The band is in full preparation for the 70.000 Tons Of Metal Cruise and it’s also the week of NAMM in L.A., but Thomas Youngblood was so kind to take some time for Kamelot Germany to answer our questions!
Kamelot Germany: Last year was a turbulent year for Kamelot, but also very exciting with three very successful tours in Europe, South America and North America. What where your personal most memorable tour moments of 2011?
Thomas Youngblood: There were so many, some of my favorites were Santiago Chile, first show of the touring season. SOLD OUT shows like Amsterdam, New York, Montreal and Oslo, with the Kamelot Nation in full force, Salt Lake City, Utah, where we never played before and the crowd was soooo loud. There were so many amazing nights last year, all of them were really special. The touring was really a great kick for us to get back to the studio and come back asap.
KG: Writing the new album is already underway, with a planned release date for September 2012. How is it going so far?
TY: Going great, we have around 6-7 songs ready for preproduction. Oliver and I will do another songwriting session soon, we are still looking at locations. Maybe Thailand or Norway. Cold or Hot, which one to choose? Following that we will be in Germany for a few months with Sascha working on the album, along with Miro, Olaf and the usual crew there that has been with us since Karma. Special guests are being discussed now, it will be a blast, I’m looking forward to it!
KG: Who will be mainly responsible for the songwriting this time around?
TY: Myself along with Oliver, Sascha and the band. Whoever is singing will also be a part of the songwriting, depending on their level of experience with melodies and lyrics. I am also working with some friends on a few songs, there’s going to be a lot of material for this one.
KG: The band evolves with each album and no album is like the other. Can you tell us a bit which direction you aim for at the moment? A more bombastic approach like with an orchestra for example, or a more natural sound?
TY: In terms of sound, I would like the songs to have a bit more melody than we had on Poetry. Of course we want and will have new elements in the songs, and until we actually start putting the tracks down the sound will be somewhat mysterious. I would say don’t expect a lot of crazy differences from the past but expect some nice and unique surprises on this one.
KG: Your next headliner tour through Europe will be in November. Can you already reveal some cities you will visit, especially in Germany?
TY: Can’t say the cities for sure yet, but we will return to Holland, UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden and more. We have yet another large scale stage show planned for this tour. We are also considering VIP packages for the European tour, which has not be done before. We did this in North America and it was really amazing. We got to meet the fans one on one, and hang for a bit. Usually we meet fans at the tour bus but this is much better since we are not rushed into leaving for the next city. We’ve also been contacted regarding a special New Years Eve show…lets see how that evolves. We will come back in 2013 for cities we may have to skip due to routing and timing. A North American tour will be announced soon too, stay tuned for this one!
KG: Kamelot will play on the 70.000 Tons Of Metal Cruise. Are you surprised that metal and cruises are going so well together lately?
TY: Not really, I mean some of these cruises cost the same even without the bands, so if you pay a little bit more and get to see 40 bands in a very unique atmosphere it’s really a fantastic way to spend some holiday time. For us its a great way to meet the fans and also party with some of our close friends in other bands like Stratovarius, Nightwish and Edguy.
KG: The deadline for submissions to become the new singer of Kamelot is by the end of January. How is the audition process going and when do you plan to announce the new singer?
TY: Auditions are going great, I think we have around 800 emails and submissions. We will not announce the new singer until later when the album is nearly finished being recorded. Unless of course it gets leaked, which these days is not too difficult. The new “Official” singer will be debuted at the Summer Festivals.
KG: Kamelot will play on two German Festivals next summer. Wacken will be a big highlight for sure, but you will also play at the Bang Your Head!!! Festival, the first time in six years. What have you planned for the festivals?
TY: It always depends on logistics and stage size. Can’t reveal too much but we will do our biggest Wacken stage show ever. I hope to also debut a new song at that show, lets see how it goes. Hopefully the new video will be shot around that time as well so we can be ready for a late 2012 release.
KG: There have been plans for a new Live DVD (and Blu-Ray?) for quite a while. Is that project still on?
TY: Yes, portions of the touring from this album and one or two headline shows will be recorded. Most of the fans can figure out which venues would be the best for this.
KG: Is there anything else planned for this year or beyond that you would like to tell us about?
TY: We have already started planning 2013. But for now we are looking forward to the new album, new videos, new photos, new tour (EU, North America), and building the Kamelot Nation evermore…
KG: Thank you very much for the interview, Thomas!
TY: Thanks for your support and the amazing support of the Kamelot fans everywhere!