Liv Kristine is a new and free woman and knows the importance of life, people and the little things that surround it. Her new life has involved reorganize many aspects, prioritize needs and rebirth personally and professionally.
The last time that Liv and I met us was in London in December 2015, where we spent a wonderful day due to her solo concert at the legendary Underworld. A few months later, after all the hype that has formed around she and her ex-band, Liv promised me that her first interview when she returned to the musical activity would be with me and, again, Liv has shown me that she is a woman of word, so exclusive, Liv breaks her silence in Empire.
Por Marc Gutiérrez
Colaboración en traducción: Soraya Muñoz
EMPIRE (EM): First of all, the most important thing is to know how you are and how you feel at this time.
LIV KRISTINE (LK): Thank you, I am so glad and relieved that my life has gained new daily-life structure and there’s a brand new positive feeling towards my own situation. I can’t deny it – times have been utterly complicated and tough, what a year! I have been busy finding a new home, having temporary different jobs to settle financially after I had to leave Leaves’ Eyes. Moreover, it has been of vital importance for me to find my own way and accept what happened in the past. Life is a never-ending learning process. Experience is everything, next to a loving heart. I have tried to define “love” and “passion” through experience and I am so grateful for this new chance. In my opinion and own experience you are alive when you feel real and honest love. I am living much more in this very moment with my son and all the wonderful, special people around me. I also would like to thank my fans for being a constant, steady strength and platform for me.
EM: How is your new life in your new flat? How are Leon and Laika?
LK: After months of searching we finally found a cozy little home where we are staying for rent. The three of us feel very happy here and my landlords are really lovely people. It felt good to renovate our new home by myself, making it shine with all my ideas. Every morning I run through the vineyards, moreover, there’s a sweet grocery shop, wine shop and bakery nearby. We’ve got everything we need. Especially peace. It’s nice to share this process with my fans all over the world.
EM: What did you think when, from Mastersound Entertainment, published the private papers of the band on Facebook?
LK: I really disliked that. What’s the meaning of this? First of all, I found it utterly unprofessional to post a band protocol I had never seen. It was neither signed by me, nor does it tell the whole truth. What the hell is going on? This is the property of the band, not of the rest of the world. Yes, it really hurt. I never thought any of my ex-band members would find it reasonable and cool to talk about my son and my private situation in interviews, and then post the bullshit on all Leaves’ Eyes’ pages. This doesn’t make the situation for the band and their new singer any better. To me it was a shock. I wonder what’s the point in attacking me privately? The most important thing is the safety of my son. That’s why it upset me so much. I have stayed away from press for months now. This is my first interview after the breakup on both personal and professional level early this year. Leaves’ Eyes should concentrate on their career and be professional instead of being destructive. I just had to stop caring, the best way is to ignore the negative, to accept the past and concentrate on the positive. I love Leaves’ Eyes music, what we once had together, however, I will be moving on for sure and I am not taking negative influences from anybody. This is also what I can say to any singer being a replacement for somebody who was there first.
EM: What do you think about the reaction of your fans following these weeks of crisis and confusion? Even some of them have been blocked from Leaves’ Eyes Facebook profile.
LK: This situation could have been handled in a much more professional way. First rule: don’t post private property like an unsigned band protocol on all your pages if you want to keep calm and act peacefully with the world (fans) around you.
EM: Let’s change the subject, recently you are been playing with Eluveitie as a special guest, How was the experience? Will you come back to sing with them? Is it possible for you to become a permanent member of Eluveitie?
LK: Singing with Eluveitie was great fun! The guys are lovely and we had so much fun. We haven’t talked about a membership, I am just a guest singer and a good friend of the band. I am very grateful for this chance. Amazing to be back on stage, moreover, I could meet many of my fans and business partners along the road.
EM: How did you feel performing with another band that was not yours and where you are not the main artist? Do you feel more or less pressure?
LK: Less pressure because I didn’t have so many obligations to take care of others that signing sessions, preparing the songs and my actual guest appearance. I enjoyed the shows so much, having a drink after the show, sharing any experience and good times with the band members of Eluveitie. Lovely people, superb music!
EM: Recently you have done collaborations with Hortus Animae, Tanzwut, Primal Fear, Eden’s Curse and Akoma, is it a way to continue working without the pressure of being your own music?
LK: I have to say that I enjoy guest appearances really much. Such an experience opens up for further chances and positive, creative connections. My latest contribution is the duet “Unconditional” with Eden’s Curse – my Scottish friends. I love the track, it’s online by now. During my recent visit to Berlin I had a cup of tea with Teufel. I would really love to cooperate more with Tanzwut in the future. “Stille Wasser” was well appreciated by the fans. We came up with some really cool and creative ideas at the cafe yesterday.
EM: Next week you will be presenting / performing at the Metal Female Voices Fest (MFVF) in Belgium and I know that is very special for you because I think you’ve performed there in nine editions, what can we expect from your concert and your set list? It will be the same as your last European tour or will be news?
LK: I am a bit excited – it’s my first own gig since my final gig with Leaves’ Eyes in Israel on my birthday last February. However, it’s going to be a great relief for me to connect with my fans again, LIVE! My solo band is already rehearsing in Holland. I can’t wait to get back on stage!
EM: In MFVF you will be playing with Savn, How are going the rehearsals? You only play “I’m free”; or are you preparing something else?
LK: I will be on stage joining SAVN for one song as far as we have planned for now. This is going to be magic – it’s been a long time since I joined my little sister, Carmen, on stage.
EM: What can you tell me about the musicians who will play with you in MFVF? Tommy Olson will be with you? Recently I talked to Vic Anselmo and told me that he was looking forward to play with you, He will be in MFVF?
LK: This time my solo band will support me on stage, plus my special guest Raymond for the older Theatre of Tragedy tracks. Tommy is currently busy in his studio in Norway. We have to get on with the up-coming production, I can’t wait to release my next album.
EM: When you were kicked out from Theatre of Tragedy, you founded /formed Leaves’ Eyes. I mean that your career has always been in very high levels. What can we expect now? Maybe a new band with new musicians or maybe a solo career under your own name as Doro Pesch have Tarja Turunen, Anneke van Giersbergen, Kari Rueslatten, Vic Anselmo?
LK: I will definitely continue under my own personally given and artistic name Liv Kristine. I don’t want to change my own name for a project or new band. I am happy that my solo band has existed for all these years. The constant release of solo albums has been highly important for my personal and artistic developing process. Even reading lyrics of past songs and releases now makes me see my process with different eyes and my artistic expression triggers me to self-reflection upon personal themes and issues.
EM: A question that many fans now become: Is there any option for the meeting of Theatre of Tragedy?
LK: No. There’s no more Theatre of Tragedy, only in the constellation of Raymond being the special guest in my solo shows.
EM: I know you have spent some very tough months, but also your travel to Navarra (Spain) has been a source of energy to afford your full personal recovery, right?
LK: These weeks were of vital importance. I am glad you mentioned this. It was a time for me to gather strength, because I felt completely empty and powerless after all the things that had happened last Spring. In Navarra my son and I met amazing and lovely people, we walked the Jacob’s Way at times and climbed through the Pyrinees. I love the Basque Country, it’s breathtaking. Leon and I really had to get away from the situation in Germany for a while. I am deeply grateful towards my Spanish friends who were there for us and who invited us. It felt amazing to go to Yoga classes almost every day, do sports as often as possible, eat and drink with my friends and talk, talk, talk until sunset. When I returned I felt like a new “Liv”. From then on my life has taken a new, amazing turn and path. What I have now with my little family and friends is here to stay. I really enjoy my life and I feel wiser, stronger, more vital, self-reflected, yes, – I feel love and happiness and life is good to me!
EM: Andrés Montes, a Spanish sport journalist, always said that “life can be wonderful”; what is your leitmotiv of life?
LK: Life is what you make it – enjoy every moment of it!
EM: Anything you want to add to your fans and friends around the world?
LK: I would like to share my thankfulness, creativity and spirituality with all of you who have been my true base and inspiration throughout all these years, moreover throughout the latest months. And thank you, my friend, for this interview.