Ghost Opera is the latest release from Kamelot, a band who now have put out a string of exemplary progressive power metal albums that are cementing the band as one of the elite in the genre. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo recently had a chance to catch up with Kamelot guitar player Thomas Youngblood about the band's latest CD and their upcoming tour plans, which include another lengthy trek across the United States.
Read on for the full interview!
Sea of Tranquility: Ghost Opera has come out fairly soon after The Black Halo and One Cold Winter's Night-with such high praise for both of those releases, how hard was it to come up with fresh, exciting material that could equal or better the standards set by The Black Halo?
Thomas Youngblood: Its been over two years since The Black Halo, so in our mind it was really later than we wanted. The DVD came out but this was not new material, so we were ready and so was the record company to release a new album. There was no pressure on our side.
SoT: Can you talk a little bit about the new CD, and the concept, both lyrically and musically, behind these new songs?
Thomas: Everything from current events in politics and religion to our touring and visiting cultures around the world. On the Ghost Opera, we used these events for the album as well as some historical references, like in Bluecher.
SoT: The band has been pretty busy touring, especially here in the US, over the last year or two. Have audiences really started opening up to the band in recent years, warranting repeated visits, especially here in the US?
Thomas: It's pretty awesome actually, we are playing the same countries 2-3 times on the same album. The reason we can do this is we bring a new set and show everytime as well as a new growth of fans in between each visit emerges. We hope that we give a show that makes fans want to see us as soon as possible.
SoT: Power metal has seen a strong resurgence recently-what do you think is the reason for this?
Thomas: Not sure, I think its not only Power Metal but Gothic, Prog etc…anything not Metalcore. We have really young and crazy fans mixed with 30+ fans. So at least in the states music is becoming similar to Europe in the past years. Very open minded.
SoT: Is the band planning on having anything special for the upcoming US tour?
Thomas: Our shows always depend on the stage size, venue regulations etc…for example, to use pyros in the US is basically impossible. We bring our A game every night, theatrics, energy and crowd interaction. You wont see us looking at our feet all night!
SoT: What songs from the new CD be highlighted for the tour?
Thomas: Ghost Opera, Rule the World, Human Stain, Mourning Star and one more to be determined.
SoT: Much of the last few tours focused on The Black Halo-will most of those songs be dropped from the set to make room for the new songs, and will older material still be a part of the set list?
Thomas: We will probably play some more older songs like Fourth Legacy and some acoustic things. We are not sure yet but it will be different from any other tour we have done.
SoT: Does the band have any festival appearances lined up this summer?
Thomas: We just came back from Monsters of Rock in Spain- it was crazy! Also Fields of Rock with Maiden, we brought the pyros in for that one. Next week we leave for Italy and Norway for 2 more festivals.
SoT: Sounds like you have kept busy! If the band were to get on a tour here in the US opening up for a popular metal band, with the hopes of playing in front of relatively large audiences, who would it be?
Thomas: Iron Maiden or Heaven and Hell.
(Click here to read our reviews of Ghost Opera)