ROY KHAN Has Never Regretted His Decision To Leave KAMELOT: 'It Was The Only Choice I Could Make'
October 15, 2022
Roy Khan says that he has never regretted his decision to leave KAMELOT.
The 52-year-old Norwegian singer announced his exit from KAMELOT in April 2011 after taking several months off to recover from a "burnout."
After his departure from KAMELOT, Khan, who is a devout Christian, joined a church in the coastal town of Moss, Norway.
In a brand new interview with Metal Command, Roy — whose full name is Roy Sætre Khantatat — said about his split with KAMELOT (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Was it hard [to leave]? Yes and no. I mean, it was hard in the sense that KAMELOT at that point was everything I had dreamt of since I was a little kid. There was good money, we had great success, and the band was still going up. But I was not in a good place personally; mentally, I was not in a good place, for many reasons. So it wasn't really that hard to make that decision. And there were things that happened at that time that were so awkward… I don't wanna say too much about that, 'cause it's a long story, but there were things that happened that made that decision very simple to me. Although there were times after that when I was bitter and, like, 'Oh, man. If only…' But it was a very good choice. It was the only choice I could make. I don't think I would have been alive today if I hadn't [left]… There hasn't been one time that I regretted it. I really could not have done things differently. And I know that in my heart, and I always knew that. But there's still room for bitterness [when] you have to make decisions that you have to make."
Two months ago, Roy told Chaoszine that he is "really, really extremely thankful" that KAMELOT was able to continue without him, "'cause I had no intention to hurt the band. It was a very personal decision to quit the band and I simply had to," he said. "And I'm just glad that everything turned out in the end to be… They managed to go on without me, and I'm just very thankful for that, really."
Khan reformed his pre-KAMELOT band CONCEPTION four years ago and released an EP, 2018's "My Dark Symphony", and a full-length album, 2020's "State Of Deception".
In April 2018, Khan released his first-ever solo song called "For All". The track, which was written by Khan, was recorded at Stable Studios in Oslo, Norway in March 2018 and featured Roy on vocals, piano and keyboards alongside Leif Johansen on fretless bass and Geir Olav Akselsen on all guitars.
Khan previously reflected on the circumstances that led to him ending his long working relationship with KAMELOT during an appearance last fall on the "Breaking Absolutes With Peter Orullian" podcast. Roy said: "That whole thing was a cocktail of several things that just happened to climax at that point. As you all, KAMELOT was getting more and more popular, so I was away months every year — like half the year at least I was gone. I was having a family, and that right there was starting to tear me apart. And then I was living my life not very healthy — let's put it that way — and I did a lot of stupid stuff back then that… I knew in my heart that it was going down the drain."
He continued: "I remember every night when I sang [the KAMELOT song] 'Karma', I would feel that this shit is gonna knock me on the back of the head at some point. If it's gonna tomorrow, [if] it's gonna be two years from now, I don't know, but the way I live my life, that's not gonna work — it's not sustainable. And then it happened. I knew for so many years, actually, that this was gonna not work out, and then, all of a sudden, it happened. I broke down. I had a full summer where I barely slept — like six to eight weeks where I didn't sleep a whole lot of hours during those six to eight weeks, and I was going really completely crazy. And in connection with that, a lot of stuff happened."
According to Khan, leaving KAMELOT after a 13-year run weighed heavily on him at the time.
"Quitting KAMELOT was the best decision that I've ever made, and by that I don't mean that… KAMELOT was a fantastic thing in my life, and Thomas [Youngblood, KAMELOT founder] and the other guys — it had nothing to do with them; it was all me and the way I lived my life, and I just couldn't take it any longer," he explained. "And I was also overworked — I worked all the time. Even when I was home. The first thing I'd do when I got back home is I would kick my shoes off in the hallway and I'd just sit right down at the computer and start working. I was really not a good husband and I was not a good father. Lots of things weren't good about me at that point.
"Quitting KAMELOT at that point, it was easy but it was hard," he elaborated. "It was easy because I didn't really have a choice. I was really wrecked. And at the same time, it was hard because I'd been working to get to that point my whole life, basically — 20 years, at least — and finally I was there. And then I threw the towel in and said, 'Hey, guys, I'm not coming in for the next tour.' 'Okay. Well, what's wrong?' 'Well, actually, I'm not coming back at all.' And obviously, everybody… My mom was, like, 'Are you kidding me? Are you serious?' Then the guys in the band, they thought that it was gonna pass. But I knew in my heart that summer [of 2010], already in August, I knew that that's it."
KAMELOT officially announced Tommy Karevik as its new lead singer in June 2012. The Florida-based band has recorded three albums so far with the Swedish vocalist: 2012's "Silverthorn", 2015's "Haven" and 2018's "The Shadow Theory".
Asked if he has listened to any of KAMELOT's recent material with Karevik, Roy told Italy's SpazioRock back in 2018: "Yes I have. I really like some of their new stuff. Sounds classical KAMELOT in my ears, and Tommy is a great singer."
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