Leaves’ Eyes – frontlady Liv Kristine about their success story
photo’s: Monica Duffels
The German gothmetal band Leaves’ Eyessurprised the whole music-scene with their latest album ‘Njord’ (Napalm Records 2009). For the second time, Leaves’Eyes is touring in Europe as supportact from Kamelot. Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull has some time left after their concert in Paradiso, Amsterdam.
In December 2009 the band did an own headliner tour in Europe, at that time vocalist Liv Kristine lost her voice and decided to continue the tour. During those shows she showed how strong she really was: standing there, fighting against her illness and still finding the motivation to perform night after night. The fans were supportive and such a strength for her.
Liv Kristine: ” I am fine, it took me four weeks to get the voice back. After eight weeks it was completely there. I was wondering in the middle of everything if I was able to sing ‘Elegy’ again. It went alright, but I’ll never take a vaccination before I go on tour.”
You still had a great time on ‘ The Beauty And The Beast ’ tour? I can imagine it is hard when you are worried about your voice.
Liv Kristine: ” I am so thankful to the press, the audience and my friends. Nobody said anything harmful about my show. Everybody was so supporting and helpful.
The critics have been great, although for me it was a hard time. The easiest thing was to cancel the shows, but I am a human being and we can get sick sometimes. The best way is to be honest about it, saying ‘I am not doing fine today but I do my best.’ I think you get rewarded by that. I felt a lot of love coming back.”
For the second time you are touring with Kamelot in many packed venues, and sold-out gigs, all over Europe. Tonight is the third gig in a row, how is it going so far?
Liv Kristine: ” It is nice to tour again with them, because we know them for a couple of years and there is a good friendship on tour. It is good to be back! It is goo to see that, even in the music business, you have strong friendships. I think we make a very good team, and it is a good combination on stage. Both bands are dynamic and bombastic. “
It will be a busy summer, looking forward to it?
Liv Kristine: We have a lot of festivals, the only period when we have no shows is during the soccer world championship in South-Arfrica. We all have planned to watch the championship. Hopefully Germany is doing well, but I expect it will be better than Norway.
Over the years band members come and go, but Leaves’Eyes had a lot of changes the last couple of years. Finally it seemed to be calm after the release of ‘Njord’ but it was only for a short term. On the first day of the tour a new guitarist and drummer were welcomed to the crowd.
Liv Kristine: When Matze (former guitarist) parted ways with us and drummer Seven too, that was something not foreseeable. We couldn’t see it coming, and it was something that happened very fast. It were just personal reasons and it had nothing to deal with the ‘The Beauty And The Beast Tour.’ I know Matze since I moved to Germany, and even before that, so that is 15 years ago.
He’s been Alexander Krull (vocalist, producer Atrocity and Leaves’Eyes – SD) best friend for many years. Now he is out of the band, it seems like he is disappearing. It is like an empty space.
“Then Sander van der Meer (Cypher) came along and he is doing more than great! Actually I thought Sander played the bass. After the last show from ‘The Beauty And The Beast’ tour I asked Alex Krull; we have to think who can we ask now? One week later on the phone I discovered that he played guitar. Sander came in the band all of a sudden and it is perfect missing-link in the band. “
How did you found a new drummer so fast?
Liv Kristine: “With Seven (ex-drummer) it was clear after a couple of conversations with me, Thorsten Bauer (guitarist Leaves’Eyes and Atrocity) and Alexander Krull, it was clear that we had to go our own ways because of different interests. Roland Navratil (ex-Sirenia drummer) had in mind to play with Sirenia, but now he ends up with us. When he came over he had already practised some songs. It was pure luck. “
It is not only the work; it is also about the friendship. With Sander van der Meer & Roland Navratil there is a growing friendship and teamwork. In general, there is no use pulling a big chariot of a band, if one or two persons aren’t helping, just standing there and watching you. You have to be a strong team, do it together. Both are very flexible, and professional.
Suddenly Roland Navratil enters the dressing room for a shower, smiling when he heard the last words of Liv Kristine. He is modest, making jokes and it for sure helps a lot that they toured together on the ‘Beauty And The Beast Tour.’ A very successful tourpackage for not only Leaves’Eyes, but also for Sirenia and the other bands on the tour: Atrocity, Stream Of Passion and Elis.
Special fan edition
There is a special fan edition released from Njord, with new songs. Are you currently working on new Leaves’Eyes material?
Liv Kristine: There are two brand new songs on the fan edition: ‘ Angus And The Swan’ and ‘ At Heaven’s End.’ There is a special version from ‘ Irish Rain’ with my sister Carmen Elise Espenaes (vocalist Midnattsol). She is fine, right now she stays in my house in Germany. Not much news, we practised two days with both new band members before we went on this tour.
Then Roland Navratil explains more about the preparations for this tour: I practised a lot at home, it won’t work another way, right? It has to be like that when you tour a lot.
Liv Kristine: He was well prepared when he came to the studio, we are not used to that (smiles).
Dutch gothic metal band Stream Of Passion has a special question:
” Is there a chance to have an other Beauty And The Beast tour with all the bands?”
Alex Krull (vocalist): The promoters want to bring the ‘ Beauty and the Beast’ also to some countries outside of Europe, too. In North and South America they asked already for playing a festival tour like this. It would be a very cool idea!
After that the bands has to pack their equipment, and leaves Paradiso for a long journey to Engeland together with Kamelot. Many festivals are planned for them this summer, so check http://www.leaveseyes.de/ for more tourdates!