Thomas Youngblood is the
guitarist, founding member and one of the main creative forces behind
the progressive/symphonic power metal band KAMELOT, founded
in 1994. Besides guitar, Thomas likes playing drums and sometimes
composes on keyboards. He's also the founder and director of KAMELOT's
own record label, Kamelot Media Group (KMG Recordings), launched on
July 2010 with distribution through E1.
from Richmond Virginia, Thomas moved to Tampa Florida after losing his
father at the age of 12. “After
my Dad passed I moved in with my Aunt in Tampa. It was a culture shock
coming from Virginia to Florida, I became a bit of a loner. My cousin
ran a local music store there in Tampa and I found salvation with music
and started taking lessons on guitar.” Thomas
Youngblood started on the guitar at 17, taking lessons for one year
from a Greek classical player who taught him the finger-picking
technique. Then he decided to make his own music and started playing
with some friends from the neighborhood. He met Richard Warner, with
whom he shared musical tastes, and together they founded KAMELOT in
Tampa, Florida in 1994.
Throughout the years, KAMELOT has proved to be one of the most unique
and prestigious acts to come along in decades. They have held
very own, very special position in the world of rock and heavy music:
their elaborate melodic metal has always opened itself in a remarkably
clever way to like-minded styles, integrating progressive elements as
well as cross-references to doom/gothic metal and classical music,
which have allowed their songs to define their own genre. Two of their
most successful releases in particular, namely the albums Karma
(2001) and The Black Halo
(2005), are prime examples of KAMELOT’s multi-layered approach,
intensity and outstanding musicality. Their latest offering, Silverthorn,
sees the band raise this demanding standard even higher, because Silverthorn
is a real masterpiece of grand gestures, gritty melodies and haunting
atmospheres. In addition, the album confidently and proudly focuses on
the band’s new singer: with his debut, new addition Tommy Karevik from
Sweden has proved that he suits KAMELOT perfectly in every respect. So
should we be talking of a new era or even a new age in view of this new
situation? No, we should simply announce that Silverthorn
has KAMELOT open a new exciting chapter in their long career, with
Karevik as their strongest trump card.
Silverthorn is one of the best Kamelot
albums ever, not only thanks to their Swedish vocalist’s
brilliant performance, but also thanks to the artistic development of
all parties involved. “For
an ambitious band like us, the only target can be to get better with
every album and go for new horizons,” comments main
composer Thomas Youngblood, adding: Youngblood is referring to producer Sascha Paeth
(Avantasia, Edguy, Rhapsody), who highlights Tommy Karevik’s voice
perfectly (Paeth: “Tommy is one of the best singers I’ve ever worked
with”) while flawlessly capturing the band’s sonic cosmos.
compositional collaboration between Youngblood and keyboardist Oliver
Palotai, which spawned the majority of new material, has contributed to
an album which sees one important element mesh with the other, from the
first note of the intro, ‘Manus Dei,’ to the last song, ‘Continuum.’ In
between, KAMELOT deliver
an extravaganza of exciting ideas, mix prog and power metal on
the driving ‘Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)’ and the subsequent ‘Ashes
To Ashes,’ deliver anthemnic choruses on ‘Torn’ and ‘Falling Like The
Fahrenheit’ and rely on the perfect interplay between Karevik and
Palotai on the ballad ‘Song For Jolee’. The band was supported at the
studio by guest
musicians Elize Ryd, Eklipse, Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist) and
Amanda Somerville, among others.
no means least, there’s the album’s compelling lyrical concept.
Youngblood: “It’s the
story of a young girl who dies in the arms of her two twin brothers,
taking the three siblings’ big secret to her grave. The songs on Silverthorn talk about despair, a sense of
guilt and the pursuit of truth. In this context, the silver thorn in
the album title has a mysterious meaning, but it’s up to the listener
to unveil this secret”.
there’s a lot to be discovered, musically as well as lyrically. You
have to listen to this album, whether you’re a Kamelot fan or generally
a devotee of intelligent melodic metal, because the
multi-layered songs and the album’s lyrical concept have entered a
haunting liaison on Silverthorn.
for more info about KAMELOT's new masterpiece!
While building his band and his own songwriting skills, Thomas worked
in product management and operations for apparel companies like Vanity Fair and
Kappa. Working in the business
world taught Thomas the necessary skills to deal with touring, record
companies and also contracts. He remains a consultant for the industry
and is the main force behind the apparel line for KAMELOT.
Thomas Youngblood has co-written and released 11 full albums with
KAMELOT and appeared as special guest artist on several more. He has
toured nearly every continent over the past 12 years and continues to
grow with his band and his unique style of playing.
Date of Birth: May 29th, Gemini
Height: 5'11" /180cm
Hair-color: Dark brown
Films: The Lord of the Rings, The Sound of Music, Fight Club, too
Books: DaVinci Code, Faust, Grisham novels.
Actors/Actresses: De Niro, Portman, Christian Bale.
Sports: Football, Tennis, Golf.
Food: Italian, Chinese/Thai, Cuban.
Drinks: Water, Wine, Coke, Brewski's.
Dislikes: Smoking!! Ignorance, Arrogance.
Hobbies: Not much time for hobbies! Computers and Design.
ESP Horizon II
ESP Eclipse Vintage Black
ESP Custom Eclipse
ESP Eclipse-II VB
ESP Horizon NT
ESP Custom Eclipse Black Halo
LAG Nylon 314NCE
Peavey Cabinets JSX
Peavey JSX Cabs
Ampeg VH-140C Amps
GP In Tune Picks
M-Audio Interfaces and Controllers
Elixir Strings and Cables
Shure Wireless System
did you decide to play in a band?
At 17 years old I started playing with some friends from the
neighborhood. I met the old drummer Richard through one of my friends
Les Dave Alvarez, and he had a drum kit. We both liked Maiden, Priest,
RUSH etc. So we later formed Kamelot.
music background do you have?
I played saxophone in Junior High School. I have no idea why I thought
of the sax at age 13. Started relatively late at 17 on the guitar. I
took lessons for one year and decided to start making my own music. The
lessons were from a Greek classical player who taught the fingerpicking
you play any other instruments?
I like to play drums and write a lot with the keyboards. I love the
sound of great piano pieces. One of my goals is to learn the piano
do your inspirations come from?
many I guess, but lately I listen to New Age music from Enya to Yanni
and Celtic and Spanish music like Strunz and Farrar. Cirque du Soleil!!
I also really liked Michael Schenker's Assault Attack and Malmsteen's
Rising Force. Hans Zimmer and film score music too!
was the best concert you played?
So many great ones...Oslo and Holland in 2012 was pretty Epic. Also the
show with Iron Maiden in Buenos Aires.
we played a show at a YMCA type place in Karlsruhe, Germany, a few
years ago. There was no PA, no lights. The only good thing was a
basketball hoop outside where we played some basketball games with crew.
country would you like to visit (again)?
I would like to see more of Spain. We didn't get a chance to really see
the different places there.
country would you like to tour (again)?
Japan again! I love the culture there.
was the first CD you ever bought?
I guess it was Queensryche's EP. I can't remember. I think the first CD
was Alcatrazz. I was totally hooked on Malmsteen's playing and still
think some of his best solos are on the No Parole album.
Skillet - Live
are your all-time favorite albums?
Queen - More than one!
Malmsteen - Rising Force
Saigon Kick - Saigon Kick
Cirque Du Soleil - Alegria
Schenker - Assault Attack
Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
But there are so many more!