Thursday, December 30, 2010

Confessions of a Kamelot Fan

So I wanted to do a post and after racking my brain I thought I'd go with a subject near and dear to my heart. Kamelot.


I've been a huge fan of Kamelot for years now (thanks again Rob). I have just about every album put out (the Khan stuff) and quite a few other collectibles. Hell, I even have them tattooed on me. You could say I'm a pretty big fan. So here is a fan's thoughts on the past year with Kamelot.

It's been pretty up and down as far as I'm concerned. Starting the year off to learn that they would indeed be coming back to the US to tour their upcoming album and one of those stops would be in San Francisco, close enough for me to attend; which is totally sweet. I bought tickets as soon as they were on sale.

Then, some months later, they announce the title of their upcoming cd "Poetry for the Poisoned". Sounds amazing. Soon after we get bits and pieces of the new tracks and clips for the first single "The Great Pandemonium". Sick.

They're touring Europe like crazy and as the new cd is released it causes a massive surge of impatience. This cd is spectacular and I couldn't wait to see and hear these songs performed live. (for my review of the cd, check it out here).

So the new cd is released and it's fantastic and the tour is fast approaching. Excitement levels are high and impatience is getting worse and worse. Low and behold a monkey-wrench is thrown into the mix: Khan is sick and they're going to have a replacement vocalist. WTF????

This isn't the first time I've had to deal with a situation like this: the first time I saw Epica their lead vocalist and all around Goddess, Simone Simmons had a staph infection and wasn't able to perform. In her place long time friend and collaborator Amanda Sommerville would take lead vocals. I went to the show anyways because I've never seen Epica before; it was a really good show. I can't say it was the full Epica experience but I enjoyed it.

Come to think about it, even though I've seen them three or four times now it wasn't til the last one which I guess you could say was the full Epica incarnation. The second time, guitarist Ad Sluijter quit and was replaced by Isaac Delahaye and Keyboardist Coen Janssen was getting married, so they had Kamelot's resident ivory tickler Oliver Palotai cover. This last one I went to in December was the first full appearance of the band for me.

Back to the subject at hand though. Even though I've gone through this before I do have to say that it never fully felt right not having such a distinct voice singing their songs. Amanda was great and has an amazing set of pipes but you only truly want to hear Simone singing those songs. I can honestly say I couldn't imagine or want anyone else to sing those spectacular Kamelot songs; it would be a crime against awesome.

Some good news and some bad news. Kamelot decides quickly after announcing the stand in vocalist that they're not going to have him cover for Khan after all, the bad news is they're postponing the tour and have no idea when they'll pick it up.

I'm obviously conflicted. I really wanted to see Kamelot again but I'm happy I'm not going to hear some second best vocalist butchering their music, because let's be honest here: Khan is one of a kind and arguably one of the greatest vocalists out there today.

As far as their website, Myspace and Facebook is concerned things are pretty quiet. There's an occasional blurb here and there about "Poetry for the Poisoned" being number one in this country or that country and they're going to be hosting this music video show or that radio show but nothing about Khan's health. I have to admit I was scared there was something seriously wrong though I could never vocalize it. Especially after the bout that Behemoth front-man Nergal was facing with leukemia I was proper shitting myself.

As time goes on they get more and more active on the press front though they still have no word on Khan: then it comes. An interview with Guitar God Thomas Youngblood on some Greek metal show or blog or whatnot and they do the unthinkable and ask about Khan's health. He mentions, very cryptically i might add, that Khan was suffering from "burnout" and needed to take some time. Thank the gods he's not dying. Not to be selfish but what about the tour? Are you coming back to North America soon? Nothing.

Thomas does a few more interviews, and what I find suspicious is that Thomas is basically the only band member talking about it or anything at all. He basically gives the same story to the other media sites: Khan is suffering from burnout or something to that effect. And so we wait.

Some time later it comes, the announcement we've all been waiting for: Kamelot is going to tour . . . . Europe????? WTF?????

So there it is for the world to see Kamelot is gearing up for Pandemonium over Europe or something like that and another and entirely different artist is going to take Khan's spot on the tour: as if ANYONE could replace Khan?! They also mention that though we don't have dates yet, they will be coming back to the US in 2011 but without Khan it seems?

So, my friends, here I suppose is the crux of the matter. Why do they feel it's OK to have so many fans who worship them and the music they make and they don't have the decency to be honest with us? Is it like at old saying "it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission"? Do you not trust us to understand how it feels to be overwhelmed and the need to take a step back; even from something you love?

Kamelot doesn't have to worry about losing fans regardless. I'm going to be there and support them and the individual pieces that make the whole of the band but I really wish you guys could have had the respect for us that we do for you: be honest. Tell us what's wrong and let us be there to support you. You don't have to treat us like an ignorant child.

I'll still be there, tattoo proudly displayed and singing along to every song with fists and devil horns in the air no matter who is on that stage, but I'm always going to have that thought in the back of my mind that you'll disappoint me again someday: though not with your music. Never with your music. Maybe with the way you so easily cast us aside and tour other parts of the world because you make your money in Europe and not here.

Sometimes though, it's more important than the money, to get on that stage and do for us what you said you were going to do. We're there for you, so be there for us.

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1 comment:

Rob Liz said...

What needs to happen is an official statement from Khan. Thomas can only relay information that's given to him and he's probably supposed to be guarded on what he says as a favor to Roy. But I'm just guessing there.
In the meantime this is Thomas's band not Roy's and he still has to make a living. And making a living these days is by touring. I firmly think that they were hoping to have Roy back in time for a European tour and it didn't happen so they still have to recoup the costs for marketing and producing the album.Hence the Rhapsody of fire vocalist to this tour. It's going to suck and probably not draw like it should but getting any returns back for Poetry at all is better then nothing.