Interview date

29 Septembre 2012




Interview Oliver Palotai (by mail)

So your new album: "Silverthorn" will be released in Europe on October 29th, 2012. What can you tell us about the meaning and themes of this album?

It is our third concept album, telling a story about a 19th century-family experiencing a tragic loss. Following that tragedy, the events unfold, which the songs are about. In the Special Edition you can also read the full story in a 40-page booklet.

What are your favorite songs on the album?

Hard question, as usual. I really love how the title song turned out, “Silverthorn”. It is different than the rest. It is also great to hear “Solitaire”; I wrote that song many years ago and never forgot about it, so I re-arranged it a bit for Kamelot, and it fits really well.

Can you tell us if some guests singers have worked with you on this new album and who they are?

We have Elize Ryd, our live background singer, on many tracks. She is a superb and very versatile singer and a funny person. Actually she is something like the steady entertainment center on the tour buses. Then there is Alyssa White-Gluz, from The Agonist, with some heavy female grunts. Amanda Sommerville is again on board, like so many times before. Last but not least, the string quartet Eklipse.

Did you enjoy going back to work in the studio?

I am more a studio person than a live musician anyway. I love to have a kind of regular working schedule, getting up early and working 12-15 hours a day in the studio. When I am not writing or producing for Kamelot, I am involved in a lot of other projects.

Silverthorn is your 10th album and it is the first that you have recorded with Tommy Karevik, your new singer. Can we say that it is a kind of brand new start for Kamelot as a band?

It is still 100% Kamelot and you will notice how different Tommy sounds compared to his other band, Seventh Wonder. I would say “Silverthorn” reaches the perfect balance between the modern influences of “Ghost Opera” or “Poetry For The Poisoned”, and the older, more melodic albums.

Tommy used to be one of your guest singers, so you already knew him, was it easier for you to choose him as your new singer?

The main reason for choosing him was his performance on the ballad “Song For Jolee”. We sent this track to many auditioning singers, but Tommy blew them all away! But of course we knew from common touring experiences that he is a nice and humble person, and that made the decision even easier.

Are you all happy with the band as it is now? Do you all get along well together?

We do! It feels great to be on stage with full energy again. The support tour with Nightwish was a first test, and so far it surpassed all our expectations. Thirteen people on a bus is also not always easy, but the mood keeps being great. Well, we had some pretty freaky parties, but that´s tour life.

After Roy’s departure, Fabio Lione replaced him for the Pandemonium World Tour in 2011 and the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise in 2012, can you tell us how it was to work with him?

I think I never worked with a singer delivering so steadily such a high quality, every night. Thing is, the guy is not taking care of himself like most other singers do. No herbal tea, scarf, and early bed times. On the contrary, haha. But every night he went out there, hitting the notes bull´s eye.

What can you tell us about the Cruise? Did you enjoy it? It must be really different from usual shows?

I was already on the first cruise, playing with Epica. It is different! I had to get used to playing on swaying keyboard risers. One time the sea got heavy when we played and there was this moment when I thought the keys would roll off stage. Besides that it was remarkable how respectful the fans were, especially since there were no separate areas for the musicians.

Can you tell us what/who inspires you to write and compose music?

I don´t need any special inspiration for composing. My motivation follows those of Baroque composers, when musicians were considered closer to craftsmanship than to some kind of mysterious genius. I sit down, write music, and at the end of the day I use mostly 70%-90% of my ideas.

This month you've started your North American tour with Nightwish, it will last until October 2012, how do you feel about it? Are you happy to play in the USA with them?

The tour is going fantastic. Before we were a bit nervous since it is our first support tour since ages. But the package is perfect, and even if we could see in some faces that some people didn´t know about us, we introduce ourselves to a wider circle of fans.

You’re coming to Paris on November the 4th, 2012, are you happy to come to France? And after this show do you plan to come back soon?

I've always had a special connection to France, beginning with the school exchange with Rennes twenty years ago. Ten years of vacation with my parents add to that as well. Also, I can´t remember one bad concert there. So, of course, I am excited !

Are you already thinking about your next album?

No, too early for that. The main promo for “Silverthorn” didn´t even start.

Is there any other new or any solo project from band members you want to talk about?

We all were very much involved in the production of “Silverthorn” for 1 and a half year. There was little time for anything else. I personally will finally start a kind of musician´s channel, end of this year or early next year, focusing on certain questions I`ve been asked as a keyboarder, guitarist and composer over the years.

Do you have something to say to the people who download your music illegally?

Hmm, yeah: Fuck you!

And finally, do you want to say something special to our readers?

What I enjoy about so many people in the scene, and especially Kamelot fans, is that they don´t limit themselves down to some stupid categories and prejudices. They give us the opportunity to experiment, and that is something we are very grateful about.

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