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LEAVES´ EYES: Flowers On Friday

Music or the recent tour were not the only topics to talk about with Leaves´ Eyes, the new band project of singer Liv Kristine. Right before the coming family festival, we wanted to know everything about romance and how to keep it alive in a relationship. STALKER used the chance to ask some advice from Liv´s husband and co-vocalist Alexander Krull.

How´s it going?
Fine! Very good, we´re on tour! (very cheerfully) It´s going great, great audience, we´re received so well everywhere!

Liv couldn´t come to the interview because she had to put the baby on tour, so you´re always taking it with you?
Yes, Leon is with us, he´s a small boy now, 3,5 years old, has very long hair, and yeah, he´s very interested in what his parents are doing, he´s always asking, he knows exactly the songs and he likes to play with the drums and after the sound check he has his ear-phones on and he´s allowed to do some drumming. For his age he´s very amazing, he´ll be a real heavy metal guy! And the drums he likes the most, it seems, he likes to make some noise (laughs)! I mean for us, as musicians, it´s always a challenge to go on tour, through different countries, and see all the new countries and cultures and all that, and now there´s a new challenge to bring our son and to show him the world, which is amazing. And he was with us already in the US, with Blind Guardian, for like six weeks and we were really hoping it´ll work out.

So now I just have to ask for your and Liv´s love story…
Oh, (laughs) I try to keep it short…

No-no, don´t be shy, we need all the details!
(everybody laughs) Actually the first tour of Theatre of Tragedy was supporting Atrocity and Das Ich on the Liebe tour, was about 1995, and then we´ve met the first time, but we were just companions on tour, we had great respect for each other, we liked each other, we were getting along very nice. I thought that she´s such a nice character being such an angel to everybody, so I was working for a record company at the time, so I´ve met her like half a year later in the studio, when we did the velvet darkness record, and then we´ve had some talks and so on, but always with this respect, never thinking about anything else, but then the guitar player in Theatre of Tragedy had a stroke, so he couldn´t play anything, so Mathias, which is now the guitar player in Leaves´ Eyes and in Atrocity also, and then he was helping. But we had to practice somewhere, so we all came to our place, and then we went out one night, just before they had to go on tour… And yes, we fell in love, but we kept it secret for a while, we didn´t want to confuse anyone, she was still living in Norway then and I was in Germany, but after that tour she was supposed to move to Germany, so it was a very drastical step, you never know what can happen, but she said it´s her dream to find love and move together, so of course I agreed and it was the only chance for us.

But it was her moving to Germany, not you moving to Norway…
Yes! (laughs) It was at that time, a step that we had to do. She was free to go to Germany and leave Norway behind, she was studying in Germany, so all the work and work with the album was here, too. Nowadays she´s talking to me that she´s been living for 11 years in Germany, how about we go the next 11 years in Norway (laughs), so maybe one day, we´ve to see… I speak very little Norwegian, which is a shame, because Liv´s talking perfect German, you really can´t hear anything wrong!

On the other hand, don´t you think it could be a problem in a long-run that aside of being in the same band together, you´re also a couple and a family?
From artistic way it´s brilliant! I mean, for the working process and all that, it´s sometimes very good that you know the person you work together as good only if you´re a couple, but on the other hand of course we have our fights! (laughs) And then you´ve to try to keep private things out of it, I mean, I try to see Liv as a band member, and she has to see me as a band member. When we´ve meetings, everyone has their opinions, it´s very normal, we´ve many things in common of course, it´s our band, it was our idea, so I mean, I see it in that way, that it´s a good partnership, which is based on a good relationship in a personal way. But you never know, if you´ve trouble in private life, you´ve to be professional and keep this out of the band.

Have you ever had it on tour, some really big fight and then smashing some plates…
(laughs) we never smash! (laughs) But maybe shutting down some doors… It´s like that, you´ve to see, we´ve an aim, we have a goal, something that we do together, I´m doing different work with the studio, she´s running her solo project, so everybody knows his place, it´s good.

And how´s Atrocity doing at the moment?
Very good, we´ve just recorded a new album together with an orchestra and a choir, from close to Stuttgart, near to our place, some 60-70 pieces in it, so a lot of people doing the choir, so hell a lot of work. We´ve had those elements in Atrocity for a long time, we´ve been playing with classical instruments from the first record, we never had the possibility in the old days to work with an orchestra, so it´s cool that we can do it now. Mathias had this idea to arrange the whole first album of Atrocity with an orchestra and let them play the whole stuff, we never did it, but maybe later.

So now concentrating on Leaves´ Eyes?
Yes, we´ve some new ideas, some songs´ layouts, so everybody´s doing some stuff, and we´re working on some concepts. First of all we´re going to do this dvd, we are collecting a lot of stuff, since the early years, when the band was formed.

What´s the most annoying thing about Liv?
(laughs) Sometimes she´s very strict and stressed with time and whatever, and I don´t get a clue of that and I always have the feeling we´ve to be there at least one hour before everyone else is there and things like that.

So she´s the boss!
(laughs) I don´t know if it´s the right word, but we call her like this leader, you know, who takes the tourists on tour? Like “now you´ve 5 minutes, go see the pretty statue, then 5 minutes and we go to the next”, you know, like those guys and that´s Liv actually.

And everybody follows?
(laughs) NO NO NO!!! I´m married, I´ve to follow… but it´s cool to have a person like that in the band, with all those guys and it´s cool, it´s always taken care of.

Whom did you want to marry when you were a kid?
Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot… Liv is my little Marilyn, I call her that sometimes, she had this photo shoot, really blonde hair and red lips – I love that!

And then about the albums, the newest one is more centered around a Viking theme, whereas Lovelorn is more about sea-related fiction, so what was the change?
Actually Liv wanted to combine Northern historical stuff with fairytale like story and I found the idea very cool, that we´ll combine it with a Viking story or a Viking saga, so the idea came up to do something like a great discovery of Vikings of America and combine that with a love story, and I don´t know which other band has done this before. With Lovelorn there´s a kind of romantic and tragic story combined with nature and mermaids and all that emotions about the ocean. I really liked the whole thing and when we were traveling with a ferry, there was a beautiful sunset and the clouds and the sea, this is all about Leaves´ Eyes, you know? Scandinavia´s all in it, it´s the right place for us. And when Vinland Saga was finished, but before the album was eve released, the first mastering was made and we went to visit Norwegian family and I was playing that cd when we were driving through the country, and the mountains, and yes, it´s absolutely right music for that content! So yeah, we´ve continued that.

Specifically I´d like more details about “Into Your Light” and “For Amelie”…
Of course Liv wrote the lyrics, it´s how a mermaid is seducing the guy to follow her into the ocean, because he lost his love in the ocean, and the mermaid is kind of in love with that guy and she sees that she´s no getting him by heart, so she wants to lead him to that place where she is. And “For Amelie” it´s the song where a guy´s thinking about his love, she left him, when she chose to go into the ocean and he´s thinking of what he´s done wrong, or what was the reason and he´s asking himself all those questions. Amelie is this person, the girl.

Why did you choose this to make a different version of for the Vinland Saga?
This is something we had in mind, the guy was playing the piano and he said he´d love to do it again in a more emotional way and he wanted also to play the cello, he´s a good guy, also plays in Liv´s solo band, and I said it´s a good idea and there were some acoustic parts, and I also had something to work on for this song, so we chose to make a slightly different version, there´s more feeling to it.

And continuing on the romantic note, what´s the best relationship advice you can think of?
My God, I should give an advice?! Ok, buy flowers every Friday! But I don´t know why it´s a Friday…

Has to be a Friday?!
YES! (laughs) maybe it´s a warmup for the weekend…

And how do you take care of the hair?
To me it´s like another part of the body, like a finger, I don´t do anything special, although some people say I´m not taking very good care of it, but I don´t notice… And Liv told me she´d like me to have those gray parts, like Gandalf in Lord of the Ring, when I´m 80 or something, and she said she´d love to have a guy with long hair then too, so we´ll see… (laughs)

Author: Marina Sidyakina, transl. Kathleen Gransalke, photos:Julia Sheremetyeva
Date: 2007-12-18

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