Leaves' Eyes"I was 18 years old when I entered the gate of metal and my ex-band Theatre of Tragedy started getting successful," the blond and beautiful Liv Kristine -- who now fronts Leaves' Eyes -- recalled to Noisecreep about her earliest days as a woman in the metal scene. She isn't feeling objectified by her presence in the scene ... anymore, at least.

"Back then, I sometimes felt that certain people inside the music business didn't pay much attention to my opinions and taste. 10 years ago, I released my first solo album, and things suddenly changed, as the success increased. I felt like I was having a dollar bill on my forehead. Everybody wanted to decide 'what's better for me,' according to the money one could earn on my appearance.

"I even had to get through a terrible court case to get my rights back, the right to decide what I want to do here in this universe, being an artist. The people on the other side of the courtroom tried to minimize me into an object, and that hurt my soul, although I consider myself to be a very experienced singer with strong aims and opinions. Well, I've learned by doing. I am really happy that today I can do what I want to, I can let my heart decide and my business partners respect that."

Leaves' Eyes, Kristine's latest band, just released their third album and are touring in Europe. The band has a distinctly gothic feel, something that Kristine doesn't shy away from or eschew. "I don't mind that phrase, 'gothic metal,'" she said. "Together with Theatre of Tragedy, I was part of the 'gothic metal with female voice' revolution back in 1994 and 1995. We were the first band to have this sound, and got criticized a lot in the beginning. However, I am very proud of being part of that, and with Leaves' Eyes, I have further aims. The music comes from the heart and that's what counts for me. I don't get bothered by phrases and categorization attempts."

Kristine said the band does hope to tour the States again soon, perhaps at the end of this year!