Chad Bowar of Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with guitarist Thomas Youngblood of American/German/Swedish symphonic metallers KAMELOT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Heavy Metal: After Roy [Khan, vocals] left the band, how did you go about finding his replacement?

Thomas Youngblood: Initially we wanted to make sure we found somebody that fit, who had a similar vocal technique but also brought something new. We also looked at it as an opportunity to grow the band. That was our main objective. Not just to replace the singer, but to grow. We started auditioning people and got hundreds of submissions. It was pretty humbling. A lot of people, including some very well-known singers, auditioned for the spot. Heavy Metal: What made Tommy [Karevik] stand out?

Thomas Youngblood: His voice, first and foremost. His voice is amazing. There’s a similarity to what we did before, but he brings is own unique touch to the album and to the show. I think also his image fits the band perfectly. It was a perfect fit for us. And now that we’ve done some live shows, he’s an amazing frontman. We’re really glad we chose him. Heavy Metal: He did some shows with you before he was made the permanent vocalist.

Thomas Youngblood: Yes. We threw him out to the wolves right away and let him learn and feel his way around the way we do our stuff on stage. It came down to a leap of faith on our side to have him be the main guy all the time, because he never did a full show with us until after the record was done. The first show he did with us was in front of 30,000 people, so it was a good test for him to get his feet wet. He totally knocked it out of the park. It was a great night. That first show was really killer. Heavy Metal: You worked with [producer] Sascha Paeth again on this album. Obviously you have a great working relationship.

Thomas Youngblood: I don’t like messing with the chemistry of the team we’ve had over the years. Sascha is a great producer and talent. He’s great on honing in on what we do in terms of songwriting. For this record, we didn’t want to mess around with the chemistry, and going with Sascha was a no-brainer. We wanted to keep everything as consistent as possible with this record, and that started with making sure the songs were in line with what we had done in the past. We didn’t want to have any more major changes. But at the same time we wanted to make sure the album is bringing new elements to KAMELOT, and we were able to achieve both goals.

Read the entire interview from Heavy Metal.

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