For more than a decade now, LEAVES’ EYES have been setting world history to music and undeniably, by doing so, have raced to the top of the symphonic metal tree.
New album “SIGN OF THE DRAGONHEAD”! is the topic of the day, and Ignite had a chance to ask Alex Krull and new singer Elina Siirala talk about the new album and the videos.
IMM: The songs for this album excluding “Fires Of North” which came out as an Ep after Kings of Kings. Where these songs written for the Kings OF Kings album?
Alex: No, we actually started from scratch again and it’s very seldom we keep songs from the former session so it’s all new material and with Elina and was also clear to write some stuff a little bit different, new chances and new opportunities as well. So it makes sense to write completely new material.
IMM: And these songs were written after the tour was done?
Alex: Some were already done before and made the Ep Fires In The North and was like a creative phase between the tours. You get such a kick when on tour and when you come home you want to bring the energy to the record too. With all the life experiences on the tour, meeting fans, also how people react and stuff like that. Also, we had the chance after the Sabaton tour to bring the album to the perfect level because we pushed it back to January instead of bringing it out in autumn 2017. It was a very good plan for a pre-production with Elina which was really good and before the tour. Then went back to the studio to work everything out to the level we think it’s the best we can do.
IMM: And to the songs, are these an extension of King Harold?
Alex: Actually, the first song on the album “Sign Of The Dragonhead” is starting where Kings of Kings is ending from the story. But it’s not about one character, it’s more about the Vikings to start to spread out and some songs are connected to that but it’s all independent sagas or tales from each other and stands for themselves. “Across The Sea” for example, “Riders On The Wind”, “Sign Of The Dragonhead”, the seafarer Norsemen so when they went to the Shetland Islands, Oakley’s, Farrow Islands, Iceland and so forth, it started from there because some of the Vikings were leaving there country also by force because King Harlad of Norway had a lot of enemies of course. And they were banned out, he was hunting them or they were going themselves to find new territories.
IMM: Even to North America and those who don’t want to rewrite history books because it’s too much because they were here before Columbus
Alex: We made an album about that in 2005 called Vinland Saga about Leif Ericsson, the Viking who was responsible for that mission. And that is also a great saga of course.
IMM: Regarding the videos and to ask Elina on the video “Jomsborg” doing the battles. Elina what was like for to be that character to go to battle and to hit men?
Elina: It was fun; I’ve done some kind of acting and being in videos before of course it’s fun and like being on a film set. It kind of works with my character and since I was child I was kind of like a tomboy, running in the forest and I like that stuff being in nature. It was great!
IMM: The videos that Leaves’ Eyes dose Alex you can have your own television studio type productions and having your own TV series of Vikings.
Alex: (Laughter) Yeah for every song.
IMM: Where were the videos recorded?
Alex: Was shot at Wallmuseum Oldenburg which is in Northern Germany, also a big medieval Viking festival and the group from there is called Jomsborg Elag Starigard. And they actually helped us a lot with providing everything on the set and their Viking friends and authentic buildings, the wall itself and the longhouse and a great surrounding where you can go with the ship. It was great that the beach was not so far away and where Elina was a shield maiden riding a horse. That’s actually how it all came together where we made a deal for the next Leaves’ Eyes video that Elina will have to ride a horse (laughter) and be a shield maiden and learn to swing an ax and now she knows that too. That was really cool because the guys helped with that. It’s quite far from here and great support from the Oldenburg army so really, really cool.
IMM: There are two songs that are released for the Japanese pressing: “Beowolf” and “Winter Nights”
Alex: Actually, they are bonus tracks for everywhere else and another song an acoustic version for “Fairer Than The Sun” which is only for Japan. Actually, for certain time or something like that, it’s always like that because they have problems with imports from other countries so the Japanese distribution or label want to have their own kind of record with their own booklet to translate into Japanese. So they have their own special release. We also very happy that we are one of the only bands officially released in Japan.
IMM: “Beowolf” is a song about one of the Vikings?
Alex: Yeah, it’s a little bit more prehistoric saga and “Winter Nights” is song about they called it every year free of this feast where they met and very important for the tribes when they meet together that they have their kind of political affairs or relations between the several men going on and didn’t appear for very good reasons that you can become the enemy for the other tribe which was inviting you and stuff like that. It’s actually good Viking party song for us and nowadays and for this lonely dark winter nights people like to celebrate and come together and have a good time.
IMM: Elina, did you have any input on the songs for the lyrics?
Elina: Uh no, this time and in past as well that Alex is involved for writing the lyrics and of course for Kings Of Kings as well and been very closely tied to the Vikings saga and history and stuff. So it’s been easier for him to be in charge of that.
IMM: And for the tour, the band will be on the 70,000 tons of metal on February 1 and discussion currently for a North America tour as either opening or as a headliner or doing both?
Elina: Yes, there are some talks for another North America tour. We have our working visas are valid until November of this year but we will see. It’s still open there are options and takes little bit of time to organize everything.
IMM: It has to be done with a new generation of Vikings over here. How many songs from Kings Of Kings and Dragonhead to be performed?
Elina: It depends on how long the set is and we were doing three headline shows and did five from the new album and five or six from Kings Of Kings. And probably play a bit more from the new one as well.
IMM: Will there be another video from the album?
Alex: Were thinking of doing something for “Riders On the Wind”
IMM: It was good talking to both of you again
Alex: Thank you very much
Elina: Our pleasure