Dave Schwartz of DaBelly magazine conducted an interview with KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood prior to their May 6 concert at the Marquee Theater in Phoenix, Arizona with DELAIN and BATTLE BEAST. You can watch the entire interview below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the writing and creation of KAMELOT's new "The Shadow Theory" studio album:
Thomas: "We started about a year and a half ago, working on the record, started the writing process. We finished probably in November and we worked throughout the year. We were still doing some touring, finishing up the 'Haven' tour. Yeah, we're really happy. It was Top 40 in the Nielsen [Soundscan] charts, which is amazing for us and just a testament to hard work and having great fans. For about a week, it was number one on the Amazon charts and I think there was some other iTunes thing as well, which is great. At the end of the day, the main thing is that we are able to tour and see our fans and have fun onstage. So far, this tour has been amazing. It's great."
On bringing DELAIN and BATTLE BEAST as support acts for their North American tour:
Thomas: "We always try to bring a strong package. On the last tour, we had DRAGONFORCE as the main support. Most people know them — they're almost a household name when it comes to the metal genre. BATTLE BEAST is an up-and-coming superstar band, I think. Noora [Louhimo] is amazing onstage and DELAIN has been touring for a while and also doing tours with NIGHTWISH. Charlotte [Wessels] joins us onstage every night, which is great. She's an amazing performer, so it's really important to put together packages the fans want to come see. There might be a time where it's just KAMELOT and just KAMELOT and we play three hours or something. Until we do that, we really want to have strong packages for the fans."
On the "synergy" found between KAMELOT and the bands they choose to tour with:
Thomas: "It really started with adding female vocals back in 2000, which is 18 years ago. It's crazy to think about time has flown. On 'The Fourth Legacy', we started bringing in female vocals. I think we had at least, a couple of songs, my wife was on there. We had an Icelandic singer as well. Then, with each record, we kind of wanted to continue with that, to kind of mix that element within the all-male part of the band. So, we work with bands like AMARANTHE with Elize Ryd, Alissa White-Gluz, who is now in ARCH ENEMY. It's just fun. It's a cool way to network with other bands and other fans. It's really worked well for us. Now we have Lauren Hart on tour with us. She's in ONCE HUMAN; she's just killing it. People are going to find out about her very soon."
On the darker nature of "The Shadow Theory":
Thomas: "We wanted to marry the whole AI [Artificial Intelligence] thing with this whole dystopic kind of thing that we touched based on in 'Haven', but at the same time, we wanted to include this 'shadow' aspect that Carl Jung had theorized about. We wrapped all this together into one kind of, not a concept record, but the idea of this concept around it. And, we wanted to keep a little bit of our foot in the 'Haven' world, keeping on a little bit of the sci-fi, dystopic future vision, which we see is still happening. It's not slowing down for some reason. It's been fun. Now we have another video for 'Amnesiac', [which recently came out]. It's been great. The fans, every night, they are singing the songs. That's a good sign."
On why KAMELOT typically plans and announces tour dates so far in advance:
Thomas: "It's important to plan ahead. I think [for] everybody these days, it's good to plan. Of course, we could announce a show a week before, but we like to know what we're doing in two years. Actually, I know exactly what I'm doing in two years, which is good because we're planners. That's how it works. We're probably going to be announcing the next North American tour right after this tour, which is going to be May, probably most of May 2019. Then, we have our European tour coming up in September/October. We have our DVD/Blu-ray shoot in 013 [venue] in Tilburg [Netherlands], that's going to be, I think it's September 14. So yeah, there's just lots going on, which is a good problem to have. We're keeping busy."
"The Shadow Theory" was released April 6 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Haven" was helmed by acclaimed music producer Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen. Guests on the album include Lauren Hart (ONCE HUMAN), Jennifer Haben (BEYOND THE BLACK) and Sascha Paeth. The cover artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann.