Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
with thanks to Denys Jaime
1. With Tommy Karevik on vocal duties now for a while, how have Kamelot fans adjusted to the transition of singers from Khan to Tommy?
Thomas: Yes, he has now integrated into the band 100% and has all the confidence and support he needs. So with Haven he is showing more of his range and style and doing some of the best vocal work in his career. From day one we moved forward on the singer situation and never looked back. That mindset was important for all us and its really the way we do things, looking ahead and setting goals.
2. What was the biggest challenge in finding a formidable replacement from your previous singer?
Thomas: To find someone that will bring something new but also be able to bridge the past with the future.
3. This is the sophomore release with Tommy, did you try new things in terms of composition and writing to fit his style more?
Thomas: Tommy crushed it with Haven, writing some of best and memorable chorus’ ever for Kamelot. Sleep, who want to move people with the emotion that music should convey. And with Haven we were able to achieve this by adding many songs that have dynamics and also great lyrics and melodies. I am very proud of the diversity and the way that album this pace throughout. It’s 100% Kamelot but there are new elements to keep us on our toes with fresh ideas and I think our fans always expect new twist interns to her music.
4. Since Tommy still an active member of Seven Wonder, has that impeded the time in between his Kamelot duties and his other band?
Thomas: Sure, things take longer but its something we expected and he is a loyal person and I respect that. If he can manage the time between the two bands I dont see any problems at all, in fact I think its really healthy to have other interests.
5. The new album “Haven”, is there a story behind the title? Is there a concept behind the new record? Its not a concept album but there is a theme or feel of rebellion on it.
Thomas: On this album we really tried to stay with the dystopic feel that we are seeing in the world today. So you won’t find songs on this record that reflect Many subjects like global warming, big corporations to religion. All along with songs that are uplifting and also about the human condition And all that goes with it. Pain and love To fear and hope, All of these things Are subjects that we felt important To write about with Haven.
6. Are there any special guests on Haven?
Thomas: We have Troy Donockley from Nightwish, Charlotte Wessels from Delain and Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy on the CD. All good friends and super cool people.
7. The Bonus CD has a bunch of instrumental tracks, how does that tie in with the main tracks on the album?
Thomas: We have some instrumental tracks, orchestral tracks and also acoustic tracks. All from the original songs but with some changes. Tons of bonus material is on Haven and also the booklet is packed with amazing art.
8. Do you have a favorite track from Haven?
Thomas: My tops change over time, at the moment its Insomnia, Liar Liar and Revolution.
9. What can Kamelotians expect from the new record in terms of style and substance?
Thomas: When I listen to it I feel there’s definitely a fresh new modern metal approach to some songs like Insomnia, Beautiful Apocalypse. But also a song like Liar Liar as parts that could of been on the fourth legacy. So its really a culmination of different ideas all representing Kamelot from the past and also into the future.
10. Usually the band average a couple years between releases, you have been on a pretty steady pace of albums and touring. How long do you plan on keeping the momentum of the band going?
Thomas: Not sure, I would say until I am not having fun. Also the band is still growing, we are finding new fans and new places to play. Its a great journey and we are having a blast so far.
11. Can we expect any more live DVD concerts anytime soon? “One Cold Winter’s Night” DVD was excellent.
Thomas: Hopefully, we are working on this and hope for something this year or next. Its time, but it has to be right and top anything we did in the past.
12. I have to ask because I have been a Kamelot fan myself since the early days in “Karma”, do you have a favorite record from the Kamelot discography?
Thomas: They are all like children to me, so I cant single one out to be honest. Karma does stand out a bit since it was a very personal time for me. But not because of the songs.
13. Does anybody in the band still keep in touch with Roy?
Thomas: Not really, he pretty much stays off the grid I guess. I do think he is very happy and spending quality time with family, which is very important.
14. In this day of the digital era in the music industry, how does a band stay afloat when record sales have plummeted and the way we listen to music has changed completely?
Thomas: We are fortunate to have fans that want physical albums, we pour a lot of time and money into making this something they will cherish. I am hoping at some point the mentality to have more than a digital file will come back.
15. Can you talk about the cover artwork? The band always manages to book graphic artists that capture the band’s sound perfectly, with this gothic atonement. Who did the cover artwork this time around?
Thomas: Stephan Heilemann did the Haven cover. We wanted something dystopic and that would represent birth, life and death. Also inside the booklet is some stunning artwork that makes the entire package something unique.