Three albums we have been able to sail along with King Harald and his Viking ships. But now it is time for the rugged Normans to settle down and pass on the heroic adventures to their (grand)children. The ships stay on dry land. On their upcoming album “Myths Of Fate”, out on March 22nd via AFM Records, LEAVES’ EYES switch the accent to Norse mythology, although the Vikings still make themselves heard here and there. We were able to ask Finnish born Elina Siirala some questions about the new album.

Interview by: Henk van Nieuwenhoven


“Many of the legends derive from the Norse mythology, but they also have connections to the Viking sagas.”

LEAVES' EYES chapter1Hello Elina. You just came back from the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise. Well-rested?
“Hi! It was an incredible trip! Not much sleep though and a lot of traveling, so maybe not so well rested, haha. It was all worth it though, was amazing to see everyone, meet some new people, play the shows including new songs!”

LEAVES’ EYES have been on a journey for two decades now, sailing the seven seas with your Viking ship. A cause for celebration, or did you let that pass by?
“It’s definitely very impressive looking at the long journey the band has made so far! I joined in 2016 and have been touring all over the world since, so it’s been an amazing adventure! Releasing a new album will be a great celebration for us, going back on tour and who knows what else will come this year.” 😉LEAVES' EYES ElinashootWe must have a serious talk about Alexander, because he is barely seen and heard on the videos released from tracks off the new album “Myths Of Fate” so far. He was more doing things behind the camera (filming, directing). Does that mean he will step back from singing in LEAVES’ EYES bit by bit?“Haha no, not at all! But you’re right, he has taken on even more by filming and editing our music videos! There are many songs that have more of his vocals on and still one more video to come as well! It can be difficult to choose which songs to pick for videos and in this case we all agreed that some of them would be the ones that happen to have only my vocals on. The singles all show a good overview of the album, they’re different to each other and also give a great canvas for music videos.”LEAVES' EYES InEternityLEAVES' EYES chapter2Now that we’ve mentioned the new album, I saw that you used quite a bit ‘odd’ instruments during the recordings. The guys from Triglav brought their horns, Lea-Sophie Fischer from Eluveitie played violin and Thomas Roth came in with his Nyckelharpa. Anything else we should know about ‘unusual instruments’?
“Having these traditional instruments has always been a part of LEAVES’ EYES albums and it was no exception this time. Together with Jonah‘s incredible orchestrations, this album definitely has a bombastic sound! Each song needs a different sound and sometimes a distinctive instrument like the Nyckelharpa fits in very well. I was in the studio when the guys were recording their horns and as they are completely natural, it’s very difficult to play them. I applaud them for being able to do so many different  ⋙

variations: long notes, short ones, rising, descending, etc.”
LEAVES EYES albumOn “Myths Of Fate” you move away from the Viking battles and Harald Hardrada and turn to Norse mythology. “Realm Of Dark Waves” is about the goddess of sea, Ran. She turns drowned sailors into water spirits under water, for what purpose?
“She’s this perfect combination of alluring, beauty and evil. It was the legend that she turned the drowned sailors into water spirits. I’m sure it wasn’t to have company as she has a husband and nine daughters, haha. She rules the water with cruelty and fear, so her whole being is based on this reputation. Definitely not the goddess you want to cross.” 😉

And still, you couldn’t let go off the Vikings completely, as the first single from the album, “Forged By Fire”, still has that Viking mood in the video (and Alexander singing as well). Who forged the Tyrfing sword and what happened to it in the end?
“The legend tells that the sword was forged by two dwarfs who put a curse on it. The King who named it Tyrfing actually lost it in a battle, then it was passed on to another son who died and was buried with it. Then the story says that a shield maiden recovered the sword, two brothers fought over it and one of them was killed… Every time the sword was drawn, it had to kill someone. So it brought a lot of misery, rivalry and death to its owners.”

LEAVES' EYES chapter3Quoted in percentage, how much on “Myths Of Fate” is still Viking and how much is Norse mythology. What will these percentages be on the next album?“It’s all intertwined, so exact percentages would be very difficult to say. Many of the legends derive from the Norse mythology, but they also have connections to the Viking sagas. Alex is the one coming up with the concepts and topics, so I know he often has a saga in mind he wants to write about. It needs a certain type of song and sometimes the music is first, sometimes the text idea comes first. Who knows what he’ll come up with for the next album, I’m excited to see!”

In “Sons Of Triglav” you take a trip to Slavic mythology and invited the Polish Viking and Slavic re-enactment group Triglav to the studio. Did they and Alexander exchange some experiences and tips on this Viking re-enactment thing?
“It was certainly a one of a kind atmosphere when I arrived at the studio and there were about 15 Polish Vikings, haha. Of course the focus was on the album and getting all the parts recorded, but the next day we also met at the HIKG for some filming and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with the re-enactment groups! It’s very inspiring to see the passion and dedication that goes into it. The authenticity and skill including the craftsmanship and of course battling! These people are also extremely generous and always ready to help, also lending clothes to me and bringing the best attitude with great humor!”

The videos for “Realms Of   ⋙

Dark Waves”, “Who Wants To Live Forever” and “In Eternity” were (partly) filmed in Iceland. That’s quite the opposite of Tenerife where you celebrated your birthday and the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise in the Caribbean. Did you shoot all three videos in Iceland at the same time?
“Iceland was absolutely the perfect place to film as the scenery is so different depending on the location. We were able to film four completely different videos during one trip that lasted 5 days. Thanks to our friends Daniel and Egill who took us to all these amazing places, helped us through the whole process! It was certainly a bit more uncomfortable due to the cold, but the results are absolutely amazing, so I already forgot about my freezing hands, haha.”

LEAVES' EYES chapter4At Wacken Open Air and during the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise you already played some tracks from the new album. How was the crowd’s response to them?
“That was so much fun and Wacken was a perfect premiere for “Forged By Fire”! It was an overwhelming feeling seeing tens of thousands of people clapping during the intro! 70000 Tons was also a perfect place to premiere “Realm Of Dark Waves”, a song about the goddess of the sea. The new songs have gotten really good response and I enjoy playing them live a lot!”LEAVES' EYES IcelandA week before the release of “Myths Of Fate” you embark on a European tour with Northtale, Metalite and Catalyst Crime. Bands from different labels but yet still a very interesting package. Who put them together for this tour?
“I can’t wait to be back on the road as it’s been a long time for us! Will be great to play songs from The Last Viking and Myths Of Fate since most people didn’t hear them live yet! The tour packages are usually done together with our booking agent and I agree, it’s a great line up! Very much looking forward to playing with these great bands!”

And finally a non-LEAVES’ EYES related question. What’s the status of Angel Nation at this moment?
“It’s been almost two years since the release of “Antares” and time has flown so quickly! I’m so grateful for everyone who helped us making the album and we enjoyed playing live in the UK and Europe after the release. Since I moved out of London and the UK left the EU, it was even more difficult in terms of organizing shows, which is a pity. I of course need to focus on each band at a time and the past year went completely with the recordings of this new LEAVES’ EYES album. Angel Nation is where it all started for me and of course very close to my heart, so let’s see what the future brings.”  LEAVES' EYES Elina70000tons