The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world








LEAVES‘ EYES' latest album "Symphonies of the Night" brings the listener into a world of legends! Majestic and sweeping songs, beautiful melodies that will you breathless and a massive amount of catchiness. Clad with a perfect sound – featuring a real orchestra, choir, Uilean pipes, Irish whistle, fiddle and dulcimer – LEAVES’ EYES present a musical firework of the highest level. The Rockpit caught up with Liv Kristine in the dark of the night to catch up with Liv and find out all about the new album...



Mark: Hi Liv - I have been listening to the album all week, it’s fantastic. I think it’s one of those albums you have to listen to with the headphones on; it takes you to another place entirely!! Is that what you aimed for?


Liv: Thank you very much. Absolutely, yes! When you are telling me this, it makes me very happy. Leaves Eyes is not just about the audible input, there is so much more to our music, and I hope to evoke pictures, images in the minds of our listeners who are listening to our music. It would be amazing to come over to Australia and play for you; I think it’s a couple of years since we played there. I think “Symphonies of the Night” is an album that Australians will like.


Mark: Yes, I think it has to be heard. We have actually had a lot of bands like Epica and Nightwish over recently, so there is definitely an audience out there for you.


Liv: Definitely.


Mark: What was it like, the last time you came over, how did the shows go down?


Liv: We did a ten day tour, but because of all the travelling, we did 5 or 6 gigs, it was a while ago, my son was a toddler back then! He’s 9 now, so it is a few years ago. But, we are hoping to get an invitation, to get back and play for you guys.


Mark: We would love to have you. The “teaser” we heard a while ago, “Hell to the Heavens” certainly got the fans talking on the forums etc. What is the response that you’ve had so far, because a lot of people have not heard the album, which is coming out in November?


Liv: The response has just been amazing, and all positive. It feels really good to release “Symphonies of the Night” now, because it is our 10 year anniversary, so it feels good to be standing here, where we are, right now. I feel there is nothing lacking on this album, it’s all in there. It has all our experience in there, for me, it is almost 20 years in Metal, for Thorsten and Alexander, it is 25 years. It’s being dedicated to Metal, and the three of us are full time musicians, so it feels good. The whole recording process for “Symphonies of the Night” was very creative, there was always something going on in the studio, day and night, Thorsten and Alex like to work in the night time, and I get up early in the morning and take my son to school, and then the studio is just across the road from my house, so it is just a few metres for me to walk. I then just open the recent files to see what the guys have been doing in the night. It was a very fine period of time, we were composing for almost one and a half years, and then we recorded for half a year, and then the real final recordings and the mix and the master following that, so it was a very good period of time. I am very happy to have an amazing composing team, in Thorsten and Alex right next to me, and I hope there will be at least another ten years!



Mark: I hope so, and I think you’ve answered my next three questions! Have you had time to reflect, about how the band has progressed over the last ten years?


Liv: Definitely. We had some band members coming and going, but that’s life, its ok, but, I feel so comfortable working with Thorsten and Alex, who are the core of the band, and it feels wonderful. There has been a lot of progress since the early days of Leaves Eyes, just listening through the production itself, Alex is the producer in our studio, and he is a perfectionist, if there is anything new to learn or any new device that he has to know about, he will! With the sound, I feel we have developed a lot when it comes to my vocals, my lyrics and my concepts, and it is also in our interest to improve and get better and to develop as artists. I see myself as having a hyperactive, creative mind and heart! There is always something going on at the studio!


Mark: I guess you can direct some of that energy in to your art, which I was looking at earlier; it’s wonderful, what came first for you, art or music?


Liv: Thank you. Music, because I was a late talker, so I was able to sing before I was able to speak my mother tongue actually! As a child I always thought that everyone was able to sing, that it is something we are born with, like talking. To me singing is very normal, it’s like it’s always been there inside me. My parents were very young when I was born, they were 19 years old, so I actually grew up in the seventies with Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, and classical music, so that’s actually the recipe of Theatre of Tragedy and Leaves Eyes, the beauty and the beast combined, the contrasting elements.




Mark: I love that phrase, the beauty and the beast, it describes it perfectly. You gave us a little insight earlier in to the writing, I just wondered if you choose your themes or your subjects, before you listen to the audio, or if you are inspired by the music itself?


Liv: Actually the music inspires me; the music decides what I am supposed to write about.


Mark: There are some great songs on the album, some of our favourites are “Maid of Lorraine”, the one I can’t pronounce, “Galswintha”! But the one that absolutely blew us away and the one that sums up what Leaves Eyes is all about is “Hymn to the Lone Sands”; can you tell us a little bit about that song?


Liv: It’s the only song that has Norwegian lyrics this time; on the previous album we had more Norwegian. As I mentioned before it’s always the music that inspires me to write the lyrics and “Hymn to the Lone Sands” just had all these guitars, and the strings at the beginning of the song, and I thought this is the moment to sing in Norwegian. It was Thorsten who composed the song and it took a while to find out how my vocals should be, that’s why we have two ways of singing, classical singing and soft singing on this song, because it requires both. It is a very fine piece of music, and I remember when we recorded the vocals for this album, Thorsten was sitting behind the recording desk and he was actually a little bit moved because this is his baby!


Mark: It is also great to hear a full orchestra on there as well, how do those songs translate live, and what do you plan on doing when you go out on the road?


Liv: I am always dreaming about having a full orchestra on stage, but, it’s just not possible when you’re touring, and you have a budget to stick to. When you are travelling overseas, it’s more than enough with the people we already have, with the show we already have. I even think it’s a pity to leave the Viking ship at home!! I would love to have people playing folk instruments and classical instruments with me on tour, but it’s too big for the organisers or promoters, to pay, there is always a lot of costs. But, the orchestra was recorded in Belarus, in Minsk, and also here in a master sound studio.




Mark: I was just going to ask you a couple of quick questions to close. You have an upcoming European tour in November to support the album coming out, and also some dates in China, and then in January, you have the 70,000 Tonnes of metal Cruise, are you looking forward to getting out there and playing the new music for everyone?


Liv: Oh, yes, definitely. We have a few interesting shows coming up. First of all, I just returned from Romania and Bulgaria, and we have the European tour connected to an Asian tour, then we have a Russian tour, and I will do a couple of solo shows in December, then the cruise in January and maybe after that a US tour. I’m hoping to get over to Australia next year and play for you guys as well.


Mark: This next question will be interesting, if you could have been a fly on the wall for the recording of any piece of music, or album, what would it be for you?


Liv: That would be Black Sabbath, “Paranoid”. It’s the music I grew up with, and I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall.


Mark: Finally, what is the meaning of life?


Liv: That is family, which is number one in my life, next to music, and music comes from the heart. I am lucky I have both, I have a big family here in Germany and in Norway, and my full time job is being a musician which is something I am doing with my heart, so I consider myself to be a very lucky person. Although it is a very stressful job, I have to keep up the balance with good planning, but it works because of you, because of my friends and fans all over the world, you make this happen, you make me stay the artist that I am. It’s always good to have my family to fall back on, with my time off I walk through the forest with my husband and son, and that gives me so much strength and positive energy, which I need for all the travelling.


Mark: That’s a wonderful thought to end with. I think this is your best album, to date and will go down very well with your fans. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.


Liv: Well, thank you for the wonderful compliments; it was a pleasure talking to you.


Mark: We hope to see you over here very soon.


Liv: Yes, hope to see you, take care and have a wonderful day.




Liv spoke to Mark Diggins 30 October 2013





Want to see a band you love interviewed? Looking to promote a tour of Australia? Contact