Opinion – Can Things Be Any Worse for Leaves’ Eyes?
This last week has been a troubled one for fans of Leaves’ Eyes. First the band announced the departure of longtime vocalist, Liv Kristine. Though sad, fans accepted this until Liv’s official Facebook page told a very different story from what the band had published. It’s now well-accepted that Liv Kristine had been fired and the band had already replaced her and done a photo shoot. As expected, fan reaction was a mix of anger and sadness, but in light of recent scuffles with fans on social media, sadness and frustration has given way to red hot anger that has divided the fan base.
Scrolling through the comments on a recent post by Leaves’ Eyes Official, namely a redacted legal document claiming to explain that the split between the band and Liv Kristine was not hostile, revealed an unknown person using the band’s official page to viciously engage with fans that refuse to believe that the band was not plotting behind Liv Kristine’s back to replace her. Given the circumstances of a sudden new singer and a photo shoot, many fans are calling the band boldface liars and even demanding for the band to disband over these allegations. To make matters worse, some fans are inserting themselves into the personal lives of keyboardist, Alexander Krull, and Liv Kristine, which is about as beneficial as throwing gasoline on a forest fire. Of course, for the sake of objectivity, Metal at the Gates will not take an official stance in the ongoing battle between fans and Leaves’ Eyes, or the personal lives of the Krull’s. We will, however, speak on the manner in which the band’s social media representative is speaking to the fans – it is simply unprofessional and childish.
While the words exchanged with fans aren’t the nastiest, they do have a tinge of arrogance and disrespect to them. This has led to many fans giving the band digital finger, writing the band off, or having choice words, while others are coming to the band’s defense. Whatever the case, speaking down to your fans is not cool and one thing that caught my eye was that some fans are saying that fans aren’t entitled to anything from the band. As a musician, writer, and actor, I find this absolutely laughable because if there is one truth about the entertainment business it’s that your fans are your money. No fans means you’re working a 9-5 and wishing you were a big success. That being said, don’t take your fans for granted, they can make or break you.As for the ongoing feud between fans and the band, it’s getting out of control, but the fans have every right to be angry. Leaves’ Eyes just declared a North American tour and they have numerous European festivals lined up. These people paid or were going to pay for a show featuring Liv Kristine at the helm. This isn’t to say that Elina Siirala isn’t a good singer, she’s fantastic, but fans want the voice they heard on every single record thus far. That being said, you simply can’t change the face and voice of your band seemingly out of nowhere and expect fans not to raise hell. Of course, there are ways to deal with this. You can simply let them be pissed and move on, but if you absolutely have to engage with your fans you should do it with the utmost respect. It’s never ok to engage them in an unprofessional fashion, especially in a time of crisis – it’s not only counterproductive, it’s damaging to the band’s reputation!
As unfortunate as it is, what’s done is done and whoever is speaking on behalf of Leaves Eyes on Facebook is cutting the band’s throat. Their approach to counteracting fans’ frustrated posts has only served to worsen the problem at hand rather than relieve it. From neutral point of view it would be very wise for Leaves’ Eyes to simply put the matter to rest by disengaging from the issue at hand. By crossing swords with their fans they’ve only hurt themselves and that’s a damn shame. Leaves’ Eyes was more than Liv Kristine, but showing your fans disrespect does you no justice. In fact, by treating your fans like scum you’re simply making it easier for people to side with those that believe Leaves’ Eyes is dead without Liv Kristine.
Like any controversy, the sudden parting of Liv Kristine and Leaves’ Eyes will blow over eventually, but for the time being we’re staring at an uncontrollable wildfire. Nothing short of going back in time and stopping whatever unfortunate event that caused this split to happen will mend the broken hearts of Leaves’ Eyes fans. Of course, two things are going to need to happen if Leaves’ Eyes is going to survive this scandal – they need to treat their fans with respect.
Editor’s note – As time has passed, things have cooled down for Leaves’ Eyes and fans have warmly received vocalist, Elina Siirala.