R13 caught up with Liv Espanae Krull and Alex Krull from Leaves Eyes to get the lowdown on their current worldwide tour, the new album, and parenthood amongst other things.

R13: How's the tour going? How are you enjoying it?
L: Well we've been on tour, in Europe, for about three days now. But, we've already been touring a lot this year. We've just returned from Mexico, so the jetlag is still fresh. But we're going to Germany for a couple of days, and then we return to Britain on the first of October.
A: Yeah, we're also off to the US, and Canada
R13: Are you looking forward to it then?
L and A: Yeah, yeah we are, it'll be cool.
R13: And as this is your first time touring in the UK, how do you think British audiences are going to be?
L: Well, I hope we have a pleasant evening, and I hope that everybody will be open to us.
A: I mean, we played with our other bands before, Theatre of Tragedy and Atrocity, and now with Leaves Eyes, it's our first time.
R13: What's it like to have played all over the world? What's the best place you've played?
A: (laughs) Ahhh...
L: That's a very difficult question, because every place has something special and every audience is different. For example, Scandinavian audiences are a bit more reserved, don't show all that much emotion. So, you know, for example Spain, Italy - in Mexico, the audience goes crazy just by your having entered the stage.
A: in Mexico, the audience went so wild, was screaming so loud that it was nearly lost in the music! And it was a loud concert too.

R13: Just to move on a bit, your latest album, 'Vinland Saga', is about Leif Erikson's legendary voyage in 100 AD. Tell us a bit more about, what really attracted you to the legend?
L: Well, before I started writing the concept, we already had a couple of ideas in our mind. We wanted a concept dealing with nature, and history too - the Vinland Saga actually took place on the West Coast of Norway, close to where I grew up and lived for twenty years. So, you see there are a few parallels to my life, and also to our marriage. Because, on board Leif Erikson's ship, was a German.
A: Called Thyrker, he was a funny fellow.
L: So, it's the German-Norwegian connection again.
R13: Also, how much did your own Nordic roots influence the way you approached your music, in particular 'Vinland Saga'?
L: It influences me a lot - it's the main influence for me, the Norwegian nature, culture, our heritage. I think it's something that will inspire me as long as I deal with music.
R13: Ok, and you describe the band's sound as having been upgraded, where the 'hard parts are harder, and the sentimental parts are more sentimental. Was this a conscious decision, or was it more of a natural progression?
A: I think it was a natural progression in a way. We liked the extremities and challenge of the music - we brought out the more bombastic elements, like the orchestral, percussion, and stuff like that, and having big choirs. But on the other side, we said we wanted to have this atmospheric past too, like when the Vikings return home to have a little bit of a melancholic atmosphere.
R13: And following on from that slightly, would you say that your role of being a mother, and I guess Alex's as a father too, has impacted on the music, and the way you record it?
A: You should ask her [gestures to Liv], she was pregnant during the first album. [laughs heartily] There certainly was an impact!
L: There was an amazing impact, yes. We recorded the first Leaves Eyes album as I was pregnant, we finished the recording, I went home and then two hours later Leon was born. So it was great planning for the baby. But it did change my way of singing, because you feel new muscles, and it made me a much happier person. I was happy before I became a mother, but with Leon it's like a sign for our love, and is a part of both of us. It's wonderful, motherly love is just the biggest thing - parental love - is the greatest thing on earth.

R13: Now, talking of making music and changes, when you worked with Cradle of Filth on Nymphetamine, did you find that you gained a lot of fans from that?
L: Yes, people who were fans of Cradle of Filth discovered Leaves Eyes, and I think that's wonderful. And, I think what happened, it just happened out of the blue. I got a phone call from [their record label], at first I thought it was a joke and I asked them to send me an mp3 so I could have a listen to the song. But I fell in love with the track straight away, and I understood straight away what Dani Filth has in his head - like the Beauty and the Beast thing, you know like Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave. I phoned him up in the studio, as asked 'is this what you're going for?' and he said 'yes'. It was just the right thing at the right time.
R13: So, do you think that your recording Nymphetamine took quite a lot of people by surprise?
L: I guess so, but Leaves Eyes, or at least what I've been doing for the last twelve years (symphonic gothic metal), is more romantic. It's not that similar, and it's a bit distant from the black metal scene, whereas Cradle of Filth is more extreme in that direction, so I think it was a very nice crossover.

R13: Sounds interesting, but very quickly finally, what next for you, and Leaves Eyes?
L: Well, touring in UK, Germany, and then America
A: And then we go to South America, before going to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand - all over the world.
R13: And are you looking forward to it?
L: Oh very much so. We do it in stages, we'll do five days on tour, then we'll go home for three or four days, then go back on the road. That's the only way we're able to combine the roles of being musicians and parents, because of course Leon is the most important thing, and person, in our lives. He the one that shouldn't have to suffer from this, so we take care of him.
A: I think in Germany, we'll probably take him on tour with us. That'll be such a big deal.
R13: Anyway, thank you very much and good luck.
L: That's alright, thank you very much.