In a new interview with the “ProgRock Digital” podcast, former KAMELOT singer Roy Khan, who is a devout Christian, was asked if his faith influenced the lyrics on the latest album from his reactivated pre-KAMELOT band CONCEPTION, “State Of Deception”, which came out in 2020. He responded (as transcribed by SOUNDERGROUND.NET): “CONCEPTION is not a religious band in any sense of the word. But we do allow… I mean, there’s a couple of these lyrics that are quite Christian in the sense that I’ve used the Bible and I’ve used my own story to say something. But there’s no direct reference to Christianity as such. But for me personally, it would have been awkward to not write about anything that has happened since it’s been a pretty big thing, for me at least, and to my fans.”
Khan announced his exit from KAMELOT in April 2011 after taking several months off to recover from a “burnout.”
After his departure from KAMELOT, Khan joined a church in the coastal town of Moss, Norway.
Four years ago, Khan officially reformed CONCEPTION and released an EP, 2018’s “My Dark Symphony”, and a full-length album, the aforementioned “State Of Deception”.
Khan reflected on the circumstances that led to him ending his long working relationship with KAMELOT during an appearance last fall on the “Breaking Absolutes With Peter Orullian” podcast. Roy, whose full name isRoy Sætre Khantatat, said: “That whole thing was a cocktail of several things that just happened to climax at that point. As you all, KAMELOT was getting more and more popular, so I was away months every year — like half the year at least I was gone. I was having a family, and that right there was starting to tear me apart. And then I was living my life not very healthy — let’s put it that way — and I did a lot of stupid stuff back then that… I knew in my heart that it was going down the drain.”
He continued: “I remember every night when I sang [the KAMELOT song] ‘Karma’, I would feel that this shit is gonna knock me on the back of the head at some point. If it’s gonna tomorrow, [if] it’s gonna be two years from now, I don’t know, but the way I live my life, that’s not gonna work — it’s not sustainable. And then it happened. I knew for so many years, actually, that this was gonna not work out, and then, all of a sudden, it happened. I broke down. I had a full summer where I barely slept — like six to eight weeks where I didn’t sleep a whole lot of hours during those six to eight weeks, and I was going really completely crazy. And in connection with that, a lot of stuff happened.”
According to Khan, leaving KAMELOT after a 13-year run weighed heavily on him at the time.
“Quitting KAMELOT was the best decision that I’ve ever made, and by that I don’t mean that… KAMELOT was a fantastic thing in my life, and Thomas [Youngblood, KAMELOT founder] and the other guys — it had nothing to do with them; it was all me and the way I lived my life, and I just couldn’t take it any longer,” he explained. “And I was also overworked — I worked all the time. Even when I was home. The first thing I’d do when I got back home is I would kick my shoes off in the hallway and I’d just sit right down at the computer and start working. I was really not a good husband and I was not a good father. Lots of things weren’t good about me at that point.
“Quitting KAMELOT at that point, it was easy but it was hard,” he elaborated. “It was easy because I didn’t really have a choice. I was really wrecked. And at the same time, it was hard because I’d been working to get to that point my whole life, basically — 20 years, at least — and finally I was there. And then I threw the towel in and said, ‘Hey, guys, I’m not coming in for the next tour.’ ‘Okay. Well, what’s wrong?’ ‘Well, actually, I’m not coming back at all.’ And obviously, everybody… My mom was, like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you serious?’ Then the guys in the band, they thought that it was gonna pass. But I knew in my heart that summer [of 2010], already in August, I knew that that’s it.”
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 2018’s “The Shadow Theory”.
Asked if he has listened to any of KAMELOT‘s recent material with Karevik, Roy told Italy’s SpazioRock back in 2018: “Yes I have. I really like some of their new stuff. Sounds classical KAMELOT in my ears, and Tommy is a great singer.”
Youngblood had previously discussed the role of religion in Khan‘s decision to leave KAMELOT, saying in a 2011 interview: “I know that there is a religious aspect to it that I can’t really 100 percent explain. The religious aspect is something that I wanna let him to kind of talk about, but I know that he had been going to religion classes for whatever reason. Obviously, over the years of working together, being at times best friends and things like that, we have discussed all kind of topics about religion, so it’s actually very surprising to me that this is where we are at now with him. But really, I don’t really want to talk too much more about it because that’s really something I think that he should come out about, in terms of what he believes or doesn’t believe or whatever.”