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Alex Krull Interview

Present - Jason Levine, Alex Krull (Vocals) of Leaves' Eyes & Atrocity
Interview took place in New York City
August 2007
Alex Krull

Jason:  This is your third time in America. How has the tour been going?

Alex:  Actually the reactions have been really awesome. Like tonight in New York City it was great. But we had some troubles with our equipment. Still we don't have everything together. It's somewhere lost from the airline. We didn't get any reaction first. So it was kind of a mess for us to stick things together to play and we had to make some compromises. Improvising, you know. But the show must go on. We're doing it. We don't cancel because of equipment. We're playing.

Jason:  How has the album been doing here in America?

Alex:  Really good.

Jason:  All of them.

Alex:  They've all been doing really great and of course the Vinland Saga it's the latest release and the Legend Land EP. They're doing really great and we're touring actually for the third time. Next year we are already coming back with King Diamond and Kreator. So that's an awesome package. It's something I really think is cool combining different styles. It's absolutely my philosophy as a musician. Not be just in one direction. So that tour will be really smoking now.

Leaves' Eyes

Jason:  You've been touring with a lot of different types of bands. Blind Guardian. Kamelot on this tour. Do you enjoy the mix?

Alex:  Yes I do and that's also my musical taste. So I think I can speak for the whole band. Everybody is listening to different stuff. So we all think it's important of course to play for the fans live on stage. But also just showing some other people how the kind of music we are doing, like symphonic or female type of metal or whatever you want to call it.

Jason:  For Legend Land you did a signing for the Guiness Book. How did that come about?

Alex:  Ah that was crazy. I mean we were just thinking about signing a kind of limited edition. Like I don't know 666 or whatever, there's always the numbers. We said no. It has to be a bigger number, because they are gone anyway. Many fans are angry they want to get this edition. So of course we couldn't make the whole thing. It would be like 21,000. So we said it has to be a realistic number. So we made 5,000 copies or something like that. Or even more. I can't even remember. We were just sitting and writing and writing and writing. But we did it in a way. We wanted to enjoy it in a way. Because every fan should get an individual copy and not like "oh we are just doing that". So we were having a good time actually doing it. Sitting around talking with each other. Not just like show up. So we made some jokes in between. So that was cool.

Jason:  How did the Guiness Book get involved with that?

Alex:  Yeah , Actually the record company. We told them about the idea. What do you think about signing so many copies and they said it's like a world record. Nobody else did that before, not with such a big number. So they made a kind of official request. I think it's still going on because that's not an official record to sign albums or covers or whatever. So they have to make a kind of name for the category. Like Most Autographs in a Certain Time or something.

Jason:  Ah.

Alex:  So I don't know actually what came out in the end if it will be in the official book or whatever. But I guess. I have to ask by the way. (laughs) I thought about that. We are doing so many things and you forget stuff.

Leaves' Eyes

Jason:  Before you come back with King Diamond you are going to headling the Metal Female Voices Festival. Are you guys excited about that show?

Alex:  You can imagine. (laughs) I mean it's like if you go on tour and have...let's say bad luck or whatever and something goes wrong. OK. You try to make the best of it and next day is a better day or something like that. But MFVF will be the only one...The only show and the only ship we will bring on stage. So of course I have my fingers crossed and I am a little bit nervous but excited as well because it will be a big show with a lot of stuff going on.  We have a lot of pyros and some great animations. Artistic stuff. It should be a great show. I think some stuff we've never played live before with Leaves' Eyes... Or we will perform it in another way and we will try some new stuff.  It is of course it's an honor to headline such a festival with all the other great female fronted bands playing over there...Yeah, it's like a duty for Leaves' Eyes to make a good show of course.

Jason:  So explain the ship?

Alex:  (laughs) Yeah. Actually we are on tour now and others are building it. A couple of good guys. The one guy who's arranging and in charge of all the stuff is named Lebi. He's also going on tour with us like Bjoern, who is as well. I don't know how many tours now,  I can't even remember. So many, many shows on the road and Lebi is also a guy who has worked with us for many years. I now think he's our main guy with the lighting, the artistic end of things,  and making a great show. It's always hard to go on tour without your own crew. Like we have to share a crew with the other bands when we go overseas and stuff. Or most of the time. And especially Lebi, He says "Tell the guys you need this and this and this... Because Leaves Eyes music is atmospheric and you should get light like this and not like a band that is not having symphonic parts and stuff..." So it was like our decision to leave him home. But now he is hard at work on the other side with building the ship with the other guys. There is a big hull now. A really big hull. (laughs) Getting also some big stuff to build it up and you cannot do it in a small room because it's like 5 meters high and 18 meters wide or something like that. I'll be excited myself when I come home and we get to check it out and do some practice testing.

Leave's Eyes

Jason:  You're headlining a festival that features female artists. In your recording studio you have also worked with a lot of female artists. How does it feel to headline such a festival?

Alex:  I don't know if this is connected with each other. But actually I like that idea to bring in some great female voices. Since we made it ourselves with Atrocity on Calling The Rain. There was nearly no other band doing this. Maybe Celtic Frost did that. Paradise Lost. But there was basically nobody else. At that time I always thought it was cool to combine it. Not in the typical hard rock way. Like the bitch rock or bitch chick image. I wanted to have a diva style. Where girls don't only have to show boobs and ass, you know. (laughs) There are really great singers out there. I think Liv is the best example to have a great aura on stage. I have great respect for a singer like her. There are some other singers also like Tarja Turunen. My sister Yasmine is another story. She is more into ethno-type more spritual stuff. So there's a great variety you can bring into the metal sound. Even some people think they don't know if they like female voices. I think it is one thing to maybe try out or listen to it and make your own imagination afterwards. It's better to check it out. So now a days it's booming very much and it's going in a way that it's established. That kind of music. You had always these rock ladies out there. You know Joan Jett or whatever...Lita Ford...Lee Aaron...Doro. Whatever. So they did it in their way, were successful and I like it ...And Doro is a very kind person too. But on the flip side I think if we talk about female voices and combining the classical music and rock and metal together. I think this is a kind of blend is a new thing for the USA especially. That's what people are saying and telling me. For us it's something that's in my heart all the time to be shown to the audience in a good way.

Leaves' Eyes

Jason:  You play in a female band. You've also produced Elis, Midnattsol and a bunch of other female bands' albums. Which do you prefer and what are the differences between playing in a band versus producing albums for bands?

Alex:  Oh yeah. I like them both. I mean I like doing both. To be honest,  in general I like very much to work with different musicians because it's refreshing. It's never boring. A new record is like a new adventure and I'm very perfectionistic or something like that. I always want to give my best for the bands coming and to give them a great final product. But also something I can be satisfied with afterwards. Not that I'm egoistic or something like that...But I think if I like it very much, other people can like it too. But as for working with the female metal bands as I have done in the past and I will continue to do in the future, that has been very rewarding. Some things are different. Sometimes I have the feeling if you talk to a guy and say come on this take was bullshit. Do it again!! Give your best!! Be tough!! well...You cannot talk to Liv like that you know. You have to be very diplomatic & profesional. They have really strong minds and they have their own great ideas. I have to say I respect them all. The girls I have worked with.... When you mentioned Elis. Sabine was a really, really special singer in my eyes. Not like when somebody dies and then people afterwards say oh that was, they're a musician. I said it all the time. She was ver much underrated, and with her German kind of singing style... There are now a lot of copies of that sound we had worked with Sabine in Elis or Erben Der Schopfung , the first name of the band. Now I just heard the band Elis recently and I was like "my god, who's singing there". Sandra sounded exactly like Sabine. So I think that for example when somebody is singing German or Norwegian like Midnattsol or Liv is doing...It's another special element with the whole sound. It's cool.

Jason:  You've made this a family affair working with Liv and Carmen. What is it like working with both of them?

Alex:  It's different of course. I mean they are sisters but I have to say Carmen is also like my sister or something like that. Of course it's family type-wise. But I know that she looks to me to help advise her... Also in the daily life we talk a lot. She is now moving back to Norway, but she was living for over 5 years in Germany and it's like she became my own sister in a way. We are always helping each other. Sometimes she gives me advice and then I give some to her. In the music I think she needs somebody to trust in. Telling her the good parts of everything. Because she is younger and does not have such an established career like Liv for example. So that is basically the main difference. Carmen has her own ideas and strong vision of what her vocals should be on the record. I like the fantasy elements when she is doing the lyrics and explaining to me that she wants to say this and that and how do I like this vocal part?... So that is really nice to have that type of relationship. With Liv it's different of course because she is my wife.  But we have to work also in a professional way. It's like a team patchwork. It's also very personal...and stuff but we have to see the work through in the professional way. Not like "OK, I don't say anything.You are my wife". (laughs) Because we go home and then...You know what I mean. I think it's great to have the possibility to record great artists in general and to work with them both professionally. They are both really great artists.

Leaves' Eyes

Jason:  With Atrocity you used female artists on Werk 80. I understand there is a Werk 80 part 2 coming out. Can you talk about that?

Alex:  Yeah. Actually I have been working on that for a while. (laughs) We are a little bit late with the whole record because we have been touring all over the world. We used a choir on that record too. as well as an orchestra. So it was a big production. We still are working on the record to finish it. There will be some surprises. It will be a little bit different than the first one of course. It was like 10 years ago or something we did the first one and time is running so fast I can't believe it. Because so many people are still talking about that album and they love the idea. Also other musicians and friends have called me and said that they wish they would have the idea to do it in that way because they like the idea so much. I think it will be a really killer production with killer songs. I will be really happy when we are finished because of the large amount of work we did. But on the other side I am really looking forward to listening to the end result. Some songs I think are close to being really finished and I have started to do a little mixing already and it is sounding really good.

Jason:  For Leaves Eyes do have any plans to start working on a new album?

Alex:  Yes. We've started. It's crazy right now. Doing that with one band and then you have to start  the next production right away...But we have to work that way. So some parts some members do earlier and some parts the other members do later. The concept  then is basically finished with Liv's contributions. Liv has a  vision of what to do for the next record so she is presenting it to everybody to talk about it...Bringing some new ideas. So it will be cool and there will be some new influences in new material from Leaves Eyes. But don't worry. It's not they are not fitting or we are changing or anything. The style will be completely the same. Just adding a little pepper to the mix. and where is needed, There is a little salt. I think the songs actually... well,  we have some layouts & ideas for the next songs that we are still working on between gigs. So we will all just have to wait and see how this turns out with the finished product.

Leaves' Eyes

Jason:  When can we expect the album?

Alex:  Actually we really hope that we are going to finish the record next year in the spring before we go into the next US tour. I don't know if we can make it. I hope so because it is really our current plan. Afterwards it will be really hard to finish it. There are so many concert and festival requests and I said we have to finish it before we go on tour again. I told the guys...I told Liv...We really have to work our asses off. Of course there's also the DVD so we have to finish the DVD as well. We are going to tour Asia as well and it's like Mount Everest. In a way we cancelled already, not cancelled, but we said ok we cannot accept like 3 more tours before the new cd. We had other offers. Some were already booked, but I said no, no, no more...We need to finish the new material. So it cannot go forever, the constant touring, you know. We will play like 5 years later and still only have the two albums. (laughs) We have to do a new record. That's for sure.

Jason:  Being someone who does A&R, producing and singing. How do you keep it all together?

Alex:  Don't ask me. I don't know. (laughs) Sometimes it's really, really hard you know. It's my life actually. I chose this path. I know it's a lot of stuff to take on and sometimes I have to think my family life is suffering from it, or my private time or free time....or this or that. But when I don't do anything that is true madness for me. Now on tour I'm also getting restless in a way. I have to do something...creative stuff. I always want to do something new. If it's producing or writing lyrics or making music or doing my job as a talent scout or whatever....So now I do it while on tour. Talk with bands and all that. Lately, I'm getting a little bit restless. I feel it's a waste of time just touring. Sitting in a bus and having a party. That's not my style, I want to always try to stay productive and when you are touring it is a hard thing to do.

Leaves' Eyes

Sonic Cathedral appreciates Alex taking the time to conduct this interview. Please visit ALL of the projects Alex is involved with to make sure you don't miss a thing.

http://www.leaveseyes.de , http://www.mastersoundentertainment.de , http://www.atrocity.de , http://www.napalmrecords.com