Oliver Palotai (Kamelot) interview

10 Q’s with Kamelot’s keyboards player Oliver Palotai…

Their new album ‘Poetry Fot The Poisoned’ is out now via Edel/Ear Music.


1. Could you tell us please what are you currently up to?

Right after the release of a new record there’s always a lot to do – like answering interviews, haha. Behind the scenes every band is a company, and besides the creative stuff there’s also paper works, communicating with labels, managers, bookers etc. and planning the upcoming tours. Finishing a record also means to come back down to earth, after a long flight with surely the one or other turbulence included.

2. Could you take us through the new album ‘Poetry For The Poisoned’?
Many of the new songs are more abstract this time, leaving a lot to the personal perspective of the listener. It is always exciting to hear what certain songs mean to the fans and you’re getting very different interpretations, indeed. Some songs are of course more specific. The story about The Zodiac for example caught our attention and inspired us to write about it. It is about an unsolved serial killer crime during the sixties and a murderer who communicated with the press. Definitely stuff for Metal songs.

3. This album marks a new label for the band in Ear Music/Edel. How did you hook-up with them and what are you hoping the label can achieve for the band?

We’ve been in contact with many labels. But after many years in this business you are more careful than at the beginning when it is all about getting just any kind of record deal. You give out the rights for one of the most precious things you have got, your songs, your art, even if it is just for a limited amount of time. The people who get it in the end we chose carefully, and Ear Music/ Edel proved to be the one.

4. Sean Tibbetts is back on bass. How has the changed the dynamic of the band and why did Glenn Barry leave?

Sean is so full of energy and passion, especially on stage, sometimes I just stand and watch behind my keyboards. Maybe one tour story describes best what he is about: During a show in London the ligaments of one of his knees snapped and he collapsed like a puppet. And, unbelievably, he continued the show sitting. The doctor said later he could lose his leg if he goes on but he never even thought about leaving the tour. He’s been replacing Glenn Barry for almost two years now. Glenn got tired of touring, in the end he missed the fun about it. Maybe the birth of his second child had to do with it and he didn’t want to stay away from home any more for longer periods.

5. Given the theatrical nature of the songs of the band and Khan’s considerably vocal range have the band ever considered doing a full on theatrical based stage show similar to that done the Trans-Siberian Orchestra?

I am not sure that would fit the band. After all we’re a Metal band, and five people playing together and having fun a stage is what we are about, even with pyrotechniques, video screens etc. We anyway add theatrical elements, especially at bigger shows, but the center of attention will always be the music.

6. There are a number of guests on the new album including Firewind’s Gus G and Epica’s Simome Simons. How do you get these gesut musicians involved – is a case of they ask to help out or that a particular song would lend itself well to that particular musician?

During song writing you have dialogues like: “You know what – this part would be great with a voice like x, or a guitar solo played by y.” Sometimes it becomes more than that, we pick up the phone and talk to those guys if they are in the mood of contributing to the album. We know all of our guests in person, having met them after many festivals or concerts. It is always a bit like Christmas to get the songs back and listening to what they have recorded.

7. Kamelot are a band who produce high quality videos. Do these help in getting the band’s music more known on sites like YouTube?

Videos became so important that it is hard to make yourself known if you don’t produce any, especially for young bands at the beginning of their career. Somebody said lately that Poetry For The Poisoned reminds him of a movie soundtrack. I agree, because I also have strong visual images listening to the record. Which makes it easy to come up with ideas for cool videos.

8. What have been the live highlights for the band to date and why?

Hard question. There were so many great concerts in the past years. Opening for Iron Maiden was surely one, because it kind of felt like being back in my first band, first concert, all excited and a bit jittery. Budapest, Sziget festival, just a few weeks ago, was also special, especially for me since I am half Hungarian. Wacken is overwhelming, every time, because there a people in front of the stage as far as you can see. Honestly, I could go on with this list for a long time.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?

I read a lot, spend time with my family and I take trips through the great nature surrounding my home town in the Black Wood Forest. Since my life is pretty busy at the moment I keep it quiet during precious off days.

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