:: Interview with Leaves' Eyes
Interview with Leaves' Eyes
The beautiful Liv from Leaves Eyes took the time to talk to Metal Ship about their new album the all amazing Meredead. Leaves Eyes are seen as the beauty and beast of metal, and Liv talks to us about the making of the new album, what we can expect on their October UK tour and the romantic story behind where the bands name came from!
Metalship : Can you tell us a bit about yourself, like what hobbies you have as
well as playing your music?
was formed in 2003, by myself and my friends from Atrocity
had to cope with my situation after being kicked out of Theatre of Tragedy
(formed 1995 in Stavanger, Norway,the founders of "female voices in Gothic
metal, and the beauty and the beast concept) in the spring 2003,
fulfilled a concept, a story about a mermaid, titled "Lovelorn". I showed
it to my friends in Atrocity
and they liked it. We immediately started to
compose music for it, and this resulted in the band "Leaves' Eyes", a
record deal, and our debut release "Lovelorn". After my pregnancy and
enjoying the first year at home with my family, we started touring and
releasing more albums, produced at our own studio Mastersound. I am so
lucky to have both; music and family - two dreams coming true! Apart from
that I love sports, especially running, skiing, yoga...I love the sauna,
the nature, reading books about Nordic and Celtic mythology, Paulo Coelho,
phonetics and ancient
Metalship : Tell us what you do in the band and who the other guys are?
I was born and grew up in Norway. Norwegian culture and nature is in
my heart. I am responsible for writing the concept of each album, the
lyrics and vocallines. Tosso, myself and Alexander make up the
song-writing team so far. Alexander, my beloved husband, is the producer
of our band and the one who inspired me to write a concept story that was
the beginnings of Leaves' Eyes
. Tosso plays almost every string instrument
and is one of my long-time friends in Germany. He is also, with Alexander,
the main composer in the band, moreover, the one cracking the best jokes!
Roland, on drums, is from Vienna, and we got to know each other a few
years ago. I had seen him
play live, and he's great! We asked him
and he came flying from Austria two days later! Roland is the practical
guy in the band, knowing everything about the right tools, screws and
fixing broken things. Sander on guitars is incredibly hard-working and
spending as much time as possible at Mastersound studio, developing ideas
for songs and promotion, driving the whole way from Holland! J. B. also
from Holland is our bass player, moreover, he will surely involve in
song-writing future-wize. He's an amazing musician....and he even cooks
The band feeling and involvement and trust
between the band members has
never ever been as strong and deep as it is now! I really enjoy being with
my band family!
Metalship : When did you decide you wanted to be a metal singer?
Coming to influences, I grew up with Black Sabbath
, Deep Purple
Edvard Grieg and Tschaikowsky, and female singers like Enya, Madonna, Kate
Bush, Abba, Tori Amos and Monserrat Caballe. From the very beginning, I've
followed my musical instinct: I wanted to combine a romantic, female,
angelic voice with powerful, impressive music. Then suddenly, when I was
18 years old, I found myself in the middle of writing music history with
Theatre of Tragedy
, being one of the founders of "gothic metal with female
voices" and "the beauty and the beast concept"! I am first of all grateful
to our fans and friends all over the world, who have been there for me
throughout all these years!
Metalship : As a child what music did you grow up on?
I started to sing even before I could walk or talk, however, I never
had any musical education, and I never studied music (I studied
linguistics, German, English and historic languages). It was my inner
voice that told me that singing is a part of me, it just comes from the
heart. Actually, when I was little, I thought that every human being could
sing! Well, I guess I'm lucky, having a kind of perfect hearing.
Metalship : Who came up with the name Leaves Eyes?
In 2003 Alexander (husband and producer) got married. We spent our
honeymoon in Ireland. That was some romantic moment, when my husband said
to me."Your eyes, Liv, are shining
like stars". "Liv" sounds like "leave",
i.e. they are homophones. There you go "Leaves' eyes" actually refers to
Metalship : What made you want to go down the Power/Fantasy/Viking metal rout?
I just let the music itself inspire me. If I chose a theme from
Nordic mythology, I would include Norwegian lyrics. It was very intimate
to sing in my mother tongue Norwegian, it makes the lyrics even more
emotional and personal. Singing in Old-English meant digging my nose in my
Old-English grammar books once again, however, I am very interested in
historical languages, which I also studied. I think that Old-English has a
very special "sound" phonetically. You'll find Froeya, three-headed
trolls, vampires, ghosts, witches
, Vikings travelling on sea, Viking
ladies mourning.and of course many images from the Norwegian harsh weather
and wild nature landscapes. I guess there is some homesickness towards
Norway in my lyrics.actually, it's more than obvious that I miss my
Metalship : People think Leave's eyes are the 'Beauty and the Beast' of metal.
You have the beautiful blonde women and the tall hairy head banging man.
Were there any thoughts of it being this kind of concept?
Well, it's all the experience I have gathered being an artist that
makes me the singer I am today. From the very beginning, since I was about
6 years old, I've followed my musical instinct: I wanted to combine a
romantic, female, angelic voice with powerful, impressive music, as
mentioned above. Then suddenly, when I was 18 years old, I found myself in
the middle of writing music history with Theatre of Tragedy
, being one of
the founders of "gothic metal with female voices" and "the beauty and the
beast concept"! I am first of all grateful to our fans and friends all
over the world, who have been there for me throughout all these years!
Metalship : The new album is entitled 'Meredead'. Can you tell our readers what
Meredead actually means and why you decided to choose this title?
The title is my own word-creation: To my grammatical knowledge,
"Meredead" could mean 'dead by the sea', 'or the deadly sea'. Poetically,
we could add some imagination and lyrical sound and say "Sea of Death".
Secondly, the word "Meredead" sums up some of the themes rooted in my
lyrics on the album.
Metalship : The album artwork is of a woman emerging from the water (Which looks
pretty gothic) who designed the album artwork for this album?
We are very pleased with it, too! Many people already asked me why
I'm not on the album cover of "Meredead". I think I look too "sweet" and
"angel-like" for the album. She represents both the beauty of the sea and
at the same time the dangerous ocean! I think the girl on the cover is
really beautiful, and I absolutely love the artwork of Stefan Heilemann! I
am going to ask Stefan if I can meet her some day, hehe.
Metalship : Was it a joint effort or an individual person who wrote the songs for
Alexander, Thorsten and myself are the song-writing and production
team. Most of the time, music comes first, then vocallines and words.and
then we work even more on the instruments. For the production of
"Meredead" it was highly important to us that each song had its own
"face", individuality and perfect, crystal clear sound to strengthen the
emotional effect. We just let the music inspire us to add new and
interesting "spices" to our music, like pipes, nyckelharpa (Swedish folk
instrument), the fiddle, cello, classical orchestra or the flute. That's
what makes the album that diverse and exciting as you discover a different
story, different instrumental combinations, different ways of singing even
in various languages in each song. We just started composing with an open
Metalship : Why do you think having 2 vocalists is better than having 1 and what
are the plusses of having it?
The male vocals are a great contrast to my soprano voice!
Metalship : What is your favourite song to play live and why?
I just arrived from tour, and I am now looking forward to further
shows and tours. In April we toured with my sister Carmen's band
Midnattsol, and then in May we joined Tarja
. Wow! Both tours were full of
magic moments when "the ladies" get together! It was fantastic to have my
sweet and lovely sister next to me on stage, singing in Norwegian dialect
on "Kraakevisa" and the epic piece "Sigrlinn"! My heart was pounding, I am
so proud of Carmen! Moreover, being Tarja
's duet partner lady at our final
show in Hannover, singing P. Gabriels song "Don't Give Up"., was
absolutely unforgettable. Tarja
is such a sweetheart!
Metalship : You wear the most beautiful and stunning dresses on stage. Who
designs those for you?
I had different designers, however, I always have a clear mind about
what I would like to wear. I pick up different influences or pieces of
clothes in the internet as well, like the woman's armour I am wearing to
my Celtic dress on this tour. If I have the time, I sit down and sew
Metalship : A good question! I do not really know why, because we do have a
booking agency doing this. I am really looking forward to the shows,
though! I wish we could play more, like we did with our friends from
Paradise Lost a few years ago. That was great! Our UK audience is killer,
every time! My regards go to Eric, Fluffy and all our UK special friends
and fans! Thanks for always being there!
Thanks for your time Liv, can you give a brief description of the new
Leaves Eyes album entitled Meredead?
Metalship : For the production of "Meredead" it was highly important to us that
each song had its own "face", individuality and perfect, crystal clear
sound to strengthen the emotional effect. We just let the music inspire us
to add new and interesting "spices" to our music, like pipes, nyckelharpa
(Swedish folk instrument), the fiddle, cello, classical orchestra or the
flute. That's what makes the album that diverse and exciting as you
discover a different story, different instrumental combinations, different
ways of singing even in various languages in each song.
The critics have been absolutely amazing so far. The live appearances we
just did were very energetic with a fantastic audience! It feels like
something wonderful is happening.If I am able to touch the hearts of my
fans and friends with our art, I am incredibly happy!
Best wishes for you and your family!
added by The Dark Lord, on May 25, 2011 for Metalship