Nowadays, when you think power metal, one name should immediately be on the tip of your tongue. That name is Kamelot. The band has recently released their 10th album, Silverthorn. It’s their classic sound, with a new vocalist. Tommy Karevik has stepped in to take the reins of Kamelot, and for me, the band sounds better than ever. They just recently finished a US tour, and are hitting up Europe early next year. Be on the lookout and catch this legendary band doing what they do best.
Today, I’m welcoming Oliver Palotai. Oliver is the keyboardist for Kamelot. First off, thank you so very much for taking the time to chat with us. We truly appreciate it, and welcome to the Unsung Melody family. We’ll get started by talking about the new album, Silverthorn. It’s the bands 10th release, so by now, fans should have a good idea of what to expect musically. There is a wild card in the mix though; The new vocalist Tommy Karevik. What was Tommy able to bring to the table, that no one else could?
Tommy is an endless source of inspirational melodies, good humour and a great stage appearance. We checked about 800 singers in the years back, focused finally on a small circle of candidates, and sent out one of the first songs I wrote for the new record, Song For Jolee, to record vocals and melody ideas on it. Tommy´s version blew us all away, and things were said and done from then on.
Being a band that is known for it’s intelligent lyrics, beautiful layers, and soaring vocals, was it tough to find someone who held all the characteristics you were looking for? Obviously you found those qualities in Tommy, but the search itself, how tough was that for the band?
It wasn´t easy, and the months after Roy´s departure left the band in a state of confusion for a while. But there were anyway only two possible decisions: Continuing or breaking up. The latter was not an alternative, so we went back to work, and met for song writing. Luckily the creative energy between me and Thomas Youngblood was there right from the start, and we met in Germany and the US to write about 75% of the songs. So we got over that dark period quicker than we thought.
The first single, Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife), is a true power metal song. It sounds to me, that it could almost be considered a classic right now. Give us some insight into the writing process that brought us to this song.
It was usually me putting down some harmony sequences or keyboard patterns, or Thomas coming up with a riff. From there on we continued developing the songs. After Tommy was confirmed, he came to our places and he improvised melodies to the music. We recorded whatever was considered good enough, and slowly the pieces were put together. Sascha Paeth, our producer, was sometimes re-arranging here and there, and finally Miro and me added the final orchestration.
You just finished up a US tour, and I see a lot of European dates early next year. Are there any one off shows the fans can expect through the remainder of the year?
Festivals, maybe, but probably no single shows outside tours. That is usually impossible to finance.
On the tour, how much of the new album has been worked into the setlist? Can the fans expect a healthy dose of the new stuff, since Tommy is new to the band, or is it a true mix of all the older albums as well?
We are playing four new songs at the moment. Point is, you never know which song works live, and which not. “The Fourth Legacy” is a good example: Always requested by many fans, great on record, but kind of a dead spot during a gig. Besides that there are many “best of” songs, of course.
Alright, I always end on a random question. So, here goes yours; The band is picked to write a soundtrack for an upcoming movie. You are given two choices. One, you write the soundtrack for a new vampire movie. Two, you write the music for a film adaptation of The Legend of Zelda. Which one would you choose, and why?
The vampire movie. I like to play PC games, but Zelda as a movie is almost sure to become a bad B-movie adaption, like most of the computer-games-go-movie.
Oliver, I thank you so much for your time. The site and myself wish you and the band nothing but the best.
Thomas Youngblood – Guitars
Casey Grillo – Drums
Oliver Palotai – Keyboards
Sean Tibbetts – Bass
Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Preview or purchase your copy of Silverthorn by Kamelot below:
Check out the video for Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife) by Kamelot below: