Entrevista con Liv Kristine


Con el próximo lanzamiento de su nuevo disco "Vervain", Liv Kristine sacó unos minutos para hablar de estos temas y otros cuantos como el proyecto The Sirens y lo nuevo de Leaves' Eyes. Por ahora esta es la versión en inglés, pero pronto estará la traducción disponible.

Hi Liv, thanks for your time. I know that you have been quite busy with a lot of projects lately, so let's begin with some questions about your new solo album. 

How do you come up with ideas for your solo work? Is it difficult to write material that is completely apart from Leaves Eyes?

Liv: The main rule is to concentrate on one album, one production. VERVAIN was composed after the release of Leaves' Eyes SYMPHONIES OF THE NIGHT. It's important to finish one production before starting a new one. 

First of all my solo albums do not include Celtic and Norse myths, legend and history. That's Leaves' Eyes' "territory". A Leaves' Eyes album almost always begins with a concept. This is not all the case concerning my solo albums. I always focus on one production at the time. In general it's mainly Thorsten, Alexander and myself who compose and produce all music generating from Mastersound Studio. I have always followed my musical heart, no matter band or project, Theatre of Tragedy, Leaves Eyes, Liv Kristine or guest appearances. I definitely need both, Leaves' Eyes and Liv Kristine, or lets say, I need ALL the freedom I can possibly get to move freely within my artistic world and dreams. I am incredibly lucky: my fans have always been there for me all these years. 

The main difference between Leaves Eyes and my solo band is also mainly rooted within the musical genres: Leaves'' Eyes is a metal band, influenced by Scandinavian and Irish traditional folk music, moreover, Norse mythology and Viking history when it comes to lyrics and concept. My solo project is probably at home in the genre of indie rock-pop music. I believe I was born with a creative heart and mind and I do need to develop, to spread my wings within music and art generally, which also means to be involved with different musical styles.

One of the first things I noticed when I listened to Vervain was a more "mature" and perhaps heavier sound. Was this a conscious decision?

Liv: I would say you are completely right. The sound is more mature. At the same time my up-coming release "Vervain"is a back-to-my-own-roots album; to me a highly important step in my artistic evolution, it's darker, heavier and doom-inspired. I felt that this was the perfect moment as I am always listening to my artistic heart and mind. I am very, very happy about this release, and I think many Theatre of Tragedy fans and followers will be, too. Currently there is a lot of promotion activities for the album going on which is hard work, however, I am very grateful that I have you - fans and friends all over the world- following me and taking interest in my artistic work. 

Actually both composing and recording went extremely well, the whole production was one smooth process, although making an album means a whole lot of work and sleepless nights at Mastersound studio. I would say we needed about a year. It was Tosso who mainly composed it, together with Alex, who also produced it at our own Mastersound Studio, as mentioned above. We are such a great team and Alex and Tosso know my abilities and goals. When I told both of them that I had in mind to write compositions based on my "earlier" days, they loved it! Sometimes I think the two of them can read my mind! Joris, my drummer, also did a killer job on Vervain! 

In you own words how would you describe Vervain in comparison to your previous solo albums?  

Liv: “Vervain” is my fifth solo album and I see it as the logical step after “Libertine”, while “Enter My Religion” and "Skintight" were more oriented to New Age / Pop. As mentioned above it is darker, heavier and more doom-based that the lighter "Libertine". It is obvious that Theatre of Tragedy certainly have played an important role in my artistic evolution, also concerning "Vervain". 

How did you come up with the idea of having Doro in the album and how was the experience of working with her?

Liv: A dream came true for me: Doro was here at Mastersound Studio recording this duet a while ago. "Stronghold of Angels" is truly one breathtaking powerballad - I just knew that Doro would be my perfect partner in duet here. Alex and Doro talked on the phone, we sent her the ballad, and a few days later she was here at Mastersound. We had so many crazy stories to exchange...in the end, the second day, we nearly missed her train! We left the studio with a 100km/h through the forest, Doro holding on to anything she could...but we made it! 

She always gives her maximum! I have worked with her on stage and in the studio. She is always hard working and gives everything for her fans. She is amazing, first class, an incredible singer...and one of the most warm-hearted and lovely persons I have ever met. 

Doro Pesch, both as a singer, and as a person, is definitely a role-model for me. She is wonderful, just fantastic. We all have a lot to learn from her. She is the most down-to-earth and honest person and artist I know.

Moving to the Leaves Eyes camp, how are thing progressing for a new release? Any surprises or experiments sound-wise? Possible release date?

Liv: We are currently recording our sixth full-length album. We already played one brand new track at the annual Metal Female Voices festival in Belgium last week-end. Our audience seemed very pleased! We will certainly let in Nordic influences on this release, especially thematically. 

Now that touring is over for Symphonies of the Night, how would you describe the actual touring and promotion of that album. What things were different and what learning experiences came from that chapter?

Liv: This release was definitely a highlight in the career of Leaves' Eyes. We celebrated this with a special anniversary show at MFVF (as mentioned above) just a few days ago. Lots of guests, we let our audience choose the setlist, we played one brand new track, we had the tallest flames and the loudest explosions, the best light and lots of surprises...it was a hell of a night! A fantastic birthday party! 

This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have toured four four continents and released five full-length albums and 3 EPs. We just played our headliner anniversary show in Belgium at MFVF which was absolutely wonderful. Right now I am about to release my fifth solo album "Vervain". I am now sitting on the express train on my way home after a superb tour with The Sirens. I am as busy as ever, however, very happy! Creativity and love towards music is the force behind my artistic work, as well as thankfulness towards my audience and fans. The adventure will go on for many years, I can promise you that! All of this is my life! There is only one thing being more important to me: my family.

There has been a lot hype for the Sirens project since pretty much is a collaboration between three of the most respected female Metal vocalist. How did this happen?

Liv: I just arrived from the first leg of the Sirens' tour, and I must say it has been overwhelming! I was lucky to meet Anneke at Masters of Rock (CZ) last summer. We had a few minutes only to talk in between our gigs, however, we agreed that we really should get together and tour together soon. We both had to smile then, thinking that we were, with Kari, the "originals" within our scene. Moreover, all three of us being mothers and still highly busy in music and art. Anneke told me that she had just talked to Kari...And that was the "go" for the "Sirens"! I am more than excited and happy to soon be practicing and sharing stage with my ladies! We are already putting together our live set list, preparing the program, so to speak. We met a while ago, the three of us for the first time, for an exclusive photo shoot in Stuttgart. It was superb sharing stage with them - they are absolutely lovely and we have so much in common. This is kind of magic. Moreover, our gigs are, too! Fans have been waiting for this for years and years. All three of us know that experience comes only with hard work and reflection upon your own standing point and progress. I am very proud to share stage with Kari and Anneke.

Concerning our setlist we play a handful of songs from our solo albums, for sure. I will play a few new songs from my up-coming solo-album "Vervain". We will sometimes do single appearances, sometimes two Sirens, and sometimes all three of us. The setlist also includes two brand new Sirens' songs: "Sisters of the Earth" and "Embracing the Seasons", next to some pearls by our former bands Theatre of Tragedy, 3rd and the Mortal and the Gathering. I know that our fans have been waiting for this for quite a while - I can assure you this is magic.

You three seem to have a very good chemistry. How was this translated into music from a writing perspective?

Liv: We had in mind to record at least two Sirens' songs prior to the first leg of our premiere tour. "Sisters of the Earth" and "Embracing the Seasons" were really appreciated by our fans. I am glad the chemistry is this good - remember, we are three ladies with three different careers, voices, backgrounds and personalities. However, I think this mix of spices make The Sirens so great and special. Three first-soprano singers without identity wouldn't make this band work at all.

How was the reception during the MFVF? Any plans of further touring or developing more this project?

Liv: it was absolutely amazing for The Sirens - I felt like being at home. A Metal Female Voices Festival including three "originals" is quite unique.

You have worked with many bands (Tyr, Cradle of Filth, Delain) and vocalists, but is there still any collaboration that you would like to happen? Any band or project you would like to be involved with?

Liv: Ozzy Osbourne!!! Or, as a contrast, a huge classical event with orchestra and famous singers, like e.g. for a soundtrack.

Last question! Given that you are very familiar with both having a band and the production/recording process of an album. What is your take on the current state of the music industry?

Liv: There were moments when I thought "that's it - I had enough of the music business". I was almost out of the business for about a year, I just had enough. I finished my master degree in language acquisition/Anglistics and worked at a school for kids with serious social or any kind problems, which really opened up my eyes! This creative lowlight was in 2002-2003 going through a court case because producer, label and manager wanted to force me to sing on music which just wasn't me. They pushed me into a tricky situation where I couldn't decide myself anymore. It was all about money. I lost the whole faith in the music business, moreover, a stalker made my life tough and Theatre of Tragedy, the band I formed with my friends in Norway, suddenly excluded me from the band without any good reason, with a message on their homepage. I thought I had lost everything and wanted to give up my musical career. Anyway, working with kids in a much, much serious situation than my own I learned to focus on the essential things in life. 

Finally, what came out of this business mess was that my friends from Atrocity and my husband formed Leaves' eyes with me. That was also in 2003. That same year my son was born, and we recorded "Loverlorn", our debut album, in the last four weeks of my pregnancy. Since then things are going really well. I thank my fans for always believing in my artistic work and abilities. I will always listen to my artistic heart and mind! Nowadays, I am really careful with whom I am working with, believe me. I feel better, healthier, more creative and stronger than ever....and that came with time and experience. I have found peace with the music industry, however, I choose my partners carefully, as already mentioned.

Thanks a lot for your time. Hope you see you sometime in Costa Rica.

Liv: The pleasure is mine! Thank you so much for your time! Hope to play in Costa Rica soon! 

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