the past as well as making something that will stand the test of time. The same goes into the artwork and touring. Our live show now is very dynamic and we like to take the fans to another place at the concerts. We include the fans as much as possible into the show and when we are all clicking its very special. Also having a new guy like Sean [Tibbetts, bass] has fueled all of us even more on stage, he is bringing a fresh and hungry attitude to the band and it shows in all the gigs. He is a beast on stage and we have a battle every night to kick each other's ass live. [Laughs]
Q: We know you have a special dedication to your fans. How important is for you their passion to KAMELOT? How you managed this? Most of the bands are wanted to make money and they doesn’t listen to their fans…
Youngblood: Money is the last thing we are thinking about with the fans. For me it's 100 percent dedication to the art and performance of the songs. The songs, the songs. Our fans are foremost in the mind with all the preparations for touring and planning things like meet-and-greets etc. I meet so many fans on tour, they inspire me more than anything else to do my best on stage and make them proud to wear a KAMELOT t-shirt. It's like a massive family that is around the globe.
Q: The new album will be released in a few days. Sincerelly, what do you think your fans are gonna find on this record?
Youngblood: The fans will find a record with heart and soul and a dedication to the art of making music that is not disposable. A commitment from all of us to do our best until the final stop button is push and the final deadline has been reached. The melodies we all expect with new and fresh riffs and a clean and fast production.
Q: We have listened to some sample songs and it's a new step in your musical career but the "KAMELOT feeling" is impregnated on each song.
Youngblood: That will never leave, the KAMELOT feel will always be in our songs. But we will always push ourselves to make something new and challenge the senses with unique ideas. This album is, in my opinion, the most versatile in our history.
Q: You hired the artist Seth Siro Anton to create the new album artwork. As far as we know, there’s also another artist involved. How was the artwork process and the elaboration of the new ideas?
Youngblood: Seth did an amazing job on the cover and many on the interior booklet images. I found him searching for new artists and we all thought he had a very unique and artistic visionary approach. Natalie Shau also made some amazing pieces of art for the various editions of the new album. One of them is my absolute favorites and is the main image in the digipak limited.
Q: I see a lot bands touring through the years with the same stage stuffs like backdrops and images. With each new tour you work very hard with the stage production to offer new elements to your audience. What do you think about it? How's the elaboration process of a new stage?
Youngblood: Yes, we approach every new tour with design elements in mind. When we can do pyro, we do, also with new aesthetics for the imagery and fantasy of another place. One of the things I also credit [IRON] MAIDEN for is having a killer stage show and also imagery. We recently got Oliver [Palotai] a custom-made keyboard, for example, and just a simple thing like this opens up the door for ideas and creative ways to play. One thing you can be sure of, too, is that we are not a band that stands around in one place on stage.
Read the entire interview from Kamelot.com.