Interview date

11 Avril 2008


Philippe et Clément


Interview Oliver Palotai

First of all, thanks for answering our questions. We hope you had a nice trip when coming to Paris.

Well, it was a bit difficult with the bus...

Did you see the Eiffel Tower ?

I saw it may times... as a kid I spent 10 days in Paris, I had a french family where I lived, and french guys were coming to our families as a school exchange. "Je parle français aussi, un peu !".

We felt a change in style coming with Epica, after Karma : more instruments, more arrangements, more complexity. It was a success. Do you think the band has found its goal in music today, the point you wanted to reach ?

I think the band is in a constant process of developing and renewing itself, I don't think there will be ever a point where we'll can say : "Ok, this is the final thing and it will be like this for ever". We try to find new ways all the time, because otherwise it might get boring for the fans.

There are lots of arrangements in Ghost Opera. Are you going towards always more arrangements, or do you think you could one day come back to a more direct style, just like symphony X did with their last album ?

I'm sure that as soon as we'll enter the creative part for the next album, we will sit down and think about "what can we do differently". But that's only at that time that we'll can see the future evolution.

On the same subject, can you tell us how do you organize your work when thinking about new albums ?

First of all, over the years, everybody is collecting ideas : the chorus, vocal melodies, piano melodies, whatever... then we come together and write the songs, normally we meet for 10 days, and then again 10 days, somewhere together, thinking about the arrangements. In the end, in the studio, the final things are done, like orchestrations.

Do you think one day you might play with a real orchestra ?

We hope so, it would be nice, because I did that with other bands, and I'm often writing for orchestras. It would be a lot of work, but no problem to do it. But there's the financial thing also, and it's really difficult to organize : it's a big thing. But I hope so, yeah. I would like to hear the music of Kamelot with a real orchestra.

In "Epica" and "Black Halo" were inspired by Faust. What are your common sources of inspiration in general ?

Litterature, philosophy, arts... it can be everyday thoughts you know, discussion we have in the tour bus : we're talking a lot about what's happening right now, what happened in the past. We're thinking about things, and suddenly this : a subject, and we think "OK it could be cool to write a song on this".

In Black Halo, there was references to your personal view of the state of the world. Are there similar themes in Ghost Opera ?

Humain Stain is about global warming. It is a very critical subject.

Can you give us some explainations about the song "Blücher" ?

Blücher was a german warship and it was sunk in Norway. It is a little bit a legend, that the ship was sunk by old cannons. That's why your hear, at the beginning, cannons and a capitain speaking in german.

I think it's a very nice song and it sounds like something very new for Kamelot.

Yeah I like it too, it's one of my favourites.

Can you give us examples of other bands you like to listen to ?

I studied classic music and Jazz so I'm a lot from that part, but I also like certain modern bands. For example, I really like Paradise Lost, Epica, Symphony X, and I love Opeth.

You had a lot of new fans with Black Halo. And a lot of them are girls, waiting outside at the gates of Elysée Montmartre !

Yeah ! (laughs)

Do you feel a pressure from them, which could make you stay in your current style of music, or do you feel completely free to try and write new things without any commercial pressure ?

It's never advisable to listen to other voices when it comes to song writing. You should basically write what you feel, what you want to do, or what you want to do differently. But like your said, our fanbase grew, there's a lot of young people, and they're pretty opened to a lot of things. It's not that small way of thinking in categories. I appreciate it a lot.

Who's your favourite author ?

Tery Pratchett. I've read absolutely every book.

Is Ghost Opera related to Khan's past in the opera school?

No, it's not referring to its own opera experience.

Do you have other personal projects, besides Kamelot?

Yes, I'm guitarist from Doro Pesch (german Rock singer), I have my own band "Sons Of Seasons" which is really new, I have a lot of jazz projects, orchestrations... I did the orchestrations for Epica, I also produce bands so... I have a lot of stuff going on.

And you manage to find the time to do this ?

Kamelot is not touring so much, except in the last two years. In between I have time to do a lot, and I need that.

Thanks a lot.

It was a pleasure.