Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Hi is that Liv?
Liv”Yes its Liv, hi”
How are you?
Liv”How are you ?
Not too bad, I don’t know if you remember I had an interview with you literally a year ago in Belfast?
Liv”I was just thinking, just wondering if it would be one of those wonderful people I was talking to in Belfast just a year ago. It’s great talking to you again.”
Yea how have you been??
Liv”Very good thank you. I’ve been busy today doing interviews and my record label kind of a mixed it up a little bit. They told me that all the interviews had been cancelled for today which is obviously not true, so I’ve had people calling me so ok yea I’m here. How are you, how have you been?”
I’m good yes, I’m good
Liv”Any good gigs in Belfast at the moment??”
Any good what sorry?
Liv”Any good metal gigs, metal concerts?”
Oh we still get quite a few yea, I’m actually going to come onto that why there is no Belfast date on your forthcoming tour but we will get round to that. First thing I see you are doing the Metal Voices festival.?
Liv”Exactly. Will you be there?”
I don’t think so you kind of mentioned that the last time you were talking. I think that was something you had done in the past.
Liv”Yes I have a couple of time actually, I think its 6 or 7 times we are doing the Metal female Voices festival in Belgium, but this time its kind of special because I will be there with my solo band on Friday and I will be playing with Leaves eyes on Saturday so I have two gigs in a row.”
Liv”We planed it not before metal female voices so we have a lot of rehearsing going on next door”
And you have a new album coming out as well next month?
Liv”Yes and I’m really looking forward to it, I cant wait to this album is released. It just dawned to all of us earlier this year in spring we had a 10 year anniversary. It’s all the experience and being devoted to metal for all these years some of us 20 or 25 years already. It’s all the experience and influence coming together on this album so its a very powerful album in that sense.”
I have read some reports that its the heaviest album and obviously the most epic, would you agree with that assessment?
Liv”I would. I would agree on that. It’s with composing with Leaves Eyes its not like we plan on how an album should be, or let us get into the flow of female fronted metal bands out there. It’s external influences don’t really affect us that much as I’ve all ready mentioned we have been around quite a while and we have a very good substance. I know that I have first class musicians around me, so it’s basically my husband Alexander and my guitar player, the red haired guy.”Thorsten and myself
We are the composing team. so this time we just as we always do, we just go with are own creative flow. The good thing is the we have our studio 20 meters from my house so I just have to cross the road. I’m not really much of an night owl so most of the time the guys would work night shift in the studio because they like working at night. When I get up in the morning and have taken the kids to school and stuff I go to the studio and open the recent file, the latest file the used file and check out what the guys have been doing during the night. So its a very creative pre production is always a very creative period of time and you know its very comfortable to have your own studio. There is always something going on and we have 2 recording rooms, so after we have composed 2 or 3 demos for the pre production we realized that there is a lot of power to this album so we feel very comfortable with it and it led to the fact that we need more of a ballad voice from Alex Krull than on the previous album”
I was just wondering if maybe you would pick a few tracks of the new album and maybe tell me a bit about their lyrical subject matter and maybe how they actually came to be recorded?
Anything in particular any particular couple of songs that maybe you could highlight?
Liv”Ah its always a very difficult question, I actually, well I just start with the song that I just listened to in my car, that was actually Ophelia. Ophelia is actually the final track on the album but at the moment its my favorite if I’m allowed to have one”
Yes of course you are
Liv”Thank you. Ophelia is taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius ‘s daughter I studied Anglistics in the 90’s and back then at least in Norway, ( I mean in the Uk and Northern Ireland it was probably something similar ) in that you had to read Shakespeare. Ophelia yea Ophelia everybody knows Ophelia, its a very straight forward song there are no classical vocals on that track but its a very…Its one of the last tracks we recorded vocals for so it was not an easy one but a very interesting and challenging one so that’s “Ophelia”.
“Symphony of the night”
lets do the title track “Symphony of the night” was chosen to be the title track because it has a title track in its title, I don’t think Symphony of the night is so much different than all the other tracks, its just one very great piece of music. Camilia the main character in my lyrics for Symphony of the night is a vampire woman.Its actually a lesbian story,novel written by Le Fanu. She is kind of eating up her girlfriend Laura,and at the same time is falling in love with her.Mentioning these two tracks there is a big difference,vocally between them.”Symphony of the night”is big ,it has a lot of orchestra to it and classical instruments.Two very different songs but I think that they are two great pieces of music. They are two tracks that I am very satisfied with.Would you like anymore, or are 2 tracks ok for you?”
I haven’t actually heard the album but will just pick one track out for you. Maybe”Hymn to the lone Sands”?
Liv”Yes that is kind of special because it is the only track that has Norwegian lyrics. It still has a female lead character in this, it is a Viking bride and her husband is leaving for the aquatic world which is kind of pleasing to him. She is alone and waiting (laughs) like all wives when men leave the country.This woman is actually fed up with the darkness and the coldness of Norway.Probably not a song that would run on the radio,it is a very epic piece.It was composed by Thorsten my guitar player.It is his baby.”
I note that among the album bonus tracks there is another eighties pop cover.You had the Kate Bush cover on your last solo release, and a Depeche Mode cover this time.?
Liv”Well that was actually not our idea although we are all big fans of Depeche Mode. A German music magazine had the idea to release a compilation, a kind of tribute to Depeche Mode. They asked us to join in for”One Caress”which is one of my favorite songs. It happened and they allowed us to put the track on our album.”
In our last interview we discussed some solo concerts that you were lining up to include Theatre of Tragedy as well as solo material. I note you have arranged some concerts in that format for December.
Liv”Yes actually for the last three years we have had solo concerts in December. It’s always in December. It’s not because that is the only time that we have left after touring around with Leaves Eyes.(laughs) It’s just that we have a little place here, it’s actually a a village called Nagod. It is not of much importance but it is a very humble little town. There is an absolutely brilliant concert hall, a very old building. I have played three Christmas solo concerts there already. It feels like coming home although it is about 100 kn from the place where I am living. It is a local thing, everybody goes there and this concert hall is always packed for these solo concerts. It is kind of exclusive. I will do it this year and probably next year as well. Of course I am hoping to play other places as well with my solo project. Following this gig is another in Switzerland.”
Is there any plans to film that solo December gig for a future Dvd release maybe?
Liv”Yes that would be great, maybe I should put my husband behind the camera this time(laughing) because he has nothing to do during my solo concerts. That could be his job, yes why not? The travelling from Northern Ireland would be quite a long trip, its afar off place. If you go there it would take careful journey planning, and book a hotel etc..”
Touring with both Leaves Eyes and your solo project you have visited many different countries. When you visit a country for the first time, do you like to take the opportunity to sample different cultures?
Liv”I have always been into history and the history of different cultures. That is one of the things that I am really grateful for. As a full time musician and composer having the chance to travel around the world since I was eighteen. That is something that I owe a great deal of thanks to my fans all over the world for without you I wouldn’t be able to do this. It is a privilege. This year in a couple of weeks we will be in China, Taiwan and Thailand for the first time which is new to us. We tried twice to get to China but it didn’t happen because of some political reason.Now finally, and I am really looking forward to that .To be honest I was very surprised when I got the touring plans, for last years tour when we hooked up there was Belfast on the list. I had actually planned to go to Belfast the same summer. This summer actually to have a look at the city with my best friend. Well now she is travelling alone because I had just too many things going on this summer. There are always nice surprises.”
That leads me on nicely to my next question. The record company have announced some Uk dates for January, with no dates in Ireland. That was surprising as we had discussed last time your affinity to the country which included spending your honeymoon here in 2003.
Liv”Yes it is a pity, I have no clue why. No idea. I guess it is up to our promoter, maybe there will be more dates added. I had actually hoped for a much longer Uk and Ireland tour this time. We will just cross our fingers that we will do another Uk/Ni tour for 2014.”
I see from your Facebook page that you are now offering a service doing personal paintings for fans. Is art something that has always been a personal passion of yours? What influences your art?
Liv”I have always been painting it’s something that I have been doing for friends, and maybe for my own living room. I actually had a couple of requests. I had brought two paintings for two couples that had married. They had actually invited Leaves Eyes to play at their wedding, but for time reasons we couldn’t do it. I actually just sent some pictures that I had painted. They put that on the Internet, some people saw it then I had a handful of requests. I started bringing a handful of my paintings to my solo gigs last December. They got sold out. Then I thought why not? If you are asking me. I like painting. What I do is I ask my fans what kind of colour, what song do you imagine or have in mind? I paint on behalf of their input and their vision of my piece of art. It is interesting. I had never expected anything like that but if I can make people happy with my paintings, not only with my music I will do that. If you have a look at my latest solo album”Libertine”all the paintings that you see there in the booklet and artwork that’s my own. It is an excellent way to just switch off my mind and just do something else. Being a full time musician is always busy, when I’m not being a mother I am in the studio or doing interviews and press work. On the road I can even take my canvases and paintbrushes with me. It is a good way for me to switch off. I also love long distance running for example. I do it every morning to clear up my mind. I’m looking forward to swinging my paintbrushes.”
Finally have you any goals, hopes and dreams as yet unfulfilled-either personally or creatively?
Liv”That’s a great question because my grandmother always told me “If there is anything you want to wish for, if you have any dreams and you want them to come true then you have to speak it out loudly(laughs) So the universe can hear it.(Laughing)So here we go, you are helping me right now. I would really like to play gigs in places I have never been to before for example New Zealand. I would love to play there, and in Japan. I would love to play many more gigs in my home country in Norway. I think that I have only been twice with Leaves Eyes to Norway which is lousy. It is a shame. I would really like to focus more on that. Of course I will just hope that metal fans out there will keep loving female fronted metal bands. I think that there a handful of really good ones out there that really deserve attention and a big fan base. The strongest will always survive. I hope that we will still healthy for many, many years. I promised my dad that I will stay around until I am one hundred years old. I am working on that.”
That’s everything ,thanks very much for talking to me again Liv. Hopefully we will get to see you and the rest of Leaves Eyes back and playing live in Belfast again very soon.
Liv”I would love to come back to Belfast. If we happen to get a gig in Belfast next year you really have to come by because it was really nice to meet you last time. It was such a pleasant chat, and I was really happy to hear from you again. I was just wondering if that..might be you(laughs) I just needed a couple of seconds to realize “ok”I was lucky there. Thank you very much, you take care and I hope to see you again soon, bye.