Interview by Vard Aman
In my opinion, well played Doom Metal is one of the ultimate and most extreme forms of music, second to none when it comes to creating and unleashing powerful, dark and stirring soundscapes of emptiness, despair and (yet), total awe. Some people may disagree with me, depending on their personal tastes; but if you agree with me, you might want to do yourself a huge favour and check out an Australian band called Lycanthia. Lycanthia have recently released their second full-length album, entitled “Oligarchy”, and on it Lycanthia produces all the soundscapes to which my above description applies. Founded in 1996, they have provided one of the sturdiest pillars of Australian Doom Metal, and have since become a household name – OK, maybe a name in one of the less frequented corners of the Doom Metal household (where you might find a Funnel-Web Spider perhaps), but they’re rightfully and deservedly there none the less. Lycanthia is fronted by three vocalists, one male (Lee Tassaker, also the bassist) and two female (Vanessa Black, also on violin; and Megan Tassaker, also on keyboards). I chatted to Megan recently.
Hi! Welcome to Femme Metal Webzine.
Thanks for having me.
Let’s start off with a bit of history: Tell us a bit about Lycanthia‘s formation and early years.
In the early days, Lycanthia started out as just a recording band made up of a group of friends. The main inspiration at the time -without naming names- was that many of their favourite parts of certain songs would be orchestral sections, or parts with female vocals but when you would see the bands live, those elements wouldn’t exist. Lycanthia wanted to make a band that would be able to zone in on these elements AND reproduce them live. Once a demo was made, the next step was making it a live act.
What inspired the name?
The name was taken from the book Lycanthia, by Tanith Lee.
There have been quite a lot of line up changes over the years. How much of a hampering effect has this had on Lycanthia? (I’m assuming it has).
It has had an effect, as far as holding back recordings goes. Although we do try to take our time with recordings and make sure they are right, the last album “Oligarchy”, would have been recorded much earlier if it weren’t for those kind of hiccups. It’s a shame that people hold it against you or try to judge your band when that happens as well, for the most part we have remained friends with ex-members. There have been many reasons people have left, from wanting to go in different creative directions, to having family or work commitments that have restricted their time. Having said that though, we are all very happy with our current line-up, it has definitely helped us step up and refine our sound further into what we want it to be. So as much as these things can hold thing’s back, they can also push you further.
What other projects have you been/are you involved in?
I (Megan) am also in Avrigus, Lee is currently playing Bass for Cruciform and plays session bass for Avrigus. Mat is in Bleakwood and Blatherskite.
Tell us a bit more about Avrigus.
Avrigus is a recording band featuring myself and Simon Gruer. I would describe the music as atmospheric doom/gothic metal. The band was founded by Simon and the previous vocalist/keyboardist/composer Judy Chiara. I met Simon at a Lycanthia gig (before I was in the band), at the time I hadn’t heard any Avrigus. He mentioned that he was wanting to keep Avrigus going but Judy was not longer wanting to be a part of it and he was searching for a new vocalist. He had tried to get it going with a few other people but it hadn’t really worked out. So I checked out the music the next day and expressed my interest, he had heard demo tracks that I had sung on and was very enthusiastic. We met up and I dropped down some demo vocals for “Banquet of Souls”, Simon was very happy with how it sounded. I think he wasn’t 100% sure until he heard me play an original song though. I played “Beauty and Pain” on keyboard and sung it for him, he loved it immediately and we set out creating a bunch of songs that became the “Beauty and Pain” EP, available for digital download only at the moment on our website: www.avrigus.com. At the moment we are recording an album that was mainly written by Simon before I joined the band, most of the songs were written in the time between “The Secret Kingdom” - the last album with Judy, and the time that I joined the band. One original written by me will also appear on the album. At this time we don’t have a sure release date as we are still in the process of finishing writing vocal lines and perfecting the orchestrations.
How would you describe Lycanthia‘s sound to those who haven’t heard it?
A blend of old-school Death/Doom riffs, complimented by counter melodies on violin, harsh grim vocals and dual Female harmonies.
What is the significance of Doom Metal and the attraction to it, both as a musician and as a fan?
Doom is about creating an atmosphere and a mood, many other genres are just about technicality. For me music is art and a creation of expression, not that there isn’t merit to being technically proficient, just that I prefer song writing to move me and hopefully move others.
Tell us a bit about your previous releases, “Myriad” and “Within the Walls”.
“Myriad” was a first attempt at writing songs as a group for Lycanthia. A fairly collaborative effort, the majority of members were teenagers when this album was made and the sound was not as clearly defined as it is today. At the heart of it though, it was just made for fun. In between “Myriad” and “Within the Walls”, we put out a single called “Inferno” which we recorded specifically for a compilation CD. By the time we came to “Within the Walls”, Lycanthia had many other songs written – including some that ended up on “Oligarchy” (which obviously weren’t in their current state then) – the songs that were chosen were the ones the band felt were ready for putting out into the world, that had been worked on and reworked until they were to the bands liking.
How has your sound changed over the years leading up to “Oligarchy”?
Some of the songs were written – in a much basic form – before “Within the Walls” and we were still working on them. As a band, having new members join allowed Lycanthia to be more diverse and imaginative, a lot of parts of songs we weren’t so happy with were able to be brought to life in ways we had only imagined before.
Is there a possibility of re-working/re-recording and re-releasing some older Lycanthia material in the future? (Such as “Hope Lingers Yet” - it was a snippet of that song that introduced me to Lycanthia and left a lasting impression).
No, we have no plans to re-record “Myriad”.
What has the response been to the new album so far?
The response has been fantastic. A lot of people have told us that we have brought the band into a new place with this release, and obviously it helped get us attention from Hypnotic Dirge Records who signed with us. It has also helped us score several endorsements.
What inspires your lyrics and what are your general lyrical topics? I’m particularly curious about the stories behind “The Essential Components of Misery” and “Forgone”.
“The Essential Components of Misery” is lyrically about the way we see the world around us. Although we are lead to believe we have freedom, we do not. We are lead to believe that we have choices, but the choices are really just to conform or be left behind. So in a way, it’s a bleak reaction to the harsh reality of the world as we see it. “Forgone”, this song is like a part 2, part 1 being “Eternity”. So in the title of the two songs there is a hint to what the song is about… “Eternity… Forgone”. It is probably our only song that is lyrically a fictional story rather than a story that comes from personal experiences or feelings. It is about a deity that falls in love with a mortal, and has to be stripped of eternity to embrace their lover. Although it is fictional, I think it is something that everyone can relate to, forbidden love.
Would it be true to say that “Forgone” is written as a poem first and foremost and that the song’s lyrics are based on it? If so, does that apply as a general rule to most of the lyric writing process?
Sometimes that happens and other times if a lyric idea comes to mind, we will just write them down and set them aside until a song comes along that it suits. With all our songs, it’s not so much lyrics to a song, as it is a poem to accompany the music. Once the poem is written, we arrange it melodically to suit.
How regularly do you play live and what is the response like at your shows?
When we aren’t recording, we play live probably once every couple of months. The response is always great. We heavily advertise our shows to build up hype and we always enjoy playing live because that’s when we get to experience crowd reaction to the music.
Have you done any international tours?
As of yet, we have not. We do plan to in the future though; it’s something we all really wanting to do.
How healthy is the Doom Metal scene in Australia currently?
There has been increased enthusiasm for the genre lately. We have Mournful Congregation from South Australia, they play Funeral Doom. Okera from Melbourne, and Futility from Canberra are just some of the amazing doom bands that are also playing in Australia at the moment.
I’ve noticed a few ex-Lycanthia members around in Doom Metal bands, like Rise of Avernus (Andrew Craig), Rituals of the Oak (Sabine Hamad-Linfoot), and Murkrat and The Slow Death (Mandy Andresen). Can you tell us anything about them?
Firstly we’d like to mention that we are great friends with all these people. We are big supporters of all of these bands and love their music. In the case of Mandy, she begun Murkrat after leaving Lycanthia, it was a direction of music she had been heading towards for a while and we love it, but it isn’t the sound for Lycanthia. The same can be said for Sabine, she found her tastes leaning towards a different direction, and you have to follow what you want to do musically, otherwise there’s no fun to it. Andrew Craig is one of those guys who is always filling his time up with heaps of projects, we loved our time with Andy but in the end, he didn’t have the time to put towards us along with all of his other commitments.
What do you all do when not playing music?
Steve is a car fanatic, always going to old car shows etc, he is also a heavily into ninjitsu. Mat is an armature photographer. Lee likes to do a lot of painting, he actually painted the cover of “Oligarchy”, though it had editing and arrangement done to it, music and literature are big interests of his too. I go in and out of phases but always creating things, whether its poetry/lyrics, drawings or clothing, I also love to read. Vanessa takes part in many arts projects, creating and designing spaces.
Australia has always been one of my favourite countries. I like the people (well, more than I like most people at least) and the idea of clean first world cities in a country with so much open space and nature – the best of both worlds. But that’s just my opinion. What is it like living in Australia for you? What do you like and what don’t like about it? And is +40C really just “a tad on the warm side today, mate”? And have you ever seen one of those famous Sydney Funnel-web Spiders?
I am very much an Autumn person. In Australia, summer is a humid hell of heat, sweat and flies. In winter, I freeze, although I do enjoy the scenery of winter, the cold feels like pain to me and my sinuses suffer. The same sinus suffering happens to me in Spring-time, Autumn is perfect in-between weather to me. I do love that we have nature and cities in Australia, one of the thing’s I dislike is probably that in general, the music industry in Australia is not very big at all. To be honest with you, I probably have seen a Funnel-web but if I have I didn’t recognise it. I don’t even think I know what they look like, which is probably really bad hahaha. Living in the city, I don’t really see that many spiders and have to travel to see the wilderness.
Back on topic again, one final question: What is next for Lycanthia?
Next, I’m not sure I’m able to announce the very next thing that will happen, but it’s coming in November. We should be able to announce soon. I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks for chatting with us, good luck, we’ll be watching and listening closely!
Review by Tony Cannella
From Italy (a metal band from Italy? What a surprise) comes the conceptual symphonic death metal band Norhod. The band was born in the summer of 2009 with original members: Michele Tolomei (keyboards), Giacomo Casa (growls), Giacomo Vanucci (guitars) and Andrea Stefani (guitars). After solidifying their line-up with a few new members including female vocalist Clara Ceccarelli, Norhod has released their independently released EP “Arianrhod”. “Arianrhod” is a concept EP based on the Homonymous Celtic goddess, but at its core the story is about the age old struggle between good and evil. Norhod utilizes beauty and the beast style vocals with Clara’s clean, soaring vocals contrasting with Giacoma Casa’s growls. The music performed by Norhod does lend itself very well for storytelling – as it does create a special atmosphere throughout the 22-minutes worth of playing time. The intro “Caer Arianrhod” sets the stage for the bombastic opener “Doomed to Ashes”. The two vocal styles are split pretty evenly. For the most part, “Arianrhod” combines melancholic metal with folk metal influences and tempo changes; “Last Sundown” is a pretty solid indicator of what is good about the album. The album is completed with the pounding title song “Arianrhod”. I can already tell that the vocals will be an acquired taste for many – they will either be loved or hated – especially Clara’s high-pitched vocal delivery. The growler Giacoma Casa will definitely appeal to the death metal side of the metal spectrum. Norhod are far from being a mainstream band. The songs on “Arianrhod” are definitely going to appeal to a select audience, but fans who like a little bit of melancholy with their metal, should like what they find from this Italian band.
Rating – 73/100
- Caer Arianrhod
- Doomed to Oblivion
- Lily’s Ashes
- Last Sundown
- Clara Ceccarelli – Vocals
- Giacomo Casa – Growls
- Giacomo Vanucci – Guitars
- Andrea Stefani – Guitars
- Michele Tolomei – Keyboards
- Matteo Giusti – Bass
- Francesco Aytano – Drums
Label : Gothoom Productions
Review by Tony Cannella
From Slovakia, the melodic dark metal band Galadriel was formed way back in 1995. They released their first album, “Empire of Emptiness” in 1996. Now they have released their seventh album, “The 7th Queen Enthroned”. Throughout the 36-minute, “The 7th Queen Enthroned”, Galadriel utilizes beauty and the beast vocals performed by female vocalist Sona Witch Kozakova and her male counterpart, bassist Dodo Datel. The opening track, “Evilution” sets the tone nicely. Sona’s vocals handle the more melodic parts whilst Dodo’s can be heard on the heavier parts of the song. The vocals are split pretty evenly on this one and musically the songs have a classic metal vibe to them as “Evilution” segues into “Crucifixion Deluxe”. The pacing of this song is deliberate as Dodo spits out his lyrics in rapid fire succession – as he takes the lead on this song with a little help from Sona near the end. Overall Dodo does a large portion of the vocal work, but Sona does an excellent job when called upon and she really adds something to the recording. I was also impressed with Dodo’s vocals as well, technically he may not be a virtuoso by any means, but his vocals are quite ferocious and clear. “Still Not Dead Enough” continues in the general direction set by the previous two songs and includes a wicked guitar solo. There is no shortage of energy and enthusiasm as songs like, “The World is War”, “The Last Time” and “Mother Is Dying” will attest to. It is rare for such a veteran band to fly under the radar the way Galadriel has. If nothing else, they have proven to be survivors and hopefully with their new album, “The 7th Queen Enthroned” their hard work and dedication will start to pay off.
Rating – 76/100
- Crucifixion Deluxe
- Still Not Dead Enough
- The World is War
- The Last Time
- Mother Is Dying
- Sona Witch Kozakova – Vocals
- Dodo Datel – Vocals & Bass
- Tomax Gabris – Guitars
- Jan Ivan – Drums (session)
Interview by Connie Bach
Rock with attitude. This is Sister Sin’s personality. The “attitude” aspect is loud, edgy, and melodic. If you are furious with someone this is a great album for the situation. And if you are not in a rage, there is energy for entertainment, and plenty to spare.
Hi, Liv. What’s going on with the band right now?
Hi! Right now we are playing lots of shows in Scandinavia and doin’ some tours in Europe, we hope to be back in US early next year! The album is just released in Japan too so hopefully we will get the opportunity to do a tour over there next year too. This one’s for the whole band. How did each of you get involved in rock music? What’s your background?
Liv : Well, I started to get into rock in my early teens when I found Nirvana and Hole, and a Swedish metal band called Drain. Drain had Pantera as their favorite band and that got me into Pantera and the heavier stuff. I so wanted to become a rock star that I forced my to best girlfriends to start a band with me. After a while they got into it too ha, ha… We were called Sisters of Kali and we´re very, very dark and angry on everything. Jimmy : I got into rock music seriously when I was around eleven years old. I loved Metallica and Pantera at that time which friends introduced me with. Then I discovered more extreme music such as Slayer, Sodom, Entombed and later on bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Suffocation, Gorefest and also a lot black metal. I played in many bands in those days, mostly death and black metal bands. Then I had a break from playing and one day I heard from a friend that Sister Sin was looking for a new guitarist, knew nothing about who they were. But I gave it a shot since I always had a soft spot for classic hard rock and heavy metal. It turned out to be perfect! Dave : I stole all my brother’s heavy metal vinyls after discovering Vanessa Warvick hosting “Headbangers Ball” in the early nineties. After that I got in to a lot of punk, hardcore and eventually black metal as well. Started playing guitar back then but moved on to drums for the usual reason that there weren’t any drummers around. And here I am today, piss poor but happy with a Metal Heart, ha ha. It’s been a few months since Benton, Sister Sin’s bassist, unfortunately had to part ways with the three of you. Liv, how is the search for a new bassist going? What challenges does a change in line-up present, even with the qualifications you have in mind?
It’s always very hard to find replacement for someone that you liked and that suited the band so well and we have been thru this before so we are pretty tired of this whole bassplayer thing. That’s why this time we really need to find someone that has the passion for music and touring that we do and that could dedicate their life to this band. Even if you do find someone who is technically qualified the most important thing is always the social aspect. When spending so much time as we do in a van you can’t have one guy you wanna choke to death every half hour. I think we´ve actually found the right man for job but he´s gonna do at least one tour before we make it official, for both parties sake.
Why does Sister Sin require that the new bassist have studio experience?
Do we? Ha ha… I didn’t know that. No, but I guess it´s more of sorting out the serious ones, like we get so many e-mails from people who think that anyone can play bass and let me tell you; just because you can play guitar and get by doesn’t mean you can play bass. What are you expecting with the tour with Grave Digger and Grand Magus?
I think that will be a blast! We haven’t toured so much in Europe with all the focus that’s been on U.S last two years so it´s gonna be cool for sure and we are hitting some very interesting countries as well, so I’m really looking forward to that.
What determines where a tour takes Sister Sin, or any other band? Why?
Since we haven’t really sold shitloads of albums around the world we can’t exactly pick and choose where and when we wanna tour and whom with. Many people ask why we go on tour with bands like Arch Enemy or OTEP and the reason is just that we got offered those tours and we need to be on the road all the time. Got nothing against any of the bands we´ve toured but yeah, if we could choose we would definitely tour with headliners that are more close to our genre and fan base. We´ve been over totimes and the reason for that is that our label has spent more promotion over there and we need to back that up.
Liv, you are featured as “Miss November” in Revolver’s “Hottest Chicks in Metal” calendar. How do you feel about the award? Nice job. The reason I ask is that for some it is a source of pride, whereas some feel it mocks women in metal.
For me it’s a pride!! I’m very, very glad to be one of the girls in that calendar, it’s an honor. I truly can’t believe it really, I’m just a working girl from Sweden and a big American rock magazine wants me in a calendar ? That’s so cool! And I don’t understand these people that think it’s mocking women, if you are a beautiful woman with a talent, show it! Both your talent and your beauty, that calendar is a way to celebrate both in my opinion! “True Sound Of The Underground” did quite well on the charts. What does that mean for the band?
Of course it means a lot to know that people enjoy our work and that we hopefully can inspire others with our music. Not that you have to sell a lot of copies these days to end up on a chart but it´s a nice motivator for us that there is a growing market for the kind of music we play. Do each of you have a personal goal that you are fulfilling through being in Sister Sin?
Jimmy : Yes absolutely. I get to play guitar just they way I dreamed of when I first picked up a guitar and all the countless hours of practice finally pays off with releasing albums and touring, it certainly is a privilege and a dream come true.
Dave : Ever since first got in to heavy metal I always wanted to tour and see the world. And now I get to travel, see new places, new people and be on stage every night doing what I love to do. I’ve never dreamed of making lots of money (although it would be nice! ) and playing big arenas, I’m just glad that 3 nobodies like ourselves who have been stuck in a rehearsal studio for 5 years never gave up and it´s paying off the way I always wanted it to do.
Liv : This is my personal goal, to be able to be in a great band and play live all over the world! One thing that would make it even better would to be able to live from the music one day, that’s very much a goal for me. To just live 100% for the band, now I have to share my time with my job as a personal trainer.
Liv, Sweden (especially Gothenburg) has a huge metal scene, with many famous acts. Why does this scene influence Sister Sin?
I really don’t think there are any Swedish bands that influences us really. There´s a lot of extreme metal coming out of here which obviously is what Sweden is mostly famous for in metal. A lot of those bands, like In Flames for example definitely inspire in another way though that you can make it if you just hang there, never quit and be true to what you love. Liv, Dave, and Jimmy, thanks a lot for your time. Your musical energy and commitment to Sister Sin is impressive. Hopefully we’ll see you in the States again soon.
We will be back 4 sure!
Interview by Erwin van Dijk
An interview with Liv Kristine from Leaves’ Eyes. This interview is all dedicated to the forthcoming album “Njord”.
“Njord” is the third full length Leaves’ Eyes album. (the other two were “Lovelorn” and “Vinland Saga”).
I am absolutely happy and satisfied with the album. We’ve never worked this hard before with a production, but we’ve reached our goal. I would even say, we even went further than we thought was possible, technically seen. It has always been important to me that our sound and art is authentic, i.e. that you can hear from the very first tunes that this is Leaves’ Eyes! We also want that our audience really get the feeling of being on a wonderful journey. I feel that our music needs a special well-written and interesting concept which is just as important as the sound, and “Njord” gives you all this.
“Vinland Saga” introduced the Viking elements in Leaves’Eyes. But “Njord” also seems to have some Irish themes, like the songs “Emerald Island” and “Irish Rain” . With “Njord” comes the EP “My Destiny”, which contains besides the song “My Destiny” in two versons also an acoustic version of “Scarborough Fair” and two non album tracks.
“My Destiny” is a song you can easily “tune into”. It’s a good way to introduce the album (out 28.08.), although you will of course have less commercial songs on the record, too. On “My Destiny” is actually an EP, for the price of a single, with four non-album tracks, and one extra album song.
“Vinland Saga” was a concept album. Is “Njord” written with the idea to tell a story or are it twelve individual songs?
The lyrics mainly deal with characters from northern mythology (e.g. “Njord”, “Fröya’s Theme”, “Nine Wave Maidens”, “Ragnarok”), or with places and historical happenings (e.g. “Scarborough Fair”, “The Battle of Maldon”, “Emerald Island“,“Irish Rain”, “Les Champs de Lavande”). This is why I found it necessary to deal with all these different languages. “Vinland Saga” is based on Leif Eirikssons discovery of America, even the EP, “Legend Land”, which followed soon thereafter. “Njord” has a much broader concept, travelling through history, and into Nordic mythology. It has always been important to me that our sound and art is authentic, and that our audience really get the feeling of being on a wonderful journey.The lyrics are written in 8 languages (english, middle-high german, old-english, gaelic, norwegian, icelandic, french and one “self-made” linguistic fictional phonetic sequence)… I even sat down to study a bit French to be able to write one French lyric. I did study Old-English and Middle-high German, so it was really nice to be able to use this knowledge. Gaelic is completely new to me, though, but fortunately I found a wonderful person who helped me. “Njord” is an album that demands an expansion in linguistic terms.
This is your third album. What are the differences between “Njord” and “Lovelorn” and “Vinland Saga”?
Our debut “Lovelorn” was very refreshing and a wonderful start for the band, also the press and the audience were surprised. However, you shouldn’t forget that we all have a huge experience and knowledge as musicians of Atrocity and former ToT (Theatre of Tragedy) to rely on. This brings Leaves’ Eyes a wide step forward, so we were really no newcomers in our genre. Moreover, I really have to say that Atrocity + Liv Kristine is a magic formula! I took my experience from my favourite ToT releases “Velvet Darkness They Fear” and “Aegis” as a basis for Leaves’ Eyes music. Our second album “Vinland Saga” was a manifistation of the music of Leaves’ Eyes – we had “settled” in the genre gothic metal with female vocals. “Njord” is the perfection of both our 2 former albums. Since the first demo recordings for “Njord” we have been able to achieve goals that we thought back in 2007 after the “Vinland Saga” release would be quite impossible. I am so proud of my band members – “Njord” is a dream coming true, and all the hundreds of sleepless nights were worth it. We all have developed as musicians and technicians and this is experience that is unpayable. “Njord” (producer: my husband Alexander Krull) has a power to it that even is more intense than any previous production I’ve been part of. Technically, we constantly have new ideas and aims. We have our own studio and therefore we have the opurtunity to specialize in technical tasks concerning album and DVD productions. “Njord” has even a more bombastic but delicate sound that “Vinland Saga”, because techniques allows it. We recorded the classical parts in Minsk (Lingua Mortis, supervised by Victor Smolski), we had a complete local choir (Al Dente) singing the choir parts, moreover, a special artist playing solos on special instruments like the uillian pipe and the whistle. All this makes this album a multilayered and highly interesting experience for our listeners, for your ears, hearts and minds. If I should describe “Njord” in four words I would say bombastic, emotional, contrastive, and pure.
Where do you get the inspiration for the songs. Some sources are clear, like Ireland and the Norse mythology but what really inspires you to write a song?
It’s first of all my love for my homecountry, the Norwegian Nature, history, my family, the culture – everything I grew up with! I feel that our music needs a special well-written and interesting concept, and I want to travel through time and space. For me history has always been extremely interesting, and even when I left my homecountry Norway and moved to Germany 12 years ago, I had more books about the Vikings with me than clothes and shoes. I have travelled a lot and been able to see a lot of the world. History, languages, and geography has always interested me. Thorsten is the main composer of Leaves’ Eyes, he works out his ideas on his guitar. “Irish Rain”, however, was an idea I had one early morning. I hurried to the studio and worked out the tunes with him. Sometimes, ideas just appear to my mind, like a complete “song”.
And can you tell us something about the songs on “Njord” and “My Destiny”?
We recorded 18 (eighteen!) songs, and all of them are placed on the single “My Destiny” (out now) or the album “Njord” (out late August). Our listeners will get a lot for the money. That’s a way for us saying “thankyou” to our fans and friends all over the world. To mention a few examples, “Fröya’s Theme” is one of my favourites on the album, too, next to “Irish Rain”. “Fröya’s Theme” is about eight minutes long, it includes five languages, inclusive two “speaking” parts done by Alex and myself respectively. It tells the story about Fröya, the Goddess of sex with her extreme power of beauty. However, her lover Od leaves her as he has “wandering eyes” for other beautiful women. Fröya travels around and through the worlds in Northern Mythology to find him. Her tears are made of gold and they heavily strike the earth. This song is an epic masterpiece composed by Tosso, our guitarist.
Is “Scarborough Fair” a Simon and Garfunkel cover and if it is, why did you choose this song?
I was an exchange student in the English town Scarborough, and I got very interested in their culture. This song is a folk song sung in the middle ages, also by the Vikings, on a trading market, in Scarborough. I wanted to rewrite the tune into a more heavy version and I am very happy with the result!
“Les Champs de Lavande” is a French title. Lavande means Lavender and the South of France (the Provance) is famous for its wide fields (champs) of lavender.
Can you tell us something about this song and why is it a bonus track?
As we had composed the instruments for this song, I thought about France immediately! I immediately sensed the smell of my favourite flower and scent, lavender! The Provance Lavender was famous already in the Middle Ages. I sat down and tried to put together a Franch lyric, and a friend of mine in France corrected it. This song just had to be about Lavender, and it sounds more authentic and special when it is sung in French.
While recording “Njord” you were supported by The Lingua Mortis Orchestra under the aegis of Victor Smolski and a classical choir. Most people will know Victor Smolski from his work with Rage. And this band does not exactly belongs to the same genre as Leaves’Eyes.
How did you find him and what was his influence on “Njord”?
We met Victor during a Rage/Leaves’ Eyes’ show in Greece in 2007. We are so happy that he liked the idea of working with us. It adds the important depth and bombastic character in our music.
The Special Edition will have a Drakkar (viking ship). What can we expect?
This is a way for us saying thank you to our fans and friends. Remember, many of them are collectors. I used to collect Madonna and Black Sabbath/Ozzy special merchendise objects.
One of the things that would make a lot of fans happy is a duet between the Espenæs sisters. (think of Beyonce and Solange Knowless doing a duet). Have you ever considered this for “Njord”?
It’s not that easy since my sister moved back to Norway a couple of years ago, however, I am planning a duet on our fourth album, which will be a folk-oriented album, planned to be released in summer/fall 2010.
Do you already have some details about an upcoming tour?
Europe in November 2009, USA/Canada December 2009, then Europe and Russia in the beginning of 2010, and another long tour in the Autumn of 2010. Moreover, we have planned an acoustic tour between 28.08.-02.09 (please check the news!). We will play a capella in some of the Media Markets, for free for our fans, and we will have a lot of time to make photos with everybody, have a chat with our fans and friends and write some autographs. I enjoy acoustic tours. It’s a nice way to keep up our close relationship with our audience, moreover, we are able to show that we are good musicians and can play live without a huge stage with a huge technical plan behind everything.
And which songs can we expect live?
A set-list still has to be decided on.
Although I think you will be very busy with the promotion of “Njord” this year and 2010 I would like to ask when we can expect a new Atrocity album and a new Liv Kristine solo album?
It’s been 3 years since “Enter My Religion”, and it’s always good to gain a different aspect of your own art after some time has passed by. Right now, I am just about to finish the final recordings of my third solo album, and I see things in a new perspective now. “Enter My Religion” was an expensive production on a major label, however I made the decision in 2008 to release my third solo album on a another label, with a smaller budget, but having more freedom about the whole process, from the very first demo track, until the final master. I am very proud of “Enter My Religion”, however I have developed as an artist and technician and my third album will be a huge step forward. I have put my focus on sounding just like myself, recording songs in one take, so you “get” me with everything I am, my character, my emotional level, my breathing, sometimes perhaps perfect, sometimes maybe not. I just want the audience to hear ME, not some singing lady with a pretty nice voice. I want to creep up inside your hearts and senses. I wrote all the songs together with Torsten (guit. Leaves’ Eyes), all the lyrics myself, and my husband Alex is the producer of the album. Atrocity are already finishing their next Atrocity feat. Yasmin “Calling the Rain”, which will be out end of 2009/beginning of 2010.
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Inviolate – “Feast of Ashes” EP (2012)
- Illnath – “Third Act in the Theatre of Madness” (2011)
- Hysterica – “The Art of Metal” (2012)
- Hand of God – “The Hand of God” (2013)
- Flames of Fury – “FoF” EP (2013)
- Effloresce – “Coma Ghosts” (2012)
- Marie Fredriksson – “Nu!” (2013)
- Anneke Van Giersbergen
- Ines Lukkanen – Embassy of Silence
- Leaves Eyes’ – “Symphonies of the Night” (2013)
- Phildel – “The Glass Ghost” EP (2013)
- Lita Ford
- Sarah Teets – MindMaze
- Susanna Vesilahti – Unshine
- Trobar de Morte – “The Silver Wheel” (2012)
- Viper Venom – “In Venom Veritas” (2012)
- Via Obscura – “Gedanken” (2012)
- The Mariana Hollow – “Velvet Black Sky” (2012)
- Storyum – “Insomnia” (2012)
- Snei Ap – “Hidden Floors” EP (2013)
- Sin7sinS – “Carnival of No Tomorrow” (2012)
- MaterDea – “Satyricon” (2011)
- Rampart – “War Behast” (2012)
- Lita Ford – “The Bitch is Back… Live” LIVE ALBUM (2013)
- Epysode – “Fantasmagoria” (2013)
- Beyond God – “Dark Light of Dawn” EP (2013)
- Ayreon – “The Theory of Everything” (2013)
- Seremonia – “Ihiminen” (2013)
- Tuomas Tuovinen & Eveelina Kojo – myGrain
- TEODASIA announces European Tour with TARJA TURUNEN