These questions were answered by Oliver Palotai, keyboardist of power metal band titans Kamelot.
How did the band get started?
Kamelot was formed around 1988 by Thomas Youngblood, in Tampa/Florida. While the band back then was all American, today we’re multinational, with our singer coming from Sweden and myself from Germany.
Where did your band name come from?
Well, obviously from King Arthur’s court. In the beginning the band focused more on medieval subjects and historical ones in general. That changed through the years, but the band name remains.
How would you describe your music?
Symphonic, heavy with some progressive elements. We give ourselves a lot of room to experiment and to surprise our listeners with every record.
Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?
Speaking for myself, my main influences come from jazz and classic music. I always loved heavy music but my main studies happened in those genres opposed to metal. Besides being a guitarist and bassist, as a keyboardist or pianist you’re rarely influenced by metal players since the history of the keyboard/similar instruments is a long one and the most impressive things have been done centuries ago.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Probably the period of trying to find a new singer some years ago. But we were more than lucky meeting Tommy Karevik, he brought so much fresh energy into the band.
What has been your favourite show to play?
There have been so many good ones over the years! One that was crazily good was at the O13 in the Netherlands on the last European tour. So much energy exchanged with the crowd!
Any crazy tour stories you’d be willing to share with us?
Ah, one of the most dreaded questions. We have an experienced crew, which means smooth shows and travel most of the time. I am also a pretty boring person backstage, reading books and partying very little. The crazy stories all happen inside my head.
What would you say the main message behind your music is?
There is none, no definite one. I might see a certain message in our music, but it will be something very different for another listener. That is the universal uncertainty of music, which is a great thing!
If you could go back to the beginning of the band, would you do anything differently?
No. We consider ourselves lucky to be where we are today and with how things went.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
I like so many. Of course as a keyboardist, I enjoy the moments where the wall of sound of my bandmates is lessened for a little while and I get to have some personal moments. Like in ‘Song For Jolee’.
You can check out Kamelot here: