2021 is going to be quite a year for Liv Kristine, the year of her takeoff. In addition to her busy career as a solo artist, she’s experiencing a growing activity with Coldbound, a band she shares with Pauli Souka and Meiju. They have been working on a double album. It contains the secret promise of shaking the nineties'; Gothic/Doom sound, with songs like “Slumber of decay” and with a huge number of collaborations —counting up to 43 up until now. One could say the project doesn’t lack ambition. We take a sit with Liv to discuss all of it while her new EP is calling the door.
By Marc Gutiérrez
EM: What a shitty 2020!!! How are you, Mikkel and Leon? Hope you all are doing well!
LK: My dear friend Marc, we are all sound and safe. Due tue the fact that we were forced to stay at home during lock-down periods there was more time to rethink many issues in life or how to clear my mind, moreover, to get started with my online vocal couching (www.karmasonic.net). I have used the time to consider how I can expand and progress on my true authentic way, on my creative goals and growth. I also saw the necessity to separate from toxic surroundings and situations. Well, I was a bit sad that the annual show in Nagold, Germany, was cancelled, but nothing happens in vain – it was actually my son’s birthday so we had a really lovely time staying and celebrating just with the family at home. The silence in December 2020 during Christmas felt a bit strange for most people, I guess, but I was around New Year pretty exhausted through the whole situation, I have to confess. I am working with children within the autistic spectre, moreover, at different schools and the whole situation was quite difficult to handle. But I do have good news: I just confirmed Nagold for December 2021! And the main thing is – we are all safe and healthy.
EM: Is your wedding affected by the Covid-19, too?
LK: Yes, it has been postponed 3 times. We are patiently waiting for a new date. Everything will turn out fine. Moreover, my traditional dress, which I will wear for our ceremony, got lost for a period of 6 months by the German post. It was found by Norwegian parcel service somewhere at the other side of Germany and arrived here 2 weeks ago. So then, I guess it’s time to marry. We must see things in a positive perspective. That is the only way to catch the light when times are dark.
EM: What are the plans for Coldbound? When are we having new music?
LK: Concerning our future musical releases, we have a double album at the moment and we are working very intensively on balancing everything, creating a beautiful story to be told, wrapped in in beautiful tones and a unique musical sphere. „Slumber f Decay“ was released in February, and we are thinking to release another single, maybe. The album will be released in 2021.
EM: I think Pauli had all the album completed but he is re-writing some line vocals because you are in the band. Is it correct? If yes, how do you work in this process?
LK: All three of us are momentarily sitting down, paying a lot of attention to each composition to see how we can optimize the sound even more, finding the perfect frequency for all three of us. Meiju brings in the sounds of the ethnic universe, I bring in my individual voice to Pauli’s compositions. It’s a beautiful way to work. Highly passionate and authentic. We are not in a hurry.
EM: I think I read about 43 contributors to the album? Can you share with me some of the new names involved?
LK: Pauli has gathered a miscellany of other female singers for the album. To name a few: Anette Guldbrandsen, Madeleine Eleine Liljestam (Eleine), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Antiqva), Laura Guldemond (Burning Witches), Cecilia Kamf (Lómënár), Nicole Willerton (Blood Crush), Nienke Verboom (Ayreon) and Nele Messerschmidt (Elvellon). And that’s not even the complete list of all (male and female) singers. The composing process is quite long and intensive. The composing of the album started way back in 2018, already before we became a three-piece musical project. To incorporate such voices into the music is done based on the needs of the storyline. Going into the concept, Pauli let each person create also a figurative character into this story, next to the instrumental or vocal contribution.
EM: “Slumber of decay” sounds like a true Gothic / Doom highlight. I was felt in love with it since the very first time I listen to it. What are your feelings while you’re singing this song?
LK: Thank you so much. It is perfect for me. It feels like coming home. Pauli let me re-write the lyrics to fit my melody lines and as my vocals were finished in the studio, I told Michael and Pauli that it feels like singing on a song that was made for me. It’s such a beautiful and powerful composition and I kept thinking «what if Pauli’s got more of that brilliant music“… Pauli must have sensed it as he asked me to join Coldbound later that year, which I did, feeling really safe and free with my decision. It is a very uplifting and magic piece of music that Pauli created.
EM: What do it feel like being part of a full band, again?
LK: I am feeling blessed at this moment. Coldbound is a blessing, I have to say. Pauli and Meiju are wonderful, like a soul family, there’s a deep understanding and passion between us. Our first single „Slumber of Decay“ was out 5th February and this is a special day for Meiju, Pauli and me…maybe especially important for me for many reasons. I got involved with Coldbound in 2020, about a years ago. Pauli, who is a really good friend of my fiancé, Michael (Allegro Talent Music), sent him that one track, asking if I might consider being a duet part of it. I have to say that I was impressed, instantly. I felt like travelling back in the times of Theatre of Tragedy.
EM: Have you signed a contract with any label? If yes, could you tell me which one and what are the reasons why you chose this option? If not, what are the changes to release the album with Allegro Talent?
LK: I did not sign to any major label. I actually dropped the idea early 2019. I just didn’t feel it was what I was looking for. I have been there many times, experienced how big money makes the ego big. If you are not aware of this, music business is a really dangerous place to be where authenticity so often gets lost. I decided to work and release my EP and future full-length album with Allegro Talent Media, an independent label, which cares for and supports a handful of artists. To be honest, today I feel absolutely in alignment with the artistic work I am doing, the artist I am and what I am giving to my audience. I feel much safer and stronger today because I chose to present my art independently and my career is all in my hands. I seek advice with just a few people and the responsibility is in my hands. My fiancé, Michael, and his label Allegro Talent Media is my backup and best advisor. My expression has won strength in so many ways: I feel so blessed with my family, my son and Michael and our two dogs, with our lovely home, my daily job with autistic children, my vocal coaching teaching, my upcoming releases with Coldbound and Liv Kristine. All in all it is the audience I thank from the innermost of my creative heart because you give me the artistic freedom to be creative in this lifetime and universe.
EM: I think the new Coldbound album will be a 2CD one, and that 4 video clips will be released with it. Could you give me some more details about your plans?
LK: A double album is already 90% finished, but we still have to decide in which form we will release the songs. As mentioned above, we are momentarily going through every composition carefully to fullfill and optimize the concept and release.
EM: It has come to me that ICS Vortex is going to contribute to the new Coldbound album. What does mean for you to sing with him? In my opinion he has a unique clean voice!
LK: I can only say that I agree. A great contribution. What a voice.
EM: What can we expect from Coldbound in terms of live activity?
LK: We firstly have to see how the live opportunities for bands and artists now evolve or solve. We will play live, that’s for sure and we will gather a live band as soon as there is a chance to perform again.
EM: Is there any chance we can see you singing with Coldbound and as solo artist the same night in Nagold? I’m thinking in something similar to what you did with Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes in the old days.
LK: I would prefer keeping the two separately as two headliner shows in one night would be quite stressful. But sure, it would be lovely to have Coldbound in Nagold, as one year with the Sirens.
EM: Due to the pandemic situation, is there any chance to see you in a streamed concert, electric or acoustic, either for free or paid?
LK: I have been asked but it is impossible to rehearse right now. It’s quite a task, actually, for Coldbound and my solo. I just have to revise that we all must be patient. The positive thing is that we artists sell more music at the moment. My own new EP „Have Courage Dear Heart“ is selling really well, which I am so grateful for. Especially the vinyl edition seems to be wanted by my friends and fans and followers. My first time on vinyl!
EM: Could we expect from you other contributions to different bands? Or you’d rather concentrate all your efforts in Coldbound and your solo career for now?
LK: I have been recording vocals for a few other lovely projects lately, however, I can’t reveal their names yet.
EM: What can you tell us about your singing lessons? Who are your best pupils and why?
LK: It has been a wonderful experience, really inspiring to connect with people from Scandinavia to Chile. It began with a few requests about singing lessons from a few singers who’d been following me for a while. I needed some time to settle my goals and strategy for the teaching, based on my own life-long experience, moreover, taking a holistic perspective. In February my new homepage www.karmasonic.net got online where you can learn more about my teachings and works. I have sensed that inner voice for years of serving others in the field of strengthening their inner and outer voice and there’s a deep passion behind these teachings. My favourite pupil is my youngest one, in first grade of primary school, a first-class talent.
EM: Could you share with us some of your wishes for 2021?
LK: Dear Marc, I hope that we will see each other again soon. Every day I send mantras to the universe that my dearest ones, my friends and fans, all of you are and will be safe. We must take care of our health and be good to each other. Compassion is the right frequency.
Much love, besos y abrazos, your friend Liv