WITH LEAVES' EYES (italian
by Giancarlo Bolther
Would you like to start telling us your artistic history,
I grew up with Black Sabbath through my parents and I was
actually singing before I could talk! I was ten years old as I asked
my girl-friend to play the piano for a song that I had written. We
called ourselves “Twice”. We played music just for fun
but I wanted to be in a band and be a singer, since I saw Madonna
for the first time on TV!
Being 19 I started Theatre of Tragedy and from that point of I’ve
been active in Gothic Metal, today with Leaves’ Eyes. I’ve
released 8 albums during the last ten years and cooperated on many
projects (Cradle of Filth is one example).
did you decided to leave Theatre of Tragedy to start your solo project?
I never left ToT; they kicked me out from the band after
five albums and ten years of cooperation. They wrote a message on
their homepage before telling me about their decision. This has nothing
to do with my solo project. I released my first solo album “Deus
ex Machina” eight years ago. Leaves’ Eyes is my new band
together with the members of Atrocity. We are like a family and they
are fantastic and highly professional musicians!
So far, how is the response of the audience to your new project?
The feedback from both press and audience has been fantastic
so far! I really feel grateful to all of you!
How much time did it take to complete the new album?
About 5-6 months, which is a bit longer than “Lovelorn”,
The new album is based on a story about the Norvegian hero
Leiv Eiriksson. Why did you choose this subject?
You are absolutely right. The historical frame for our new
album is the discovery of America, around year 1.000, by Leiv Eiriksson.
He and his crew left the west coast of Norway. Heading for Greenland,
but due to bad weather they passed the island and ended up discovering
We do learn a lot about the history of the Vikings in Norwegian schools.
The Pre-Christian times were among my favourite themes. Even before
going to school I had read and heard a lot about the Vikings as I
used to read and watch cartoons about them and afterwards ask my parents
about more information. Also today the complete Viking age interests
me, especially their daily lives, their journeys and the North-, West-
and East-Germanic languages.
Your sound is very catching, melanconic, epic and romantic
too, which is the message that you want to give?
I want to visualise the story of the Viking’s discovery
of America “Vinland Saga” through music. The album is
good for your heart and soul, not only for your ears!
How do you go about the process of composing songs?
Concerning "Vinland Saga", 8 or 9 tracks were already
finished before I started thinking about a concept. I wanted to see
how the music was developing first, to make sure that the music supports
and realizes the “visual” idea of the concept. We also
decided to replace the classical samplers by real natural instruments
to get a bigger and more natural sound. Therefore the recordings took
a bit longer than on the first album, but it was absolutely worth
it and we are 100% satisfied with "Vinland Saga"! Everybody
in the band is involved in the song-writing process. I’m also
responsible for writing the lyrics, the concept and the vocal lines.
Alex, my husband, is our producer. We record at our own studio (www.mastersoundstudio.com),
In your opinion which are the differencies between Lovelorn
and the new album?
As I said, we decided to replace the classical samplers through
a real orchestra to make the sound broader, bigger and more natural.
The songs are a bit more complex than on our debut, which inspired
me to use different singing styles to be able to float along to the
music. “Vinland Saga” is also inspired by soundtracks
and Celtic and Nordic traditional music.
And what is different between your new project and what you
did with Theatre of Tragedy?
On the ToT albums there were more male vocals. We didn’t
use so much classical instruments and weren’t influenced by
classical music and sound tracks. In the beginning we wrote the lyrics
in old English. I was involved in the song writing on the first three
albums of ToT. Then I moved to Germany and couldn’t take part
in the composing anymore, only being responsible for my vocal lines
and sometimes helping out with the lyrics. However, to be kicked out
of the band in the way which it happened (by a message on their homepage,
nobody telling me about their decision) was bad luck, but sometimes
bad luck leads to good luck: Leaves’ Eyes is definitely my good
luck! I’m very happy with the way things are now. What ToT are
doing now is their problem. It was not my idea to leave the band.
Gothic (or Dark Wave) music have always had a double character,
the aestetic one and the spiritual one; which is the most important
Hm, that’s a very difficult question. I can’t
decide, both sides of me are important.
Which are the artists that have inspired you most?
Ozzy/Black Sabbath and Madonna! I grew up with Black Sabbath
and later discovered Madonna.
What do you think about the actual gothic scene?
I was actively making music in Gothic Metal already ten years
ago, before bands like Nightwish and Evenescence, however these bands
also deserve their success. It just makes me sad when people don’t
know where Gothic Metal with female voices comes from and how it all
Nowadays there is a lot of interests in bands leaded by female
singers, but does it is still difficult for a woman to be respected
as an artist or it is easier?
I’ve never had any problems. I love my hobby/job and
my audience. I feel very grateful!
How do you live the day-to-day reality outside the band? What
kind of person are you as a person and as an artist?
Most of the time I, Alex, Leon (our son) and the rest of
Leaves’ Eyes are in the studio (we have our own studio, see
www.mastersoundstudio.com). We really enjoy working together and we
spend a lot of time together outside the studio, too. But if I’m
not being busy in the studio I love to be in the Nature with Leon,
also doing sports. I love running, swimming and yoga. I also love
reading and writing little stories myself.
Recently you got a child (Leon, my congrats), does this experience
changed you in some ways?
My life has become even better than before! To be both a
mother and an artist is the best combination for me – two dreams
have come true! However, the most fantastic thing which has happened
to me is the birth of Leon. He is the most important in Alex and my
You and Alex are partners both in your private life and the
artistic one, how difficult is to combine these two aspects?
It's wonderful to work with my husband and to be next to
each other when we are working. He is a fantastic producer and I am
happy about his advice. Sometimes we forget that we are married and
that we actually have a private life to take care of, but as soon
as we are out of the studio we are a loving couple again!
You’ve got a sister who does an artistic carreer too,
how do you live the relationship with her?
My sister is my best friend! The debut album of “Midnattsol”
is like a sunny and fresh morning in the spring! I love it, and I’m
so proud of my Carmen!
Recently you visited our country (Italy), what do you remember
about your trip?
What an audience! Italians have a big heart for music! Unfortunately
I didn’t have the time to eat your fantastic pizza…?
I remember that Alex, during his performance, preached against
religions, cause in his opinion they are the origin of wars and hate
between people, but at the funeral of the previous pope (John Paul
II) we saw together people from very different credos and cultures,
maybe people is not so divided by religions or something is changing?
Yes, you are right concerning the funeral of Pope John Paul
II, however, what is happening at Gaza right now is terrible.
Do you have a philosophy? Your vision of the world is…
Don’t destroy it! There are more generations to come.
Our children deserve to experience the purity of Nature!
Which are your future projects?
I signed a record deal for my solo project with Roadrunner
Records last year. We are in the middle of the recordings now. The
album will be released in the fall this year. This is a dream coming
true for me. It’s seven, eight years ago since I released my
debut solo album “Deus ex Machina”.
A salute to your italian fans…
You are a fantastic audience with a big heart for Metal!
Thankyou for all the wonderful comments in my guest book (www.leaveseyes.com)!
I read every single of them!
Reviews (in italian): Lovelorn; Elegy;