Rep: Let’s talk about what’s going on with Kamelot lately, I mean the news hasn’t been so updated, if I may say so.
Roy: No, I mean the main thing here is that everything is happening at the same time, we are negotiating new contracts, since we are not with SPV any longer, and we are in the middle of this production, which is coming to an end these days; and we’ve also been touring so it’s just been extremely busy. Of course, there is a lot of news, but we haven’t really been able to keep people updated as we use to. But, now the record is going to come out in the fall, probably, and we are also going to release a new video this summer…what else? Of course, there is a new label on the table, which we can’t really reveal yet, because it’s just about to be signed now, these days.
Rep: Probably, it’s Nuclear Blast, everyone seems to think so.
Roy: Well, I can’t say.
Rep: But what is the deal with SPV? It was just a desire to move on to try something else, or intern problems?
Roy: No, SPV actually went insolvent, they almost went bankrupt.
Roy: And I think they were bought up by SONY and we just left them because we didn’t really believe in their focus any longer.
Rep: And in these harsh times is the band focusing more on the, let’s say strategic side, financial side, because this is very important also for a band that is coming out and trying to promote themselves better?
Roy: Yes, we have always been pretty careful with how we do business, obviously, when SPV could no longer…they actually still owe us money, so we simply could not go along with them any longer, but the deal that we are getting right now is even better than the one we had. It has to do with Kamelot still being a band, but it’s growing. Some bands are selling less records but certain bands are still growing and we are one of them; so the situation for us is very very good actually, but it had to take a lot of time and energy to get everything right.
Rep: In a recent interview you said that the upcoming album features new sounds and the whole topic is more diverse. Can you comment on that?
Roy: Well, we have pretty much found our style, or redefined our style with “Black Halo”; and “Ghost Opera”, in my eyes, is not that different from “Black Halo”, except for the fact that is not a concept album and the same goes for this new album. It’s not totally different; it’s still the same writing team, the same production team and therefore will be not that different from our songs, but we always try to make our songs not to sound like any other songs that we have made in the past and I think we managed once again to maintain that focus.
Rep: You just, you released 3 title songs, for example “The Great Pandemonium” somehow shows that there is a great concept behind the line, a complex line..
Roy: Behind this one?
Roy: This is also not a concept record, we were talking about making it a concept record but we ended up not doing that. But the theme is spinning around serial killers and death and failure and desperation, failed love stories, which is not that different from how it’s been in the past, but it’s probably taken more to the extreme.
Rep: You also have a couple of guest musicians, you have anything confirmed besides Simone Simons?
Roy: Well, we have Simone and actually we haven’t discussed when we will go public with the other ones, but there is a video coming out soon, from the record, which features Bjorn Strid from Soilwork.
Rep: Oh, interesting…
Roy: Also there are 2 other ones, but we want to wait.
Rep: I’m guessing that Kamelot is a big part of your life and time. How do you manage to share this time with family time?
Roy: Well, the good thing is that when I’m gone I’m gone, but when I’m at home I’m really at home, so it’s like on and off, when I’m gone I try to do my best with phone calls and Skype and stuff like that, which is not totally the same of course, but we manage; and when I’m at home I really try to focus on the family, but of course, we also work a lot when we are at home, but it’s working pretty good… we are getting more and more busy, but at the same point we have to bring our families with us on tour, or being more selective about what we do and when we do it and how we do it, but up till now it’s been working really really successful and it’s anyway what we want to do.
Rep: Talking about being selective, do you think a new band should tour non-stop? I mean, basically not caring about how big the show is or about conditions and stuff like that?
Roy: Conditions is always a matter of what you are willing to deal with, if you are ok with not having catering and only 2 square meters of backstage then that is ok if you think it is ok; different bands have different levels, they can judge for themselves. I would only say that it’s really good for bands to tour a lot. The online market is getting more and more important and these difficult times of CD-s sales are dropping and file sharing and everything else that the internet brings with it. The live experience is something that you actually have to be there for.
Rep: I think that in the future they will think of something about that..
Rep: What was your first reaction when you saw the final cut of the DVD- “One Cold Winter’s Night”?
Roy: I was there for the whole process, editing with Patrick, we understood pretty early in the process that it was going to be a good product and when it was finished, with the booklet, the cover and everything else, we were extremely happy. I think that is maybe possibly our best production to date.
Rep: And the whole concept, the image of the band, is it an idea that came from inside the band or did you have some special help form outside?
Roy: No, everything that we do is, normally, the video-producers have their own input-that is why we are bringing them in, so everyone we work with, weather it is a video producer or the team of Sascha Miro – they always add a lot to our ideas, to our basic set up for what is going to be in the end. The main themes are always coming from the band, and I think that is what makes us different from other bands. If it had been the producers, the other band that they work with would also be the same.
Rep: Actually, your voice is one of the most appreciated in the new scene of metal. Did you have any special training, courses or anything like that in your young years?
Roy: Yes, I did classical lessons for 3 years, 2,5 – 3 years, but I’m not sure how much that has influenced the way I’m singing today. It’s good for basic techniques, but I’m really not sure how much that has affected the final result or how I’m singing. I’ve always been interested in music and I started singing before I started doing classical, so it’s really hard to tell.
Rep: How is the tour actually, what impact does it have on the lead singer? There are shows night after night, vocal cords have to suffer…how do you treat them?
Roy: Well, I try to warm up properly, that is very important, I drink 2 – 4 litres of water everyday, which sucks, because I don’t like to drink that much water; i normally stay in the shower or in the tub for like 2 – 3 hours, just to be warm in the whole body and sweat, and I also jog a little bit or do push ups or sit ups before the gig. And of course normal boring singing – hails and stuff like that, but I don’t really have any secret tricks. If anything, it is to be warm in the whole body and drink a lot of water – it doesn’t have to be water, coffee is not good, tea is ok, depending on what kind of tea it is, but you have to humidify your vocal cords from the inside.
Rep: Can you remember the first song you ever played on vocals?
Roy: Well, the first one with a microphone was “Tomorrow”- it’s a ballad that Europe made, from their “Final Countdown” record, but I can’t really remember which was the first song that I sang before that – probably some kid’s song.
Rep: You are now planning a show for the first time in Romania. Any thoughts on that? I’m guessing that the info on everything here is rather scarce.
Roy: Well, we are really excited about the idea of playing at Artmania, and as you said, it is the first time we will play in Romania, and we don’t really know too much about it so, we are just very excited, and we are hoping that people that go to concerts in Romania are crazy and willing to play with the band, but we don’t really know Romania that well so we are going to do our best and hopefully the fans are going to be there and rock it out with us.
Rep: Do you still have the same fears when you are playing for the first time in a country?
Roy: No, not really, no. We are never nervous but it is always exciting… I’m pretty sure that the first time in Romania will be something that everybody appreciates both the band and the fans.
Rep: Can you remember the worst show Kamelot played in their entire career?
Roy: The first shows I did with Kamelot were, some of them were not too good. I remember we played one time on a Sunday at a discotheque with I think 7 people or maybe 20 – it was ridiculous, I think we were more people in the band and in the crew than there were on the floor; then we just sat down with the people on the stage after the gig and it was funny, regardless of how big the gig is we try to have a lot of fun and, the few people that actually came to those shows paid the full price ticket, so the should get the whole show.
Rep: Thank you very much for your time and in the end if you would like to say a few words to your fans, here in Romania?
Roy: Yes, like I already said, we are really looking forward to playing in Romania for the first time, and I really hope that as many as possible of our fans are going to come to Artmania festival and rock it out. We are going to do our best for sure so see you there.
Rep: Thank you, see you in August.
Roy: See you in August.