Rock Impressions

by Giancarlo Bolther

Would you like to start telling us your artistic history, please?
I grew up with Black Sabbath through my parents and I was actually singing before I could talk! I was ten years old as I asked my girl-friend to play the piano for a song that I had written. We called ourselves “Twice”. We played music just for fun but I wanted to be in a band and be a singer, since I saw Madonna for the first time on TV!
Being 19 I started Theatre of Tragedy and from that point of I’ve been active in Gothic Metal, today with Leaves’ Eyes. I’ve released 8 albums during the last ten years and cooperated on many projects (Cradle of Filth is one example).

Why did you decided to leave Theatre of Tragedy to start your solo project?
I never left ToT; they kicked me out from the band after five albums and ten years of cooperation. They wrote a message on their homepage before telling me about their decision. This has nothing to do with my solo project. I released my first solo album “Deus ex Machina” eight years ago. Leaves’ Eyes is my new band together with the members of Atrocity. We are like a family and they are fantastic and highly professional musicians!

So far, how is the response of the audience to your new project?
The feedback from both press and audience has been fantastic so far! I really feel grateful to all of you!

How much time did it take to complete the new album?
About 5-6 months, which is a bit longer than “Lovelorn”, our debut.

The new album is based on a story about the Norvegian hero Leiv Eiriksson. Why did you choose this subject?
You are absolutely right. The historical frame for our new album is the discovery of America, around year 1.000, by Leiv Eiriksson. He and his crew left the west coast of Norway. Heading for Greenland, but due to bad weather they passed the island and ended up discovering America instead.
We do learn a lot about the history of the Vikings in Norwegian schools. The Pre-Christian times were among my favourite themes. Even before going to school I had read and heard a lot about the Vikings as I used to read and watch cartoons about them and afterwards ask my parents about more information. Also today the complete Viking age interests me, especially their daily lives, their journeys and the North-, West- and East-Germanic languages.

Your sound is very catching, melanconic, epic and romantic too, which is the message that you want to give?
I want to visualise the story of the Viking’s discovery of America “Vinland Saga” through music. The album is good for your heart and soul, not only for your ears!

How do you go about the process of composing songs?
Concerning "Vinland Saga", 8 or 9 tracks were already finished before I started thinking about a concept. I wanted to see how the music was developing first, to make sure that the music supports and realizes the “visual” idea of the concept. We also decided to replace the classical samplers by real natural instruments to get a bigger and more natural sound. Therefore the recordings took a bit longer than on the first album, but it was absolutely worth it and we are 100% satisfied with "Vinland Saga"! Everybody in the band is involved in the song-writing process. I’m also responsible for writing the lyrics, the concept and the vocal lines. Alex, my husband, is our producer. We record at our own studio (, Mastersound.

In your opinion which are the differencies between Lovelorn and the new album?
As I said, we decided to replace the classical samplers through a real orchestra to make the sound broader, bigger and more natural. The songs are a bit more complex than on our debut, which inspired me to use different singing styles to be able to float along to the music. “Vinland Saga” is also inspired by soundtracks and Celtic and Nordic traditional music.

And what is different between your new project and what you did with Theatre of Tragedy?
On the ToT albums there were more male vocals. We didn’t use so much classical instruments and weren’t influenced by classical music and sound tracks. In the beginning we wrote the lyrics in old English. I was involved in the song writing on the first three albums of ToT. Then I moved to Germany and couldn’t take part in the composing anymore, only being responsible for my vocal lines and sometimes helping out with the lyrics. However, to be kicked out of the band in the way which it happened (by a message on their homepage, nobody telling me about their decision) was bad luck, but sometimes bad luck leads to good luck: Leaves’ Eyes is definitely my good luck! I’m very happy with the way things are now. What ToT are doing now is their problem. It was not my idea to leave the band.

Gothic (or Dark Wave) music have always had a double character, the aestetic one and the spiritual one; which is the most important for you?
Hm, that’s a very difficult question. I can’t decide, both sides of me are important.

Which are the artists that have inspired you most?
Ozzy/Black Sabbath and Madonna! I grew up with Black Sabbath and later discovered Madonna.

What do you think about the actual gothic scene?
I was actively making music in Gothic Metal already ten years ago, before bands like Nightwish and Evenescence, however these bands also deserve their success. It just makes me sad when people don’t know where Gothic Metal with female voices comes from and how it all started.

Nowadays there is a lot of interests in bands leaded by female singers, but does it is still difficult for a woman to be respected as an artist or it is easier?
I’ve never had any problems. I love my hobby/job and my audience. I feel very grateful!

How do you live the day-to-day reality outside the band? What kind of person are you as a person and as an artist?
Most of the time I, Alex, Leon (our son) and the rest of Leaves’ Eyes are in the studio (we have our own studio, see We really enjoy working together and we spend a lot of time together outside the studio, too. But if I’m not being busy in the studio I love to be in the Nature with Leon, also doing sports. I love running, swimming and yoga. I also love reading and writing little stories myself.

Recently you got a child (Leon, my congrats), does this experience changed you in some ways?
My life has become even better than before! To be both a mother and an artist is the best combination for me – two dreams have come true! However, the most fantastic thing which has happened to me is the birth of Leon. He is the most important in Alex and my life!

You and Alex are partners both in your private life and the artistic one, how difficult is to combine these two aspects?
It's wonderful to work with my husband and to be next to each other when we are working. He is a fantastic producer and I am happy about his advice. Sometimes we forget that we are married and that we actually have a private life to take care of, but as soon as we are out of the studio we are a loving couple again!

You’ve got a sister who does an artistic carreer too, how do you live the relationship with her?
My sister is my best friend! The debut album of “Midnattsol” is like a sunny and fresh morning in the spring! I love it, and I’m so proud of my Carmen!

Recently you visited our country (Italy), what do you remember about your trip?
What an audience! Italians have a big heart for music! Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to eat your fantastic pizza…?

I remember that Alex, during his performance, preached against religions, cause in his opinion they are the origin of wars and hate between people, but at the funeral of the previous pope (John Paul II) we saw together people from very different credos and cultures, maybe people is not so divided by religions or something is changing?
Yes, you are right concerning the funeral of Pope John Paul II, however, what is happening at Gaza right now is terrible.

Do you have a philosophy? Your vision of the world is…
Don’t destroy it! There are more generations to come. Our children deserve to experience the purity of Nature!

Which are your future projects?
I signed a record deal for my solo project with Roadrunner Records last year. We are in the middle of the recordings now. The album will be released in the fall this year. This is a dream coming true for me. It’s seven, eight years ago since I released my debut solo album “Deus ex Machina”.

A salute to your italian fans…
You are a fantastic audience with a big heart for Metal! Thankyou for all the wonderful comments in my guest book (! I read every single of them!
Take care!


Reviews (in italian): Lovelorn; Elegy; Vinland Saga

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