LEAVES' EYES - Tragic Ending, New Beginning

November 13, 2003, 15 years ago

By Carl Begai

leaves eyes feature

When Theatre Of Tragedy ditched their gothic sound and headed to the realms of electronica in 2000, their fanbase was stunned. What was perceived as a shot in the foot, however, didn't seem to harm the band; the tour for the Musique album in early 2001 was a rousing success. Two years and one album later, TOT are waving the gun around once again, only this time the damage is much worse. News came down recently that soprano vocalist Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull had been fired, with no explanation offered to the press or the singer herself. Given that Liv has been the focal point for many TOT fans since their 1995 self-titled debut, it seems like a suicidal move. BW&BK; caught up with Liv - who is eight months pregnant - in the midst of recording for a new project called Leaves' Eyes, which is guaranteed to be a hit amongst the old Theatre fans.

With regards to getting fired from TOT, Liv says she still in the dark as to why things went down the way they did.

"I still don't know the reason, no. I received an email from them after I had seen a statement on the internet. The email was different from the statement on the band's homepage, but they never gave the reasons why they chose to part with me. The saddest thing of all is that none of the guys have called me or tried to get in contact with me since then, so I still don't know what went wrong. We worked together for ten years; it was a long time friendship, so that's the sad part of it. At the beginning I was angry and very disappointed, but I decided that if they want to do things this way, that's their choice. I don't want to be involved in saying nasty things in the press or anything like that. I just need to go on with my life."

I suggest the possibility of the band having problems with her living in Germany - Liv is married to Atrocity singer Alexander Krull - while the rest of the band is in Norway. Perhaps they saw this as having detrimental effects on the music.

"It might be, but we had been working with the help of the internet for many years already," says Liv. "There was no big difference in the way we worked between my living in Norway and when I moved to Germany. I had already recorded vocals for eight new Theatre Of Tragedy songs, sent them home as mp3 files, and when I didn't hear anything back I thought that meant they were happy with them. A month later I was fired."

Leaves' Eyes is not the result of being fired from TOT. According to Liv, the plans for the project had been laid out before the trouble with the Theatre started. It was a move that her former bandmates seemed to support in light of her solo album, Deus Ex Machina, from a few years ago.

"I think the guys in Theatre expected that I would do something new solo-wise, and I never heard any complaints about it from them," says Liv. "I spoke to Alexander about making a new band, a new project, and my first choice was to work with the guys in Atrocity because I know them. They're my friends, we're in the studio together every day, so I know them really well. I just sat down and started writing a concept based on a love story. I can't tell you more about it yet, but I can tell you that it is ten chapters."

An mp3 of the track 'Norwegian Lovesong' is available on the Leaves' Eyes website, at www.leaveseyes.com. Fans of the Aegis/Deus Ex Machina-era Liv will be pleasantly surprised by her return to the gothic vein.

"Leaves' Eyes is a way for me to express ideas that I've had in mind for a long time. In Theatre Of Tragedy it wasn't possible to express these ideas any more, and I wanted to do something away from the electronica sound. I'm not doing this gothic sound because it was something I missed with Theatre Of Tragedy; I just wanted to develop as an artist. I'm into all kinds of music. My two favourite artists are Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne, and they're miles away from each other, so I don't see why I can't enjoy working in a variety of styles."

Leaves' Eyes debut will be released at the end of May 2004 through Napalm Records.

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