The Norwegian and German symphonic metal band, Leaves Eyes, spoke with NRR before the show at the Grove of Anaheim on December 04, 2106 while opening for Sonata Arctica.

NRR: Elina, when were you approach to join Leaves’ Eyes?
Elina: It was back in March, so basically my other band played on festival together back in May 2015 then I supported Leaves’ Eyes with my own band in November at London. We saw each other though didn’t actually meet except very briefly at London to take picture or something. Then they remembered me and contacted back in March of a topic of discussion.
NRR: And that caught you off guard?
Elina: Yes.
NRR: Your other band EnkeliNation.
Elina: Now is called Angel Nation (in English) now a day’s which we recently changed the name.
NRR: When they contacted you and worked on terms, how much time did you have to learn the songs?
Elina: It was about a week.
Alex: Not even that much time.
Elina: Like eight songs for Indonesia then four day to learn the rest of set when we came back. It was quite a lot.
NRR: Alex, when she joined the band you already had the songs you wanted her to sing?
Alex: In the kind of process that is something like when we were speaking of Elina we were in kind of trouble. We had no time of what songs we can do or whatever to play. We were just thinking we had a singer we had in mind when we had these shows in the UK. And it came like this (snaps fingers) when we had to make a choice like stop, take a break, and go look for another singer while canceling all these shows and headlining shows like big festivals of Masters of Symphonic Metal in Switzerland and Indonesia.
This tour ,all these tours in between was like on the edge and then we were like ok that other bands were taking ages to find the right person in all this. Then we felt like we were lucky that we can go in this way to find someone that suits everything for the band not that jumps in for a short term replacement but long term.
Somehow as we get in touch, memories came back about a great singer that was playing in London supporting our show with Leaves’ Eyes. Then it was pure luck, destiny or call it whatever when Elina was in studio we great connection like musical and we heard her voice fitting great with the sound of Leaves’ Eyes. Well, then you ask of course what would you think about that and then it was just two things coming together at the right place and right moment.
And we said, let’s go for it and don’t cancel anything. We toured Europe before and it was during the world the dramatic change. Well, you know I can say, on one side you can say the way it happen a dramatic loss. The other side you can say super positive, new era, new change, new start or whatever you want to call it.

NRR: Speaking of the album Kings Of Kings which just fantastic and with the previous albums you deal with your culture, Vikings and myths in various songs. And I was thinking for this album, Alex has set the bar higher in a good way that maybe the television show Vikings written by Michael Hirst was a incentive to make a concept album based on it?

Alex: No it was complete disconnected from it but was kind of cool coincidence on the Ragnar Lothbrook story. Our main character of „King of Kings“, Harald Fairhair, now actually they added his character in the show, and I was like wow ok and which he has a brother called Halfdan, in fact he didn’t have a brother named Halfdan the Black, it was his father. Sorry guys (Laughter).

NRR: You can do so with this album like make a mini-movie with this album

Alex: Yeah! You could easily. Believe it or not I had some connections with some guys, producers from here in America at Los Angeles speaking about some stuff to see how serious it was an asking about some ideas. We are a musical band and made some very nice music video clips I think is very cool to visualize these Viking themes together with the music  well you know for us guys (Laughter).

NRR:  And some of the women are brutal too (Laughter), watching the videos from this album and with Elina kicks ass and I don’t want to mess with her (Elina laughing) in a respectful way because of a strong woman. With the previous albums you had songs about Vikings

Alex: Yeah, yeah like with Vinland Saga album back in 2005 which was a discovery of America by the Vikings

NRR: Before Christopher Columbus?

Alex: Yeah, some years before him and should not forget the Native Americans in respect long before the Europeans

NRR: From the land bridge the Natives crossed, but won’t get on that topic

Alex: So it just shows how far advance the techniques they (Vikings) used as sea farers and not just plundering but also trading and stuff like that. From nowadays Russia to Istanbul which was called Constantinople where Vikings were the guardians of the Byzantine Emperors, many people don’t know about that. And they also went over to many European areas in England, France, Ireland, Iceland, Germany and Eastern Europe and settled there.

NRR: Now on the new EP Fires In The North, is this a fill in between the Kings Of Kings and introducing Elina to the band while planning to work on the next album?

Alex: I wouldn’t call a fill in because for us it means such a lot for great introduction for the new singer Elina. And a lot of fans demanding having the versions with Elina like with “Sacred Vow”, “Swords In Rock” and “Edge Of Steel” , the three songs we have on Kings Of Kings and just re-record with Elina. So it’s a special release is how I would call it. It is a good in between release until we have the new album that’s for sure. In 2017 the tour with Sabaton came up and other offers came up so we said okay we push back the new album release until the beginning 2018  and will be a good time for us to prepare everything.


NRR: Do you feel add pressure because of this album because you set the bar higher for the sound and add a story line for the next chapter like concept or a trilogy?

Alex: Absolutely, it is true what you said that it’s like a starting point in the „King of Kings” story and we did kind of spin offs like you say in the movies with our bonus tracks and a lot of things connected to editions of the record. We will see how we deal with that. But production wise, it’s really top notch with the London voices the choir of The Lord Of The Rings, I know (Laughter) is quite a high level. But you know with Elina’s great voice we are looking into some other opportunities and new ideas and stuff like that.

NRR: Elinia, will you be writing some of the new songs like the lyrics?

Elina: Ah, we will have to see about that because when you come into another band as well and it’s like the same situation you know that Alex and Tosso are the main writers, so we’ll see how it goes.

Alex: Yeah, yeah she has some good ideas and we’ll see how put it all together. And what I found out when we worked on Fires In The North was a one hundred percent satisfying, awesome recording session. Because of so much time we had and Elina just nailed it and it was awesome! When we came to the studio, we had ideas, we had lyrics and we exchanged some things here and there and she was preparing herself like a super pro so that is awesome

NRR: Have there been talks with the record label about taking this album (Kings Of Kings) for a live DVD in the future or after the next album?

Alex: Did you hear about the special show we did? I’ll show you (He is showing me video on his phone of the special).  Here is the show we did before we came to the US with Viking ship and burning swords on stage and it was big production and we have not seen the result yet because we are here. The production was massive like about forty people involved. So if that material turns out looking great

NRR: They should release it

Alex: Or release something special for the new album

NRR: Or a live DVD and album package. And for the US it has to be at arenas or stadiums with the pyrotechnics because in venues like this they won’t allow it

Alex: We asked about flame throwers and they (the venues) no way (Laughter). So we decide to bring the regular stage props.  We good (Laughter)

NRR:  We are good. Thanks for your time


Leaves Eyes
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Elina Siirala
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