Italy’s “Heavy Demons” radio show recently conducted an interview with vocalist Roy Khan (ex-KAMELOT) and guitarist Tore Østby of reactivated Norwegian progressive metallers CONCEPTION. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On CONCEPTION returning to action:
Tore: “It feels wonderful!”
Roy: “It’s amazing.”
Tore: “We had an incredible time writing new material and also now with the reception we got, we had no idea that we meant so much to so many. It’s been overwhelming. It’s been fantastic.”
On how CONCEPTION plans on promoting themselves in the age of social media:
Tore: “I think first and foremost, it allows us this time to do everything in a closer relationship with the fans. Instead of in the old days, you were much more dependent on the record company to distribute through these intermediaries, we now have the possibility to do it direct, where it belongs — music is really, you know, something between the performance of a song, the listener, the artist and the fan. This allows us now to get back to this and do this together with the fans and let them take part in this journey in all aspects.”
Roy: “The way you can reach out to everybody, basically, is a very good thing. It’s good for music. In the beginning, it seemed like things were not necessarily to the advantage of the artist, but I think we’re seeing now that the fact you can reach out to so many people, gives room for everybody in all genres in all types of bands to be able to do their kind of music. It’s wonderful. It’s great.”
Tore: “It’s a great possibility to have a direct communication.”
On what their favorite CONCEPTION album is:
Roy: “Personally, I’m a fan of all four of them. If you look at the albums, I definitely like ‘Flow’ better because there was something that happened between ‘In Your Multitude’ and ‘Flow’, we were in the middle of a very rapid, maturing process and I can’t really put my finger on what changed from ‘In Your Multitude’ to ‘Flow’, but the team was the same, but there is something about the production and the way we worked together and we were trying out new stuff. It’s like we found our sound on that album. I’m still holding that album very high.”
Tore: “I agree with Roy. I really like that album very much, but I like all of them. I’m very proud of all them. Like Roy said, it’s been a development from album to album. We constantly developed our sound. Every album is a document of that particular time, who we were at that particular time. But, I agree, ‘Flow’ from the first four, that reached a certain level for us.”
On CONCEPTION‘s immediate plans:
Tore: “We are taking things step by step. Right now, we are focusing on the Pledge campaign that we’re running, the EP and the single that’s part of this campaign. That’s where all our focus is right now, so this will be released in the autumn. We’re definitely going to take it all from there. There’s no concrete plans yet other than that, but, I guess it’s safe to say we found the magic and we’re not thinking we’re going to do this and disappear again. We want to think longer-term, but we have to focus.”
Roy: “I really hope people get a chance to see CONCEPTION live, because there is something about the synergy between the four of us that makes it something really special. That magic is definitely still there, so I really hope that we get to see you guys out there.”
On whether Khan‘s spirituality will have an effect on CONCEPTION‘s lyrics:
Roy: “CONCEPTION is never going to be a religious band by any standards and there are some lyrics that I would think now that I would think differently about, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play the songs or anything. I look upon myself as an artist and let’s say you act in a theater play and ‘Faust’, for example, somebody has the play the part of Mephistopheles. It doesn’t mean that person is evil or bad in any sense. I think it’s important to be able to portray the tragic and darkest side of life without being suspected of being a bad person yourself. That being said, there will, of course, be some songs that will touch in on the themes. Anything else would be awkward. It’s not going to be a religious album, obviously.”
CONCEPTION has launched a PledgeMusic campaign to help generate the funds they need for releasing their brand-new material.
After releasing their 1991 “The Last Sunset” debut on its own CSF Records (“Conception Self-Financed Records”), CONCEPTION was signed by Germany’s Noise Records when label head Karl-Ulrich Walterbach was given a demo tape of the band. Walterbach, who by then had largely soured on melodic and power metal, was impressed by CONCEPTION‘s progressive angle and thought-provoking lyrics and saw them as an alternative to the more fantasy-driven melodic metal bands on the label.
The band’s 1993 “Parallel Minds” and 1995 “In Your Multitude” full-lengths were well-received by fans and critics alike, earning CONCEPTION opening slots with the likes of GAMMA RAY and SKYCLAD. CONCEPTION‘s last studio album, 1997’s “Flow” was more experimental in nature, prompting them to fall out of favor with Noise, leading to the dissolution of the band in 1998. Shortly thereafter, Khan was contacted by KAMELOT leader Thomas Youngblood, who invited the Norwegian vocalist to join the band.
Khan announced his exit from KAMELOT in April 2011 after taking several months off to recover from a “burnout.”
KAMELOT officially announced Tommy Karevik as its new lead singer in June 2012. The Florida-based band has recorded three albums so far with the Swedish vocalist: 2012’s “Silverthorn”, 2015’s “Haven” and “The Shadow Theory”, which arrived in April.