by MythofRock

Liv Kristine is undeniably one of the most influential figures in the metal scene. She embarked on her journey with Theatre of Tragedy, later forming Leaves’ Eyes, and ultimately pursuing a solo career. Throughout her musical endeavours, Liv has captivated audiences with her mesmerizing voice and compelling music. Her latest work, including the enchanting “River of Diamonds”, continues to enthrall listeners. Recently, Myth of Rock had the privilege of engaging in a nice conversation with Liv, an interview that is not to be missed!

by Raquel Miranda

Hello Liv, it is a great honour having you. “River Of Diamonds” was released in 2023 via Metalville Records and is considered one of the best albums of that year. How do you feel about that recognition? Would you agree that this album is your most personal album to date?

Thank you so much for your beautiful words about “River Of Diamonds”. So far, I really feel that this album is a special mark in my life. A special moment, because I’m being liked in my life in the middle of my life. I feel like it’s a new beginning! It’s a chapter of my life, where I feel more settled. I’m happy to have my 9 to 5 or relates 8 to 5 (laughs) job. Working with children with special needs, being a teacher. Yeah! It’s something I always wanted, but it was hard to combine this with lot of touring, back in the times with Theatre Of Tragedy and Leaves’ Eyes and now I have that! And then I moved to Switzerland a couple of years ago. Things have calmed down a lot after what happened: the big explosion in 2016, so yes! If I wouldn’t have released an album, I would have released a book about it! So, in “River Of Diamonds”, every track on the album is actually a chapter or describes an experience in my life! So, yes! It is my most personal album to date! Absolutely!

Your long-time friend, Tommy Olsson (Theatre of Tragedy, Long Night) composed all the album’s songs. How did you decide to co-operate with Tommy? How was it co-operating with him again?

Yes! He composed all the songs on the album, it was lovely working with him again and his been so patient, because he already sent me songs in 2015. In 2016, my life was turned upside down and I really had to take care of my family. Getting financial stability back into my life, because I lost my job, which was Leaves’ Eyes. I had to get back on track and Tommy, he just gave me the feeling of not being in a hurry. That was absolutely no stress! So, any moment when I had the time to sit down, listen to the compositions, I could really relax and just let the creative flow come to me. So, every song, every word I’ve written and every note I’ve sung on “River Of Diamonds”, came to me and happened in a creative flow, at a very special moment! So, I’m very happy that Tommy gave me all this time and he was so patient. It’s absolutely amazing working with Tommy and I’m so grateful towards him for everything he’s done for me!

“Our Immortal Day” is a duet with the great singer Østen Bergøy (Long Night, Tristania). It brings us back to the symphonic and doom vibes, we can also hear a Sister Of Mercy feeling. How did you contact this guest and choose this theme for both of you?

Tommy was also the one who got Østen Bergøy, from Long Night and Tristania, to join me on “Our Immortal Day”. Yes! It is a Sister Of Mercy feeling, that comes with the song.  It was Tommy, who had the idea. Østen and Tommy live on the same island (outside the northeast coast of Norway) and a very good friend. Yes! It was a great honour working with Østen. He’s just my perfect duet partner for “Our Immortal Day”!

The title track has also a special guest, Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell). How did you contact him and what did he think of the song? Will you be guesting on his songs?

Fernando, who is also a really good friend, has been supporting me a lot throughout difficult times, since 2016 and he’s always been a great inspiration to get up. You know? To get back upon your feet and be authentic with what you’re doing! He said: “Yes!” immediately to sing “River Of Diamonds” with me and of course I would be guesting on his songs if he would ask me. Of course I would! I would say: “Yes” immediately (laughs)! And I think our voices just melt together perfectly!

A romantic duet is on Jon Lord’s “Pictured Within”, you and your husband, Michael. How did it feel singing with Michael? What meaning has this song for both of you?

Jon Lord’s “Pictured Within” with my dear soul, partner and husband, Michael, that was a special moment, because that day when we drove to the studio to record “Pictured Within”, it wasn’t clear if Michael would sing at all. When we were in the studio, Michael just said: “Can I try to sing a few lines?”! It was a magical moment, and this song is dedicated to Michael’s dearest father, who passed away just a few days before we recorded the song. Believe me! I was crying, when I heard Michael singing the song. The frequency is really your dear ones, how wonderful it actually is to have a dear family. Michael’s dear father is still around. I know that! It’s absolutely wonderful to sing this song with Michael. I think it’s like something that comes from the heart, goes through the heart, the moment was absolutely magical, and it still feels like that when I hear this song.

You sing so gracefully another cover, “True Colours” (Cindy Lauper). Do you like the 80’s? What are your favourite artists from this decade?

I love the 80’s! I grew up in the 80’s! my favourite artist from this decade, is Cindy of course, Madonna and even the holly works from Abba in the 70’s and 80’s. I just love Abba and the harmonies of the two female singers have inspired me a lot in my own work with melodies and creating melodies. And of course, Kate Bush! Ozzy was also very active in the 80’s and has always been a great inspiration to me and all those Metal bands being active in 80’s. In my life, we’re always different musical directions and genres present. I spent a lot of time before and after school, I was busy with listening to music. Saving up money for vinyls and cassettes back then (laughs). Yes! The 80’s were crazy, they were bright, but there was a lot of good stuff coming with it, especially when it comes to music. Maybe not so much the clothing, but the music (laughs)!

“Deus ex Machina” (1998), your debut solo album, was released a few days ago in vinyl and as a double CD with unreleased material. Could you tell us, please, the stories about the writing process, music and more about this period of your life?

It’s twenty-six years since “Deus ex Machina” was released! I was a student back then. I had just moved to Germany. I was part of Theatre Of Tragedy. Success was raising, we toured the whole world. Yeah! Life was really crazy! It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life: I was young (maybe a bit naïve), I didn’t really get how dangerous the music business can be, but still… just like back then realising a dark Goth Pop synthy album, as well as being part of Theatre Of Tragedy, considered to be the Gothic Queen and then realising a Pop album is kind of daring! I was naïve in a positive way (I felt free back then) I do feel in the same way being in the middle of my life, having released my most personal album: “River Of Diamonds” last year and now three issue of “Deus ex Machina”. It’s just the perfect timing! It was actually Michael’s idea to release it on vinyl and as a double-CD, with unreleased material. I have to say that it feels just right to re-release “Deus ex Machina” now, but it was initially my husband Michael’s idea! So, thanks to him, it’s being re-issued!

One of the most iconic tracks is “3 a.m.”, where you sing in a duet with Nick Holmes (Host, Paradise Lost). How did this collaboration happen? What do you remember from this duet?

Back then, in the 90’s, I was a huge fan of Paradise Lost and I still love Paradise Lost and Host and I remember picking up Nick from the tour bus. He was on tour, in the southwest of Germany and we drove to the place where the gig was meant to take place. At the same night, we knock on the bus of the night liner and a very tired Nick Holmes opened the door (laughs). We got into the car, he told me how happy he was to be able to join me and it was actually Massacre Records that organized this special date!

We got to the studio, he asked for a cup of tea and a slice of bread with marmalade, he then he started singing and I just knew he’s the perfect partner!

He’s a very, very sweet person and I toured with him some years later. I really think he’s a great person! He’s a lovely man! It’s an honour and pleasure! It’s still an honour and pleasure having Nick on “3 a.m.”! We do play this song live without Nick, but it’s Sascha, my guitar player, who sings it and it’s a piece of music that the audience seem to love a lot. Even today, twenty-six years later!

“Portrait: Ei tulle med øyne blå” is based on a children’s song from 1905 and sang in your native language, Norwegian. Could you tell us, please, how important was it for you to sing this song and put it on the record? Tell us also, please, about the new interpretation of the song with Geir “Gerlioz” Bratland (Dimmu Borgir, God Seed, The Kovenant, Satyricon).

It’s a children song from 1905 and I sing in my native language, Norwegian, as you are writing. Yes! It’s very important for me to have Geir on this re-issue, for “Ei tulle med øyne blå”, because both of us are Norwegians and Geir! What he’s doing, playing the keys, is just amazing! I’m a huge admirer of Geir’s work in any band he’s been with and he’s still a member of.

So, Michael asked him, because they kind of know each other and Geir, he was very happy to be part of re-composing “Ei tulle med øyne blå”! So, he re-composed it, I re-recorded the vocals, added some new lyrics and “Ei tulle med øyne blå” that piece back then, in 1998, which has a deepest place in my heart, on this album and as well as on the re-release, because this song was sung to me as a baby by my mother and grandmother and it’s the first piece of music sung by anyone, which I can remember in my life.

So, it’s a very important lullaby and I’m very happy to be able to re-release it, with new words, new vocals and Geir by my side!

You give vocal lessons, and you also paint. How are these projects going? How can people reach you?

If you check out both Facebook and my homepage (Karmasonic), you will find any offers and you can read about my work, you can see some of my paintings. That is also the place where you can go to check out singing lessons. It’s about the tricks you can use in the studio, before going on stage. How to take care of your voice, but there’s another part of the lessons as well, that is finding your true authentic voice and I really made the experience, when my life settled. I really became more and more authentic! More and more myself! Coming home to myself! My voice got stronger too! I had to dissolve a lot of blockages! I had to have a look at traumatic experience and as these issues started to solve, I really could go inside and have a look at all these things, even they hurt you, you know?

And that is also what I describe in a couple of songs in “River Of Diamonds”, it’s about really the dark knight of the soul, going inside and the end of tunnel, you will see the light, if you can do this.

It hurts a lot. Yes, it does! And it’s very important to be aware of the fact that you need a really dear friend, a therapist or anybody to support you, because it is really the dark knight of the soul, but after all, you will become more authentic, you will know why you are serving and how you can serve in this world.

You will come home to yourself, even chilly and that is what life is about, isn’t it? Everything you ever experienced, that is under the bottom-line: who you are today and that is what you have to take care of between what is called ‘birth’ and ‘death’, right? That’s why we are here! In our lifetime, on this very planet! To really become authentic and to live through our hearts!

This is a message I would like to give to my students and to people reaching out there: “How can I become more authentic, how can I dissolve my traumas and my blockages, how can I come home to myself?”. That is also what Karmasonic is about, but of course you can learn tricks for stage, studio and how to take care of your voice. You can even learn Norwegian if you want to (laughs). So, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I would be very happy to see and to hear from you!

Once again, thank you for this interview on my behalf and from Myth of Rock. Could you leave a message for the fans, please?

So, thank you so much, my dear friend Rak! I hope you are doing fine and lots of love and thankfulness to Myth of Rock. Lots of love to Greece. It would be absolutely amazing to play live in Greece again. So, stay tuned for good news! I really hope to see you soon. Most of all, dear Rak for supporting me and thanking you for being who you are! I really appreciate all the talks we’ve had so far! It’s lovely to see that you are doing well! So, stay safe and see you soon! Thank you so much!










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