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Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot)

Interview with Thomas Youngblood from Kamelot
by Fede "FedeRock" Taich at 26 November 2012, 9:46 AM

KAMELOT have established themselves as a powerful melodic Metal machine in that last years. To celebrate the band’s new album, “Silverthorn”, via SPV / Steamhammer Records, FedeRock talked on the phone with Thomas Youngblood, guitar player and the main man of the band, about the new album, musical attributes and the new singer.

 How are you Thomas?

I’m doing great! The album is out and the Reviews are amazing so I can’t complain.

Can you tell us about the making of the album, when did you start writing it?

Yeah, we started throwing ideas and riffs and so about 18 month ago. and then in January Oliver came with me to Florida and we started to work on it, by march I flew to Stuttgart where we finished most of the songs and then there were a couple of songs that were written in the studio. the making was really quick the ideas were flowing really well and it was fun for me to work with Oliver as a songwriter for the first time and it was great how he could pass my ideas to keyboards and really add to the song writing and I’m looking forward to do this again with him in the future.

I really loved the Guitar/Keys duels on the album and I think guitar wise it’s some of your best work, can you tell us about the work on the lead parts this time?

Thanks, I usually think as a guitar player that is a songwriter, but this time it was a little more open so we let ourselves to give more space for solos because it all went very fluently. how knows what will be in the future but this time it was really fun to go back in a way to those epic long lead sections because the material let us do it. to me the album is about the songs , the melodies and the lyrics and on top of all , this way it really made Tommy (Tommy Karevic, The new lead singer) to step in really natural and he did an amazing job and I’m really proud.

 How was the recording process done?

We recorded the drums here in the US, in Morrisound Studios in Tampa. They are great friends of us since our first demos and it was great to be back there. it was the first time we been there for like 10 years. The rest was recorded with Sascha at his studio except some of the vocals that were recorded in Sweden in a studio that work with Tommy.

I have to ask you something, how much is Sascha a part of the music of Kamelot?

Sascha for us is like the perfect producer, how knows what will be in the future but for now he’s the best for Kamelot. and especially on this record I wanted to keep it all in the family.
what Sascha brings to Kamelot is that he’s perfect in putting things together, in songs like Sacrimony , the album version is pretty much like the demo but it’s the little things he adds that make it special. he’s really fun to work with and he had a lot of fun working with Tommy on the vocals that for me it was crucial. it was important for us to make a statement with this album, and he was a big part in that.

How much was Tommy involved in the writing process?

Well, one of the things I told Oliver was that I don’t want to write the music depending on who will sing it. I want the music to be Kamelot, for example Tommy comes from a more progressive background and it was no way we were going to make a Prog album so we wanted to make a Kamelot record who ever the singer is. We did things like always, Oliver and I wrote the music, it used to be Roy (Khan Ex Lead singer) cause Roy know how to play the keyboards but this time Oliver did an amazing job , we didn’t had a chance yet to work with Tommy as a songwriter (musically) but I know he plays guitar and I’m looking forward to write with him in the future. Prodigal son is a song that Tommy and Sascha wrote most of it. for this album it was important to keep the consistency and make a record that sound like Kamelot without out of the box influences. even though Tommy took a big part in the lyrics.

I think Silverthorn is going back to the more melodic side of Kamelot as it was on albums like Karma and Black Halo for example, do you agree with me?

Yeah, this time we wanted to make a more melodic album but as always it has some new interesting stuff on it, I think that with poetry we left aside with the melodic thinks because a lot was going on in the band beside the writing process that lead to the album to come out as it did.
This time it was important for me to go back to the melodic, powerful side of Kamelot. we took a lot of time thinking on the power choruses and the things that made Kamelot from the beginning.

The sing along Choruses has always been a big part of melodic metal, do you  spent time to do it?

I think a catchy chorus is important but without making it like schlager you know what I mean. so i think we we’ve been able to achieve that with people like Tommy and Roy in the past that know how to write and deliver lyrics that are memorable but with taste. the important thing for me is that they are memorable.

How’s Tommy integrated into the band, and how’s he feeling in the Band?

A: he’s one of the guys now! After the first shows in the summer festivals so after that for me it’s like he’s done it since day one and he’s having a great time, and he has become such a great frontman in such a short time. I can tell you that we just finished a tour with Nightwish and a lot of their fans didn’t knew about Kamelot and after the shows we talked with some of them and they thought Tommy was in the band for years, they just couldn’t believe he’s in the band for such a short period of time! So we’re really happy and blessed with Tommy and I can see that he’s really having a great time too.

Your live shows are amazing! It’s like watching a musical with metal music. I feel like every note is passed visually. Do you spend a lot of time preparing you live shows?
It’s something we think about we want the show to be dynamic and theatrical and not just stand on stage we want the fans to get every penny of worth and hopefully it will make them come back!

This time you also have with you on tour and on the album Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) and Alissa White-Gluz ( The Agonist) on tour with you can you tell us a little about working with them?

Elize is definitely going to be with us in Europe too! she’s been working with us for like 4 years and she’s a really fun chick to be around and a great singer. Alissa is still not  shore because of her schedule.

Any chance of seen Elize as a permanent member of Kamelot?

We talked about it but it’s a little tricky because of her schedule we don’t want her to be a permanent member and then to have to bring someone to fill for her but I will love for it to happen, she and Tommy have a great chemistry, they’re both Swedish so they communicate really well and people will love to see them together on stage!

What are Kamelot’s plans?

A: we’re heading a three and half weeks of a European tour in a week and then we’re going back home for the holidays and the we hit asia, australia north america, south america as a headliner, and then hit Europe again, and some point next year we’re gonna shoot the next DVD.

What is going to be in the next DVD?

We don’t have a location yet and it’s going to be something special that we need like a year to prepare but it’s going to overblow the last one with some behind the scenes stuff and special guest and a great show as you can expect from Kamelot

Can you tell us about the concept of Silverthorn and the 40+ page book that comes with the special edition CD?

Well I don’t wanna tell you a lot about it cause it will ruin the interest of buying it (laughs) but Silverthorn is a concept album that we wrote with Tommy , Sascha and oliver about a family in the 19’th century and a tragedy they go throw but you’ll need to read the book to know more about it.

What’s your opinion about social networking?

I think Facebook and Twitter are great, it’s a great way for us to be in touch with our fans, on the other hand illegal downloading is something that killing the music business.

Can you tell us about the gear you used on the album?

I use ESP electric guitars and Lag acoustics, Amp wise we used a mesa dual rectifier and a modified vintage Marshall ( I don’t remember the model) that Sascha has, very straight forward.

Thank you very much for this interview Thomas, it’s a true honor as a huge fan for this opportunity! Do you want to add any last words?

Thanks to all our fans in Europe and Metal-Temple readers, hope to see you all on the road and hope you’ll enjoy the new album!


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