SEAN TIBBETTS HELD DOWN THE BOTTOM END FOR KAMELOT LONG
before the symphonic power-metal band was signed. “Unfortunately, the original drummer
and I didn’t get along, and we parted ways before any deal was inked,” recalls Tibbetts.
“Within months of me leaving, the band got signed and took off .” As cutthroat as the business
can be, Tibbetts says he was nonetheless happy to see Kamelot’s hard work pay off .
And when he rejoined the band full-time in 2009, replacing his replacement, Glenn Barry,
he was given a gift that rarely happens in the music industry: a second chance. On Kamelot’s
latest, Silverthorn, Tibbetts’ playing forms the best sonic foundation the band has had yet,
and his snarling, growling tone provides the ballast
between heavily orchestrated guitars and keyboards
and soaring vocal melodies.
How did you go from ex-member to Glenn Barry’s
super-sub to finally reclaiming your post in 2009?
In 2006, Glenn needed time off for his family, and
my name was brought up. Glenn actually called me,
and I was happy to help him out. I filled in for the
fall tour of 2006. In 2007, Glenn’s family life took
full priority and I began touring with the band full
time. In 2009, Glenn officially stepped down and I
was asked to rejoin the band.
How did you come up with your parts to the
tunes on Silverthorn?
Thoughts and ideas may come to me at any place
and time, not necessarily when I am in the studio.
I keep an acoustic bass guitar by my bed and immediately
record any lick, line, or riff as soon as it
enters my head. My phone is full of short recordings
for future use.
Your tone adds serious weight to the music.
How do you get it?
The biggest component is quality gear. It’s a very
simple formula—good sound going in equals good
sound coming out. My bass of choice for recording
is my Warwick Streamer Stage II. It has a tone that
isn’t just a note; it’s more of a growl. When I need
distortion, I use a Pigtronix distortion pedal.
What’s your logic for employing both pick
and fingerstyle right-hand technique?
It’s strictly a tone thing. Because Glenn recorded
most of the Kamelot records with a pick, I have to
maintain his playing style. I do, however, intentionally
rehearse all of our songs with my fingers, as I
have a tendency to drop my picks onstage and have
to be prepared to play with my fingers at any time.
Live, you often play a flamenco-inspired solo.
I have always been a huge fan of flamenco guitar.
When I got my first acoustic bass guitar I had never
seen anyone try to play flamenco on one, so I thought,
Why not? I began studying this style and started
applying the technique and eventually incorporated
it into my live solo with Kamelot. My whole
life I just wanted to develop my own style that was
heads, Warwick WCA
Strings Elixir Nickel
UC200 Ultra Chorus,
System, Line 6 Relay
G30 Digital Wireless
ew300 G3 In-Ear
AlienEars ear buds
Picks Dunlop 1.0 mm