Hi Liv! I want to tell you that I am really looking forward to hearing the new album! Also, a couple friends of mine had a few questions they wanted me to ask you, so I will start off with those. (These are from my friend, Chad Boyd) :
1.) When will the U.S. tour start? Will you be headlining?
Liv: I hope this Autumn. Check out our homepage for news concerning shows in your near surroundings! A North-American, a South-American and an Asian tour are being planned right now.
2.) Are you looking forward to touring with your sister’s band, Midnattsol? Any chance of the two bands bringing that tour to the U.S.?
Liv: I just arrived from our European tour, and I am now looking forward to further shows and tours. In April we toured with my sister Carmen’s band Midnattsol, and then in May we joined Tarja Turunen. Wow! Both tours were full of magic moments when “the ladies” get together! I am so proud, having my sister next to me on stage. I really wish we could do so in the U.S. as well!
3.) Does your son always come with you and Alexander on tours?
Liv: Sometimes my family joins me on tour.
4.) What was it like to duet with Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth on their album Nymphetamine? Would you do it again?
Liv: Of course! We were even nominated for the Grammy. Dani and I get along very well. I just knew what he was searching for in my voice instantly. I really love our duet.
5.) Are you planning on any other duets with anyone in the near future? Who would you most like to sing a duet with, if you could?
Liv: I would like to sing with Tarja Turunen, with my sister Carmen/Midnattsol, and with Maite/Elfenthal! I am still dreaming about singing with Ozzy some day; my hero!
6.) (These next two are from my friend, Catherine Swanson) Are you really into Asatru as your music suggests, or do you sing it out of a cultural drive?
Liv: Hi Catherine! I just let the music itself inspire me. I’ve been interested in Nordic and Celtic history and mythology since I boarded school. You’ll find Froeya, three-headed trolls, vampires, ghosts, witches, Viking traveling on sea, Viking ladies mourning, and of course many images from the Norwegian harsh weather and wild nature landscapes. I guess there is some homesickness towards Norway in my lyrics. Actually, it’s more than obvious that I miss my home country.
7.) Who makes all of your amazing dresses?
Liv: I had different designers, however, I always have a clear mind about what I would like to wear. I pick up different influences or pieces of clothes on the internet as well, like the woman’s armor I am wearing on my Celtic dress on this tour. If I have the time, I sit down and sew myself.
8.) (The rest of the questions now are mine.) What are some of your expectations with the new album and what was the most challenging part of putting together Meredead?
Liv: For the production of Meredead it was highly important to us that each song had its own ‘face’, individuality and perfect, crystal clear sound to strengthen the emotional effect. We just let the music inspire us to add new and interesting ‘spices’ to our music, like pipes, nyckelharpa (Swedish folk instrument), the fiddle, cello, classical orchestra or the flute. That’s what makes the album that diverse and exciting as you discover a different story, different instrumental combinations, different ways of singing even in various languages in each song. The critics have been absolutely amazing so far. The live appearances we just did were very energetic with a fantastic audience! It feels like something wonderful is happening. If I am able to touch the hearts of my fans and friends with our art, I am incredibly happy!
9.) There is a bonus track on Meredead entitled “Sorhleod”, which version(s) of the CD will that be available on?
Liv: That’s for the special edition. That track is actually one of my favorites. It’s really worth listening to.
10.) The topics of Viking and Norwegian history/literature has been a mainstay with Leaves’ Eyes. But what inspired the Irish songs on the new album? And what about the ones that will be written in the Old English style?
Liv: Concerning my lyrics, if I chose a theme from Nordic mythology, I would include Norwegian lyrics. It was very intimate to sing in my mother tongue Norwegian, it makes the lyrics even more emotional and personal. Singing in Old-English meant digging my nose in my Old-English grammar books once again. However, I am very interested in historical languages,which I also studied. I think that Old-English has a very special ‘sound’ phonetically. However, the Irish-inspired songs on the album are also sung in modern English, so the Old-English style is ‘independent’from the theme(s) in my lyrics, actually.
11.) Tell about the DVD that comes along with the limited edition CD. And what was it like being a part of The Metal Female Voices Fest?
Liv: MFVF is always something special for us, as we’ve been present almost every year. We are the headliners this year as well, and I am really looking forward to it!
12.) Any particular song(s) that stand out as having any extra special meaning to you personally? What are they and why do they stand out?
Liv: I’d rather pick some from each production: I would suggest “Norwegian Lovesong” and “For Amelie” from the Lovelorn album, the ballad “Leaves’ Eyes” from Vinland Saga, the epic track “Fröya’s Theme” from the Njord album, “Meredead”, “Sigrlinn”, “Sorhleod”, “Empty Horizon” and “Tell-Tale Eyes” from Meredead. It’s just a feeling I have which I cannot explain.
13.) Lyrically, you seem to be a very adept story teller. Have you ever considered writing any novels and/or short-stories on the side?
Liv: Well, I actually did this already in secondary school. Some were printed in the local paper. I’ve kept some of them, though not everything. I would love to write and publish a book of stories and poems for children. Some day I will have the time. My son gives me the biggest inspiration! Being a mum is the greatest gift in my life and the best thing that happened to me.
14.) You said you created the word. “Meredead” and that it means something on the order of ‘dead by/in the sea,’ or ‘the mortal or killing sea.’ The CD cover depicts a beguiling woman rising from the water. Is the theme behind all that akin to or inspired by the Sirens of Greek mythology?
Liv: We are very pleased with the cover and the booklet’s artwork! Many people already asked me why I’m not on the album cover of Meredead. I think I look too ‘sweet’ and ‘angel-like’ for the album. The title means ‘dead by the sea’, or ‘the deadly sea’, as you pointed out. She represents both the beauty of the sea and at the same time the dangerous ocean! I think the girl on the cover is really beautiful, and I absolutely love the artwork of Stefan Heilemann! I am going to ask Stefan if I can meet her some day, hehe! To be honest, I did not have Greek mythology in my mind, however, it could make sense, you are right!
15.) What can you tell fans about your album, Melusine? (What does the title mean and what are some of the songs about, etc?)
Liv: Melusine is an EP of Leaves’ Eyes following Meredead. You will find the title track “Melusine”, “Battle of Maldon” from the Njord-Era, “Legend Land” in acoustic version, all fresh recorded, and another version of “Tell-Tale Eyes”, featuring my friend Anette Gulbrandsen. “Melusine”, the brand new track, has more of the dialogue of the beauty and the beast, and it is incredibly heavy and straight into your face! “Melusine” is based on a female character found in Celtic mythology. The theme is a mermaid’s passions for the sea, although being married to a “normal” human being. One day a week she takes a bath, secretly; the other six days a week she his wife. One day he discovers her secret, that she is a mermaid, and bans her forever.
16.) Do you do anything special to take care of your voice, especially while you are on the road? (You sing so beautifully.)
Liv: Aw, thank you very much. I have been singing since I was a little girl, even before I was able to talk. It just comes natural to me, moreover, I have gathered a lot of experience during my 17 years of recording albums and singing on different stages all over the world. What I do before a show is simple: Put on lipstick, put on my dress, sing a few tones for two minutes, do 25 push-ups, drink some ginger tea. That’s all. It takes about 12 minutes.
17.) I know this is kind of old, but you were a part of Daniele Liverani’s Genius Rock Opera: Episode 2 album. Did you get to meet and personally work with Liverani or any of the other guest musicians on that CD? Also, what did you think of the storyline and of your character role on that CD? Did you have fun doing that? How did your invitation for participating on that come to be?
Liv: We didn’t meet for that project, unfortunately, but I really love the result and I appreciate him asking me to sing on that album! It was a great experience!
18.) I understand that you are a vegetarian. I have recently become one myself, after all the research I have done on factory farming. I was wondering if you always have been a vegetarian and what are your reasons for being so? Are they for health reasons or for animal rights reasons?
Liv: That just came naturally. When I was little I even avoided meat. I just don’t feel comfortable eating meat. My whole digestive system goes on strike and I feel very tired and mentally ‘weak’. I can’t explain it, though. However, you should do what your inner voice tells you. I even avoid dairy products because I get terribly sick from milk. Believe me, you don’t miss anything if you stay away from meat or dairy products. I run marathons and push more iron at the gym than many guys.
19.) You seem like you are very busy and continuously involved with music. During your rare free moments, what do you like to do for fun and to relax?
Liv: True, I guess I was born with a hyper-active artistic mind. I can’t stop thinking music. However, I always dreamed of having my own family, moreover, becoming a singer. Both dreams have come true! I consider myself to be very lucky. I have a very strict plan: When I work: I work very, very hard and non stop! When it is family time, I am ONLY there for my family. In between I do a lot of sports, especially running, yoga and fitness. Sometimes, on stage, I keep singing my lyrics at the same time as I am thinking about my dear ones at home. That’s multi-tasking!
20.) What would you like people to know the most about Leaves’ Eyes and the new CD, Meredead? Any other closing comments about anything you would like to add? (Thank you so much, Liv! I saw you when Leaves’ Eyes opened for Blind Guardian quite awhile back in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a great show. I definitely hope to see you again on your next tour. Best wishes to you!)
Liv: All the best for you, your family and your friends! I hope to see you all in the autumn in the US! Thank you for always being there for me and my band!