- - - - - -

Liv Kristine Interview 2003

Liv Kristine Interview
By: Rick Harper
With: Liv Kristine of Leaves' Eyes

Interview Info
By: Rick Harper
With: Liv Kristine of Leaves' Eyes

Rick:  First, we would be remiss if I didn't congratulate yourself and Alex on your recent marriage. We wish you many years of happiness together.

Liv:  Thank you very much! We had a fantastic wedding together with both families from Norway and Germany. We had both been waiting for such a long time for this special day...almost 7 years, actually. Now we want to have a little family together! 

Rick I originally contacted you in August (I think) about doing this interview, a lot has changed since then. Rather harping on your departure from Theater of Tragedy, I'd prefer to talk about your new solo career. In fact do you consider Leaves' Eyes to be your solo project? Who are your band mates?  What is their previous band experience/history?

Liv:  LEAVES' EYES is actually a complete band, consisting of me and the band members of ATROCITY (including my husband) who are my best friends and brilliant musicians. We meet every day at Mastersound Studio. Right now we're recording the vocals for the first LEAVES' EYES album. These guys are professionals and have years of experience, moreover, they can easily follow my ideas and vice versa. On the other hand, my solo-project LIV KRISTINE runs parallel to LEAVES' EYES.

Rick:  Is there a major difference between fronting your own musical project as opposed to being a member of Theater of Tragedy?

Liv:  The major difference lies in the way of working. In LEAVES' EYES and LIV KRISTINE I have a greater influence in the music-making process and on the concept(s).

Rick:  Has the fact you have become the lead vocalist of this band opposed to being a back-up co-vocalist as in the past effected your approach to the vocals for Leaves' Eyes?

Liv:  Musically, I see ATROCITY and LEAVES' EYES as two completely different bands because both bands demand a different musical input from me.

Rick Is there a certain sense of musical freedom for you at this point?

Liv:  Of course. I enjoy do to different musical styles, i.e. to expand my musical knowledge and involvement. I'm not afraid of trying out new singing techniques, like I did with the two latest T.o.T. albums or with my solo-album "Deus ex Machina", and which I am doing with LEAVES' EYES. It's all about discovery and experience. For me there are no limits when it comes to singing, at least not in my head, so I transform everything I like to hear into my own "song". I also like to listen to the radio (especially when driving my car) singing after other voices, just to try out how it feels and sounds like to sing in this particular way. I did this already at the age of 5.

RickWhat are your musical goals at this point for yourself and Leaves' Eyes?

Liv:  Now that we have signed with NAPALM RECORDS our goal is to produce a fantastic album which will be released in May 2004. Single shows will follow in the summer and a tour is planned for the autumn/winter next year.

RickDo you feel that you are back to square one as an artist, or can yourself & Leaves' Eyes capitalize on your past/current name recognition?

Liv:  I feel that LEAVES' EYES is the fulfillment of an idea that I have carried in my heart since the beginning of the career of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. However, LEAVES' EYES concentrates on a new concept and a different musical direction compared to what I have done prior to LEAVES' EYES, but as mentioned above, LEAVES' EYES gives me more musical freedom than I've ever had.

RickIs this a statement album for you considering what you've been through in the past few months?

Liv:  It is a statement for my musical freedom, I would rather say.

Rick How would you describe the overall sound of Leaves' Eyes? Are there similarities to Deus Ex Machina? What are the differences?

Liv:  The sound of LEAVES' EYES is much more powerful due to stronger classical and metal influences. I've also developed singing-wise. I consider "Deaus ex Machina" to be a pop-album.

Rick Have you selected a title for your NAPALM debut?

Liv:  No, not yet. But the record is based on a whole concept consisting of 10 chapters with one song for each chapter.

RickWho is producing/engineering the album? Will you, or have you been utilizing Alex's studio?

Liv:  We are producing the album ourselves at MASTERSOUND STUDIO (Alex' studio).  We're here everyday anyway and it's a first-class studio of 360 square meters, so we have everything we need for a top-production.

RickWhen may we expect the cd to be released? Will it be a worldwide release?

Liv:  The first single will be released in April, and the album in May, worldwide.

RickAre there any plans in the works for EP's, singles, collectors editions and the like?

Liv:  There will be a single, as I said, moreover, bonus tracks as we have too many songs for the debut album already!

RickI've heard that the new album is an atmospheric love story. Is it a concept album? Is this album a reflection of your relationship with your husband?  Could you elaborate on your lyrical inspiration/s for this disc?

Liv:  The whole concept builds up around a love story which goes into the depths of mythology, and the music reflects the content and the atmosphere of every chapter. We've produced more songs than we need to make sure that the ones we have chosen are perfect for the chapter. I came up with the idea to write it after I finished my studies in English (M.A.). The love story of Alex and me is a bit different, though, as it has a different happy end.

Rick Every album has standout songs. What songs really stand out to you on the new cd? Why?

Liv:  "Norwegian Lovesong" (which you can hear a bit of on our homepage) reflects my own childhood and me myself as a little girl growing up by the sea at the west-coast of Norway. This feeling is still very strong inside me although I moved to Germany about seven years ago.

RickHow important will touring be to support the new Leaves' Eyes album? Is this going to be a touring band? I think I speak for many when I say that we'd love to see you in the USA. Is that a possibilty at this point 

Liv:  Yes, we will definitely tour next year. There are no concrete plans for the continents yet, but there is the possibility that we will tour in the US and in South America.

RickWhen people talk to me about the "roots" of this genre of music they always mention Theater of Tragedy and Liv Kristine. When you look back at your career, do you see yourself as a ground breaker?

Liv:  I guess, yes, together with other bands like Anathema, Paradise Lost and Third and the Mortal/Kari Rueslaatten, which makes me very proud.

Rick It can certainly be said that you influenced a lot of young female goth/metal vocalists. When you consider the plethora of female vocal metal bands today, who stands out in your mind?

Liv:  Nightwish, because the band is different from so many others, and Tarja has her own style which makes her a unique singer.

Rick Do you feel that female vocalists in the goth/rock/metal genre are given equal footing with male vocalists when it comes to reviews and opinions by music critics?

Liv:  I think female vocalists are treated well in the goth/rock/metal genre, but it is often focused more on their looks than on their vocal qualities, especially in live-reviews. Male vocalists got it easier when it comes to this point.

Rick Is it important for you to satisfy fans of your previous work, while still attracting new fans?

Liv:  Of course, I don't want to disappoint anybody, at least I hope I don't.

RickHow would you expect fans of Deus Ex Machina and Theater of Tragedy will react to Leaves' Eyes?

Liv:  I've got so much positive feedback concerning LEAVES' EYES until now - I'm very excited 

RickAre you involved with any other musical projects? You must get offers and requests.

Liv:  I get quite a few offers to participate in other projects. Recently, I recorded 4 songs for the INFINITY project, which is a follow-up from the debut which came out a while ago. I enjoyed it very much as I was allowed to sing in very different styles, which involves other singing techniques.

Rick I'd like to thank you on behalf of Sonic Cathedral, and ask for any final comments, news, or messages that you might have.

Liv:  Thank you very much for interviewing me, and thank you to everybody who has been supporting me through the recent years, moreover, in the last couple of months, which hasn't been easy. Your feedback on my homepage makes me go on and put all my energy into LEAVES' EYES and other future projects.