|Kamelot is one of the most popular bands in the current Melodic Power Metal scene. As everybody knows, 2011 has been a year of changes and challenges for these American artists. During their “Pandemonium Over North America 2011” tour, the bass guitar player Sean Tibbetts spend some time with SOM to talk about their concerts, their latest album and the future of the band. Check it out!|Kamelot is currently doing the “Pandemonium Over North America 2011” tour. How have the concerts over here being so far?
They’ve been great, honestly. It’s been pretty close to sold out every show. The crowd has been really receptive to Fabio [Lione]. It just has been a good time. We didn’t have any real major “hiccups” or anything like that, which is nice. During the last US tour that we did, we had a bus break down on us. Actually, we had a bus break down on us this time too but it was a quick deal, we got in and out, we got a new bus…
But, just when we started the tour, we played Atlanta (which was fine) and then we went to Virginia after that. The hurricane had come in and it was “sitting-up” right on top of us. So, it was a bummer for that show, a lot of people who had already bought tickets couldn’t make it because there were floods, trees down and such. Then, the storm actually followed us to Philadelphia, so that show was about the same. But then, ever since those two shows it has been crazy. The houses have been packed; the crowds have been going crazy, jumping off the walls…You mentioned that the crowds have been receptive to Fabio Lione during the shows. Can you tell us in more details how have the fans been reacting to this change during the concerts?
Honestly, we see a little skepticism in some people’s eyes. Like: “I don’t know if this guy is going to pull it off”. But by the end of the show the same people have been jumping up and down, yelling and screaming for more.
Fabio is honestly one of the most amazing singers I’ve ever worked with. Don’t tell him that!! (laughs). He is an incredible singer. If you come out and see him you are just going to be blown away. He is hitting the old stuff that Kamelot used to do. We have been able to resurrect some older songs because he is able to hit those notes and he is so powerful. The crowds really love him; he really, really performs. He has the crowd in the palm of his hands for the whole shows.That been said: It is not news to anybody that you will be selecting a new lead singer. When are you guys having the final decision and when will the fans know the name of this new Kamelot band member?
Right now we are trying not to think a whole lot about that. We are still getting people’s names and listening to their videos, mp3s and such. I will tell you, the competition is really tough and Fabio is an amazing singer, so… either way, we still got a recording to do. When it comes to the vocal lines [to be done], that’s probably when we will be making the announcement. But, right off this tour is when the new album is going to start so, it’s not very far away, it’s a couple of months away.Is this Kamelot’s hardest decision so far?
Oh, of course! That’s the face of the band. When people think of your band that’s what they
think of: your lead singer. When you think about any band out there: Metallica, Aerosmith or any bands like that, the first thing you think of is their lead singer.
He is not only going to be a good lead singer but he is also going to be a good front man. He is also going to be someone you can live with, 2 feet away on a tour bus for 5 or 6 months of the year. So, it is going to be a huge decision.You have released the Poetry for the Poisoned album about a year ago. Has this album brought the expected results for you?
Well, I will tell you that with everything that has happened the album did well, it charted really well. It is probably one of the best albums we’ve had out. It is been received well. There are many reviews on the thing.
Every Kamelot album has been different. That been said, this one is different than the rest. I enjoyed it and I take it as that.The issues that we have with the album are that with Roy departing from the band right when it came out, of course that hurt things, you know? We couldn’t go out and get behind the album. We wanted to tour on the album and really push it. So, we will record a new album and push-on.
When he [Roy Khan] left [Kamelot] we had to choose between quit or push-on. We decided to keep pushing forward.Some reviewers have described Poetry for the Poisoned as a “darker” album. Do you agree with them?
Well, like I said earlier, all of our albums are different. It was just what we were feeling at the time. Is it darker? It is not darker, it is just a different album.You haven’t been with the band for its entire discography but how would you divide Kamelot’s discography? How would you describe it?
Well, I’ve been back [with Kamelot] since The Black Halo. I was the original bass player before they got signed. I really can’t speak for the ones in between [for the albums released while he was not Kamelot’s bass guitar player]. There are several albums in there.
I would say that The Black Halo is more of a complex written album, a lot more technical album. The Ghost Opera is more of a melodic album and as far as the newest one [Poetry for the Poisoned] that is definitely more melodic, even more than Ghost Opera. It’s got a whole different kind of vibe to it.So, for the new album that you guys will be working on soon. Do you have any ideas of when it will be released?
Next summer, most likely. That’s what we are shooting for. If we get done the recording before then, it will be before that. We have just started writing on it. The whole band is writing on this one, we will be working with our producer Sascha [Paeth] again. It should be interesting; I’m really excited about this new album. It’s going to be great.Is the new band member (future lead singer) going to be part of the writing process or
will this person come in after the album is pretty much done?
You know, it is really hard to say. I guess it really depends on when we will make the final judgment. If the right guy comes along in the middle of the writing: yes he will be [part of the writing process].So, basic question now: what are your favorite metal bands?
I’m actually kind of a commercial guy. Mudvayne is probably one of my favorite bands, I love those guys. I like Tool a lot… Well, honestly I’m a big Jazz guy too, so I hear a lot of stuff like that and actually, Dave Matthews [Band]. I really like that band. I know it is not very “metal” for me to say but, I really think they are a great band. I’ve got a pretty full spectrum of music that I like so, I listen to everything.Have you always thought about being a musician? How did it start?
Well, my parent had a party when I was a little kid, they had a band come over and it just “sparked” my interest. I have a real artsy family: my father was a photographer, my mother played the piano, my aunt plays the piano and my uncle is a sax player.
Actually I picked up the guitar first; I played that for a few years. And then, a friend of mine needed a bass to do some recordings. I’ve been playing bass ever since. I remember my mom asking me what I wanted to do when I grow up and I said: “I think I want to be a musician”. I remember her laughing hysterically. She looked at me and said: “You and everyone else”. I didn’t get the joke at the time. Now that I’ve done it for a while I get the joke (laughs).Well… you’ve done it!
Yeah... It’s very difficult and it takes a lot of persistence. Just don’t ever quit. If you are going to go for it you got to go for it all the way. Don’t go half way, you know?If you could go back in history and experience a music concert or “era”, when would it be? Who would you like to see?
Well, my ultimate favorite band is Led Zeppelin, so I would love to get to see them… Hendrix… it is kind of generic to say but I just love both of them. They are great players, amazing studio musicians… I love them!So going back to Kamelot: the band is experiencing some major changes. How would you like to see the band a year from now, when you release the new album?
Good question. Well, when you bring a new guy like that [a new lead singer] and you are doing a whole new album, you kind of bring a whole new product. We just really want to get behind it and push it. We believe in ourselves as writers and musicians. So, I think we will come through in our music.Final question: what would you like to say to SOM readers?
Stick around (laughs)! We are coming up with a new album and we can’t wait for you guys to come and see us.