Ghost Cult caught up with Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot recently to discuss their brand new live album/concert DVD and Blu-ray Kamelot – I Am The Empire – Live From The 013, out now via Napalm Records (review here). Thomas talked about the new live album, the production and planning that went into the concerts, the specialness of the013 Poppodium venue in Tilburg, working with guests such as Elize Ryd of Amaranthe, Lauren Hart of Once HumNetheran, German string quartet Eklipse, Charlotte Wessels of Delain and Alissa White Gluz of Arch Enemy, Avantasia guitarist Sascha Paeth, writing materials with guests in mind, performing with a children’s choir, which included his son, how he has been spending the pandemic, and plans for new Kamelot music. Purchase the live album setat this link and listen to our chat. Continue reading
Ah, gigs. Remember them? Well, I Am The Empire – Live From The 013 (Napalm Records), the new live release by veteran power metal act Kamelot is a welcome reminder of what live entertainment looked like in a pre-Covid world.
Here in the UK, a power metal tour of any capacity is a cause for mass celebration due to their relative infrequency. Generally speaking, a power metal act will make a sporadic appearance in London alone, and possibly a major summer festival here and there, meaning that unlucky Richards like yours truly in the north or the Midlands will miss out on the action. However, if you happen to live in Mainland Europe, the possibilities and combinations of acts are endless.Continue reading
Mid-September officially sees the start of Crazy Season for album releases… But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered here at Ghost Cult with our round-up of some of this weeks and last weeks albums that may just have escaped your attention, for better or for worse…
Once Human will release their first live album Stage Of Evolution, on September 28th. Via earMUSIC. Hear them cover Machine Head classic track ‘Davidian’below. Continue reading
With previous vocalist Roy Khan firmly in their rearview mirror (the band’s former singer himself recently announcing a return to the music scene in a solo capacity after a break of seven years), Floridian Power Metal act Kamelot keep to their tried and trusted formula for latest release The Shadow Theory (Napalm). As well as being the band’s twelfth full-length studio album, their third with Swedish frontman Tommy Karevik, this release also marks the end of the line for long-serving drummer Casey Grillo, who left in February.Continue reading
If you slept on Once Human’s The Life I Remember, you need to wake up. Right now. Evolution (both earMUSIC) is exactly as the name states; an evolution of extreme music blended into one glorious molten mold of metal. Continue reading
Within a band in modern times, musicians often maintain a larger role than originally expected. Logan Mader discovered this upon forming his latest musical venture Once Human, and aside from being the band’s guitarist and songwriter, he wears many other hats than the ones just mentioned, and explains about where his motivation comes from.
“I’ve been juggling my workload, as a freelance producer and writer – you kind of have to multitask a lot. I’m also managing the band Starset. That also takes up a lot of time as well. They’re quite busy. I just make it work. I don’t sleep. I’ve had to shift my schedule around a bit to make some time for Once Human. Even still, I’m producing albums and before we go on tour I’ll be producing this record during the day and then rehearing at night, in between hanging out with my kids a little bit and go to the gym.”
“I’m managing the band Starset and I can do that from anywhere as long as I have internet connection and a phone. I’m managing Once Human as well. I have a partner and his name is Steve Hutton from Uppercut Management. He and I are partners on the band Starset and Once Human.”
Being someone unafraid of new challenges, Mader took on the role of producing the band’s debut music video. He discovered that he thrives on working under pressure and finds a way to turn that into a positive.
“It’s a little overwhelming I’ve gotta tell you at some point and I helped produce our music video (‘You Cunt’). I’ve never done that before. I’m taking on a lot of workload and day to day interaction. It’s challenging and there’s a lot of prepping involved. I like the challenge and I usually work good under pressure.”
“Sometimes I want to run away from it all but I never do. I always chip away and make it happen.”
He explained what Once Human is all about and his reasons after bowing out of the touring life for the past 12 years and entering the studio world to returning to a world he once was a part of.
“Once Human is my rude awakening as an artist for me. It involves little bits of everything that I’ve learned throughout my experiences from the beginning. I’ve been doing music for 20 years and that’s all I’ve done. I’m wearing a lot of hats but not just a guitar player but a producer and manager. It’s a pure passion project that I feel inspired about it as I did when I first started playing in Machine Head. There’s something real here. I’m really excited about this. We’re gonna go with this and the fact that I can do it all, I can do this as well. I don’t have to just be behind the scenes in the studio. I can do this as well because I miss it. I like adrenaline and there’s only one way to get that is to do it.”
“I’ve tried other things like I do extreme off shore sport fishing. That’s when I have time. That’s a big adrenaline rush to catch a big 100 pound tuna. I get a similar type of rush from that. I play in poker tournaments and I get that adrenaline rush out of that. There’s nothing like playing at Dynamo Open Air Festival in 1995 in front of 110,000 people. Nothing can beat that, but it doesn’t even have to be 110,000 people. It could be 100 people. It could be 500 people. It could be whatever. That’s something I really love and makes life better to experience those things.”
The band just completed their debut US tour supporting Fear Factory and completed their first ever live shows during this tour. Despite never playing a live show together as a band, Mader understood what he was getting himself into and was up for the challenge.
“Well for me it’s fine because I’ve played over 700 shows in my life. For me as an individual, I’m ready to go. I know how to ride the bike. As a manager, I know real talent when I see it. I put together a band that could do this. These are people who are able to do what we need to do. We’re ready to go. Give it a little time. Any new band has to play a couple of shows before that real magical chemistry starts to naturally occur and build. Any band has to go through that, whether we play a local show or a couple of tours. It will develop in a live setting on a live setting over a natural course of time. But I know the foundation of raw talent is here. I’m confident about the fact we haven’t played a show yet and we’ve booked our first tour and we’re going to start touring in roughly a month from now. Especially the way we rehearse – we rehearse as if we’re performing. We’re pretty much rocking out in our practice room, like we would on stage.”
“I know it’s like the difference of a flight simulator and actually flying a plane. It’s about exactly the same but you can see that the energy and the live and the ability to do it live for real.”
“We just did our first video for the song ‘You Cunt.’ My singer Lauren [Hart] wrote the video and directed it. We’re really happy with the way it came out. It looks amazing. It’s a great story and narrative, and good acting in it and cool live performance. I think it turned out real good, considering for the budget what most people work with for a music video these days. The budgets are so small you’ve got to be resourceful and creative.”
On the subject of touring, he spoke about the possibilities of doing seminars on recording, and already had ideas brewing within his head about the subject.
“It’s funny you say that because I’m thinking about starting to think about doing some workshops for production, songwriting, recording, and editing. I’m working with Blasko. He’s producer managing me now. We just started it. He thought it was a cool idea.”
Lastly, he shared a story about going fishing with Devil You Know (and former Killswitch Engage) vocalist Howard Jones. The two shared a love of sport fishing and ventured out together to fish. Mader explains from there:
“I didn’t introduce him to fishing. When I was producing the first Devil You Know album, I looked at his laptop when we were writing lyrics. He had a picture of him holding a big fish. I asked him ‘do you fish?’ He said ‘fuck yeah I fish.’ I was like ‘Me too.’ We bonded on the sport fishing thing.”
“When we finished the recording I took him out on an overnight fishing trip in Mexican waters on my friend’s boat. It was a fun trip. First thing we know I overrun a 100 pound Blue Fin Tuna, a really good sized tuna. The conditions were bad. We were fighting the fish for over two hours. It wasn’t just me. I was handing it off because I wasn’t able to get it and it was kicking our asses so bad because we had a lighter rig and the fish was too big for the rig so we had to release it or the line would break.”
“It was kicking our ass for two hours so Howard broke the bad line. We were like ‘here you want to pull on the line for a little while?’ He was like ‘sure OK’ and then grabs the line and then within ten seconds the fish broke off and it got away. We felt bad. We were devastated. It wasn’t his fault. He felt bad about that one.”
“Later on that day we caught some other fish so it was all good. It was an epic battle and we will never forget that one.”