The remaining members of LEAVES' EYES and their former singer, Liv Kristine, have offered different accounts of the circumstances behind their split, with LEAVES' EYES claiming the decision to part ways was amicably made in January and Liv saying she was dismissed from the group less than two weeks ago.
LEAVES' EYES announced this past weekend that it had parted ways with Kristine and replaced her with Elina Siirala, a Finnish vocalist who lives in London, England. Siirala made her live debut with the band on Sunday, April 17 at the Hammersonic festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Earlier today, LEAVES' EYES released the following statement via the band's Facebook page:
"We are just back from a great weekend in Indonesia. Our first show with Elina went awesome! Despite a heavy tropical storm before the gig, 21,000 people showed up in front of the stage!
"We understand that many fans and friends are surprised and shocked about the change in our band. We all know Liv had an important role for the band in the past, and we understand people are sad as it was not an easy decision for every one involved. But since a lot of hateful and disrespectful comments are in the social media, we would like to take the opportunity to make some points very clear: LEAVES' EYES has always been a band, and not a project, nor a Liv Kristine solo project at all. We always worked as a team in LEAVES' EYES. In the last decade Tosso [guitarist Thorsten Bauer] and Alex [Krull, LEAVES' EYES' co-vocalist and Liv's husband] wrote the music for LEAVES' EYES and Liv took care of the lyrics.
"Liv's solo project is called 'Liv Kristine.' We supported Liv also in her solo career, writing music, recording and producing albums and doing management in the past.
"The decision to part ways with Liv was taken by all LEAVES' EYES members, including Liv. A mediator — a friend of Liv and Alex — was at the band meeting who can witness that the decision of parting ways was agreed by all members. Liv was happy to have the opportunity to plan changes in her future life and she does not have to go on tour so much anymore. The idea to go separated ways came up already in January. Elina was not part of this decision or process. It was also agreed to help Liv for her solo project 'Liv Kristine' and record her new demo songs and her further projects at the studio just like in the past.
"Please respect the privacy of Liv and Alex! Disrespectful postings and bashing is harming their family situation and their son Leon. Liv and Alex don't want to split fans — don't give false rumors, haters and bashers a chance!
"At the moment, we can't tell you more details as legal actions are in process.
"To our worldwide fans who are there for the music and not the gossip: LET THE MUSIC TALK!
"We are looking forward to present new material with Elina soon!
"Stay tuned for news of our upcoming video clip, music and tour updates."
Shortly after the LEAVES' EYES statement was posted, Liv took to her personal Facebook page to thank the fans and to clarify several points. She said: "Dear fans and friends, without you I wouldn't have the strength to continue with music. What you all have done for me with all your endless support and passion keeps me going on in these difficult times.
"Thank you for warning me concerning new postings by someone in LEAVES' EYES, done to harm me and make my situation even worse.
"I have nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
"I was told a bit longer than a week ago that I am not preferred as the band's singer for further tours and recordings anymore. I asked for the situation concerning Indonesia and the soon-to-happen up-coming shows. The answer was 'no.' I asked if there's a replacement and I got no clear answer.
"I can't believe this process happened behind my back, parallel to a huge disappointment in my private life.
"A few days later, there certainly was a replacement. I must say — that was 'quick'!
"I still see LEAVES' EYES as 'my baby' and I will miss playing these gigs, feeling the good vibes, sensing the real Norwegian Viking power with the audiences. Inside my heart I will always treasure LEAVES' EYES for all the good music, tunes, themes, concept and true Viking power. The melodies I used to sing will always stay alive in my ears.
"I can't wait to unveil good news for you soon. There will be good news coming from Norway!"
An earbook tour edition of LEAVES' EYES' latest album, "King Of Kings", will be released in June, including a new version and video for the song "Edge Of Steel", featuring Elina. There will also be a U.S. edition of "King Of Kings" with the new version of "Edge Of Steel" as a bonus track.
LEAVES' EYES performing with Elina Siirala for first time:
Photo of new LEAVES' EYES lineup: