Kyle McGinn of Dead Rhetoric recently conducted an interview with LEAVES' EYES frontman Alexander Krull and new frontwoman Elina Siirala. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Dead Rhetoric: In terms of [original LEAVES' EYES singer] Liv's [Kristine] departure, was it unfortunate that it ended up in this big Internet mess?
Alexander: "That was not the plan at all. We made a statement together with the band, with Liv and Elina, presenting her as the new vocalist in the band. Then it turned out that suddenly rumors were spread — the statement was attacked by our former vocalist as well, which was very disappointing for us. It was not a decision made from one day to another, or planned behind anyone's back. Not at all. It [the statement] was coming up as a process, as things happened. After our personal separation [between Krull and Kristine, who are married and have a son, Leon], everything was solved. The personal side was solved, and the band side was solved — actually in a peaceful way. But then, it happened that someone else popped up, in the personal life of Liv, and was affecting the band. Her therapist was affecting her side of life, and also the band. We were really surprised with what was said to us: no more tours, no more interviews. We were, like, 'What's going on now?" It was not very nice to see what was happening. Speaking for myself, and not for Tosso [LEAVES' EYES guitarist Thorsten Bauer], we supported her ever since she started her career. I was there when the label signed her, I was always on her side — as manager, producer, and songwriter. Then you see this — I'm a little bit surprised at how fast it can go, as someone goes there and manipulates, and does stuff like that. On the other side, we were really, really lucky to find someone like Elina in that situation. We had the band meeting — Liv had told us that a tour like this would be her suicide, or whatever. There was no way that we could continue [with her]. We had to cancel everything or we had to find someone else, who could fill this huge role. Not just to fill in the big shoes of Liv Kristine, but someone who is their own character — charisma, strength, a great singer… also looking great [laughs] — the whole package. She had to be suited for the band. Because it is a band — not a solo project. It was never 'a project of the ATROCITY guys with Liv Kristine.' In the beginning we had that going on, and we had to tell everyone that it was a full band. We had other band members coming and going — it's obviously a very important role, and we had to find someone who could not only fill her shoes, but also be refreshing and give us new possibilities in the music. It's all about the music. It's about the philosophy behind the lyrics, and the concept of the band. Not the gossip that's going on about 'Alex replacing his former wife with a new chick' — bullshit like that. That was not at all happening — even Liv wanted to be part of looking for a new singer — it was not about private stuff. But we said, no, we will continue the band ourselves, so of course, it's up to us who we want to work with in the future. It just so happened that we found Elina, and for both sides, I think it was very lucky. Also, it was a matter of time — we had to decide whether we would cancel Indonesia, European festivals/tours, and this [North American] tour as well… or we might have the opportunity to go on."
Dead Rhetoric: So Elina, what do you feel that you bring to the band?
Elina: "I think, first of all, like Alex said, I don't see myself as replacing Liv, because that's not possible. I think we are very different — as characters, as singers, and as performers. I think, hopefully, I bring something new, in terms of vocals — our styles are different. Maybe performance-wise — the voice is always going to dictate what you do with the music, so I think the future songs are going to show this more. We are still performing the old repertoire at the moment. I can just be myself, I'm not trying to copy anyone but just do everything as myself and hope people like it."
Dead Rhetoric: With the controversy that was stirred up, was there a sense that people didn't quite grasp the size of the role that you [Alex] played in the band, or your involvement with the lyrical concepts/production/etc?
Alexander: "We are always involved in the music and the lyrical concepts so we want to keep going with that, of course. I just think, when you are in the music business for a long time, and you see in other bands too, that people work more in the background that you think. It's not like it's one person doing everything [laughs]. I understand — if I think back, I remember there was a band called IRON MAIDEN. Suddenly they had a new singer, and I was a die-hard band back then. This guy was called Bruce Dickinson, and I was like, 'Who is this? It's the SAMSON singer. Okay…does it work?' Then 'The Number Of The Beast' came out… I don't have to say anything about that, right? [Laughs] It's a good example, I think. On the other side, I still love 'Killers' the most! So I understand if people stick to whatever their favorite album is, because music is often connected to private life. Maybe you met your first love and you found LEAVES' EYES, or you had a bad time and the music helped you, or you were just in a certain phase of your life and you were really into the band and you have great memories. That will always be there. But for the future, maybe the best thing is still to come."
Read the entire interview at Dead Rhetoric.