Leaves’ Eyes – Of Myths and Legends

Thursday, 11th April 2024

Returning triumphant after 2020’s The Last Viking, symphonic metal act Leaves’ Eyes this time takes a turn towards the mystical and magical with their new album, Myths of Fate. Not a concept album this time, but just as massive a production and impressive in its storytelling, Leaves’ Eyes again prove their dedication to providing some of the most lush musicianship in the genre. We caught up with vocalist Elina Siirala to get her thoughts on the album and new members in the band, as well as her other group Angel Nation and thoughts on social media as a whole.

Dead Rhetoric: You were recently on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise once more. What was it like to be back?

Elina Siirala: It was really amazing! We didn’t get much sleep and obviously had some jet lag, but it was really nice! The boat is always great – there’s such a great atmosphere and I met lots of really nice people, some old and some new. Playing the shows and new songs, I have no complaints, it was a refreshing trip for sure.

Dead Rhetoric: This is the first Leaves’ Eyes album without Tosso on guitar, as well as a few new members involved. How does this new Leaves’ Eyes line-up feel to you?

Siirala: The pandemic gave us a lot of extra time to let us get used to this new situation and let us take our time with the album. I feel like we needed it, from the professional and personal point of view. Luc [Gebhardt] joined the band and he is fantastic. We always have fun together. The band isn’t about the band, but that we are also friends and have fun together. We are all also in touch with Tosso still, it’s a big family!

Dead Rhetoric: What else stands out about Myths of Fate to you? What makes it feel special?

Siirala: We made the decision with the topics of the album, with the last one being a concept album and historical, and we wanted to concentrate more on mystical and magical topics. I was instantly gripped with this idea, because Alex [Krull] comes up with the concepts. For me, personally, I was much more involved in the process of making this whole album. I was more there, physically, and we all sat together. I was there when the guitars and drums were done – I even played 3 notes on the bass demo [laughs]! It was a proud moment! I also wrote a song for the album. It felt a little different, but the main thing was that vocally I was doing completely different stuff. It’s the most versatile material I have recorded, and I’m really proud of the results. I’m just excited of doing things a different way. I think everyone wants to show what they can do, and that was my goal with this album.

Dead Rhetoric: So did your three notes make it into the recording, or was it just on the demo?

Siirala: [Laughs] Just the demo unfortunately. But they were very essential [laughs]!

Dead Rhetoric: As far as the myths go, do you have a particular favorite?

Siirala: There’s a lot of fascinating stories on the album, so it’s hard to pick from them. I think visually, our latest single “Who Wants to Live Forever” is quite striking – the goddess with her golden apples and giving youth. Its fascinating what people believed even then – they wanted this eternal youth and vitality…so nothing has really changed. Then there is the last song, “Sail with the Dead” and all kinds of stuff. It’s really cool!

Dead Rhetoric: You mentioned the videos, there’s been some pretty impressive videos so far for the new album. What are some of your memories surrounding some of the videos this time around?

Siirala: Alex is filming and editing – he is doing everything himself, so it’s really amazing what he is doing with these videos! We had some great locations! One of the highlights obviously has to be Iceland. It was my first time there, and it was a really amazing trip. We filmed a lot there, for several videos. I saw a lot and it was an incredible experience. Being able to film these things, with these types of stories that are so visual, it’s easy to bring them to life. Of course, it has to be done in a way that serves the song and is doable. It’s been a thrilling journey with them.

Dead Rhetoric: Considering the live energy of the band, has there been discussion about doing a live album/dvd? I know there was one, but it was about 15 years ago now.

Siirala: That’s a good question – that would be great! Thanks for the idea [laughs]. There aren’t any plans that I know of, but we did recently have the Wacken live stream so that people could watch it. It would be really nice to have a big show so that we could film it.

Dead Rhetoric: What do you feel are the best tips for surviving the touring lifestyle that you have?

Siirala: I think the music has to speak for itself. It has to have the quality, passion, vision, and everything has to mesh together and work. You need the band as individuals and then have the power to push through together. It’s not easy to be in a band these days. It takes a lot of sacrifice, a lot of perseverance, and all kinds of things. I think the main point is to always do things with good quality and passion. That is something that people will see and it will touch. If there’s no passion, what’s the point?

Dead Rhetoric: How are things with Angel Nation?

Siirala: It’s been very challenging. We were super lucky to be able to do the third album. It’s crazy that it’s already been two years since it came out! I moved from London and there was Brexit happening, and it really doesn’t help. I also have to prioritize my time, which has to be with Leaves’ Eyes. It’s my baby still, but we will see what happens with it in the future. It would be nice to keep it going in the future. I have hope that we can do some things with it.

Dead Rhetoric: What is it like to deal with the social media aspect of music on a daily basis? Does it ever feel exhausting?

Siirala: Social media is what it is. You have to take it as it is. With everything, I don’t take overly positive or overly negative things – you have to filter it. It’s a little frustrating that things, in my opinion, are not so important, seem to get more engagement and attention than the things that are important to me. Who knows where that comes from? The algorithm? I don’t know. I’m no expert. It’s not my passion for sure. I love it for keeping in touch with people and informing them, or even thanking them for listening to the music. I like to bring a bit of my personality to it as well. But yeah, you have to take it for what it is. It’s not a big part of my life in that sense. I could definitely be happy without it [laughs]. I think it’s a great way to stay in touch with the fans, so I don’t have too much negative to say about it.

Dead Rhetoric: What do you feel your proudest moment is, as a musician?

Siirala: Wow, that’s a tricky one. It really depends on how you look at it. One of the proudest moments was when we released our first album with Angel Nation way back then. It was the first thing, and I’m still proud of it, and it started this metal journey for me. It’s so difficult to single something out. I would say that maybe this is weird, but I’ve had quite a journey with my voice in the last few years, and the way I was able to pull myself back, with the help of others, and be where I am now, that’s also something I’m very proud of. It’s not easy to go through things, and to be completely honest, I was almost considering stopping at one point. That’s also something I’m really proud of, and it’s why I keep saying I’m really proud of this album. For me, vocally, it’s the best one for me.

Dead Rhetoric: So is there anything else that makes you feel that it’s your best work so far?

Siirala: It’s the combination of knowing my instrument better now. I know my strengths and weaknesses – I know some things I can’t do as well, but there are others I’m really good at. It’s bringing that to the table in a more knowing way. So that I can do justice to the songs in a way. I can do it the way I want to do it, and sound a certain way, and pushing the boundaries to see ways that I can do it differently. It makes it more fun, instead of seeing it as me only being able to sing a certain way. You can also bring more character to the song, in my opinion. It feels more complete with the melody.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve been in the band for almost 10 years now. How do you feel that time has shaped you as a person?

Siirala: It’s crazy how time flies. Of course the pandemic was in there – 2016 but subtract like 3 years. But I would say I’m very different as a person. I have been through a lot of…it sounds so cliche…but growing, as a person. I know my voice better, and myself better. It’s always an ongoing process with everything. I’ve been through things, some bad and some good, and they have really shaped me. I have to say I am feeling pretty good now, in who I am and my voice. It’s definitely positive.

Dead Rhetoric: What are your plans for this year?

Siirala: I’m just so hyped about the album coming – we have videos. Then we have a tour coming, which will be great. I hope people will love the album as much as I do. Then we will play a lot in the summer and then later in the year. There are always plans, but it’s all in the air right now, so let’s hope it all comes to reality.

Leaves’ Eyes official website
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