Artist: Kamelot’s Thomas Youngblood
The Melodic Metal powerhouse Kamelot had just completed what was nothing less than a crushing set in New York City to support the release “The Black Halo”. Thanks to the folks at SPV Records I was first able to sit down with lead singer Roy Khan for a few minutes before he was set to perform. After the show I found myself talking to some people and as a result somehow ended up chatting with guitar wizard Tom Youngblood. Since the recorder was with me I asked him if he wanted to share some brief thoughts with me and he was glad to offer some additional thoughts up. Here is the very spontaneous and unplanned discussion that we had.
KP: We are now backstage with Tom Youngblood, lead guitarist of Kamelot. Tom what did you think of Kamelot’s first ever performance in New York City?
Youngblood: It was fucking killer man we had a great time. The fan response totally blew me away and they were singing songs that we haven’t even heard people in Europe singing. So definitely an eye-opener for us and a reason to come back. It might have been the first show in New York but it is certainly not going to be our last.
KP: How do you find the response overall for “The Black Halo” against that of some of the other Kamelot releases.
Youngblood: The response has been great and the reviews really good. The sales in America has doubled, tripled from the last record so it’s good to see that our market in America is growing. So we are excited about the future because the record continues to sell really good every week and that makes us look forward to the next record coming out to some big acceptance.
KP: Regarding US Power Metal vs. Europe’s brand of the genre like Sonata Arctica, Nightwish and EdGuy where would you think that Kamelot fits in to the larger picture.
Youngblood: I don’t really think about that and we do what we do musically. What’s important for me is that we sound like Kamelot and not like someone else. I would say that this is the most important thing and we’re not trying to say that we are a Power Metal band, or Melodic, or Progressive. We just do what we do and we have all different types of elements in our music. So the most important thing for me as an artist is having a unique sound and I like to think that we have achieved that with the last few records.
KP: Looking back on that statement what does Tom Youngblood find as influential and allowing you to be inspired and create the Kamelot music.
Youngblood: Well in terms of the songs and the subject matter its always personal things that come into play but musically I’m always looking for new kind of influences. I mean I think on the last couple of records there has been some Arabian and Celtic influences, some Middle Eastern stuff and I’ve been listening to a lot of different music now that I think is going to be in touch with the next record. It’s hard to say but I am always looking for new influences outside of the Metal kind of backbone. I think that’s important to not repeat ourselves or sound like other bands.
KP: Is the next record already being theorized and discussed a little even though “The Black Halo” is currently being toured.
Youngblood: Yes definitely, I have already got a couple of ideas for the album title and some of its content. It’s definitely going to be a darker record than “The Black Halo” was. Another step towards that direction and we’re excited. We have a lot of ideas and we’re just getting started.
KP: I asked Khan this and now I will ask you the same thing. How did you like working with Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir and Simone Simons from Epica?
Youngblood: It was great we did and we did the video for “March Of Mephisto” in Sweden and Shagrath came in to do that with us and he is a really cool guy. Simone happened to be in the studio at the same time as we were and we flew into Sweden to do the video for “The Haunting”. They’re all very humble but their also very professional and its nice to work with those kind of people.
KP: To close this out, Khan had mentioned briefly that there was talk of a DVD coming out from this tour.
Youngblood: Definitely and we are hoping to shoot the Norway show in February in Oslo. That’s the idea right now, Patrick who did the two videos is putting together the whole budget for the shoot and we’re excited.
KP: Any last thought for fans of Kamelot and Power Metal.
Youngblood: Thanks for your support, we had a kick ass night tonight and we look forward to coming back
We then toasted the night over a few beers and then the band was on their way into the night to their next destination. Reviews of the show with photos as well as “The Black Halo” album review can be found elsewhere on the site. The CD will blow you away and the idea of a live DVD is very exciting.
Official Website: http://www.kamelot.com