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LEAVES' EYES INTERVIEW | Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum

Interview with Leaves’Eyes – Liv Kristine

Not too long ago, Leaves’ Eyes marked their introduction with the release of their debut “Lovelorn”. Unfortunately I didn’t get to listen to it but I was pleasantly surprised to receive “Vinland Saga” recently.

How would you compare “Vinland Saga” to its predecessor?

- Liv: Our second album “Vinland Saga” is more complex than “Lovelorn”. We realized this after having composed about half of the songs. We thus decided to replace all the classical samplers by real instruments. Moreover, I was eager to try out various singing manners like traditional Norwegian, Celtic or classical singing. Except from the vocals and the classical influences, we also used the guitar to underline the emotional flow of each song. We needed more time to finish the production of this album, but it was absolutely worth it.

What is your participation in the creative process?

- Liv: I’m part of the composing process, moreover, I’m responsible for the concept, writing the lyrics and the vocal melodies.

Can you tell us about the concept behind it?

-Liv: The concept has a historical frame; the Viking’s discovery of America. It’s about a group of ships leaving the west coast of Norway about 1.000 years ago, heading towards Greenland. However, due to bad weather they fail and continue sailing until they discover what they called “Vinland” (“the land of wine”), i.e. New Foundland. Our protagonist is one of the men of Leif Eiriksson’s crew. Here our fictional story begins: His wife is waiting for him in Norway to return. And he finally does, after one summer and one winter.

Earlier this year I had the chance to review / interview your sister Carmen on Midnattsol debut “Where Twilight Dwells”. You must be pretty proud of her. Is music and talent ever present in your family?

- Liv: Funnily enough we are the only ones being musicians in our family. However, we have both been interested in music since the early childhood. We got a lot of musical input from our parents, though, just by listening to music at home. And yes, I am so proud of my sister! She’s also the one of us who knows everything about notes.

Do you have formal training or you are simply naturally gifted?

- Liv: No formal training. It’s fantastic to be born with this gift. I was singing before I spoke my first word. I’m very happy and grateful that I’ve been able to make my favourite “hobby” become my profession. Music and singing has always been a part of my life, heart and soul. My family is the only thing which is more important than music in my life.

You have on of today’s best female voice plus you sang on one of the best gothic album ever “Aegis”. The last I’ve heard from Theatre Of Tragedy was more techno / goth. Is it that change in the musical direction that made you leave the band since what I can hear on “Vinland Saga” is far away from modern / techno stuff?

- Liv: I’m proud of any album I did with ToT, however, I grew up with Black Sabbath, thus I’d say this kind of music is very close to my heart, although I listen to different kinds of music (Ozzy, Enya, Loreena McKennit, Madonna, Grieg, Mozart, Badalamenti…) nowadays. Actually, I was kicked out of ToT by a message from the band which I to my biggest surprise discovered one night on their homepage. There was no warning or explanation. And nobody talked to me about it. That was bad luck, but sometimes bad luck leads to good luck; I formed a new band together with my friends from Atrocity. Leaves’ Eyes is definitely good luck! And yes, “Vinland Saga” is far away from techno.

Is there any musician / singer that you especially consider as crafty?

- Liv: Madonna. She’s the best business woman and entertainer ever. A true artist.

Isn’t that frustrating to artists like yourself when you see singers like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston etc…being millionaires, big stars when they actually don’t even write or composed anything ( or very little if at all) they sing?

- Liv: It’s a bit unfair, yes, but to be honest, I’m glad that I am part of the composing process, the production, write my own lyrics/concept, be responsible for the vocal lines, read every letter we get, sometimes write people back if they wrote something nice in our guestbook a.s.o. I’ve worked with producers, managers, labels etc. who tried to convince me that it’s cool to have other people doing everything for you and you only have to sing, but that’s taking my own power, will and even talent away from me. Moreover, I would have to follow other people’s rules and only do what I’m told. This is not what I want. I don’t want to carry a dollar sign on my forehead and “the business” forgetting about the person within the artist, who is me and nobody else. I’m glad I’ve learned to be true to myself and to my art. Moreover, I’ve learned by doing mistakes. I’m glad I’m not 20 years old and not fresh in the music business anymore.

How do you spend your free time?

- Liv: Being together with my family. I also love doing sports and being outside. I’m practically never bored, as there is no time for it and there’s so much energy which I have to get rid of. Being a mother and a musician/singer is the perfect combination for me.

Any family planning (a scoop)?

- Liv: Leon Alexander is now 16 months old. I’d like to wait a bit before we start planning to expand our family. I enjoy my time so much with Leon. It’s fantastic to be a mother. I’m so happy.

Thank you very much for pleasantly responding these questions. Feel free to add or comment on anything you want to conclude this interview.

- Liv: Thank you very much for doing this interview with me. It was a pleasure for me.

Take care!

Liv

May 10, 2005

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