About Me

Interview with Liv Kristine

“Beauty and The Beast”… a style that gained success in the early 90’s. The pioneer, Liv Kristine, talks about its concept, her singing with Raymond Rohonyi (the other pioneer from the band Theatre Of Tragedy) and the importance of Leaves’ Eyes. She also shared information about the new album, her marriage and more.

M.I. - Hi there and may I say that it’s a true honour to interview an icon and I’m delighted.

It's my true pleasure and honour. Thank you for supporting me all these years. 

M.I. - You were the singer of Theatre Of Tragedy, along with Raymond. How did they reach out for you?

ToT actually didn't reach out for Raymond and me; we were members from the very start. We were just a bunch of long-haired metalheads, Raymond and I being interested in Poe, Shakespeare, Emerson and gothic literature, aching to form a band, play some gigs in dirty clubs, combining doom and gothic into an aesthetic, romantic expression of art. The very original ToT club consisted of a few other persons than those participating on and composing the later albums. Tommy Lindal, Pål Bjåstad, for example, were members for a shorter period of time. There was even another drummer at the very first rehearsal. I was originally more of a background singer. The sound was very dark and doom-like and the guys and I thought it would be a really good idea to combine "the Beast" with "the Beauty". What came into existence was "the Beauty and the Beast concept in gothic metal". 

M.I. - You released 4 of the most iconic albums of the 90’s and, due to that, you helped to pioneer the Beauty and The Beast style, later used by many other bands. What do think about it?

I am very happy that we could be forerunners for other bands. It's an honour to get such fine compliments. We were just being innovative, it was like an inner call, an artistic expression we were in alignment with. I still feel a lot of creativity and passion when I listen to our earliest compositions. There's, I've been told, a magic in our music. I'm so grateful you are keeping this magic alive and I love playing some of the songs live with my solo band! 

M.I. - As a solo artist, you’ve toured once again with Raymond. How was it like for you? Has the flame come back to work with him again? Will we hear a duet of the both of you in this album?

That was an amazing tour. However, Ray doesn't seem to be interested in touring anymore. I'm very sorry about that. 

M.I. - There are some rumours that a reunion of Theatre Of Tragedy will happen. Is it true?

I would love to. We met in August last year for a few beers and a very good and important talk, clearing all channels and past stuff. Moreover, we met after New Year for coffee and a short rehearsal. It was great fun. However, not everybody is ready to participate in a reunion at the moment. 

M.I. - After being fired from Theatre Of Tragedy, you formed Leaves’ Eyes, focused on Norse mythology and the Viking Age. How proud are you of this project?

There's so much personal experience, heritage and history in Leaves' Eyes! The band was my second child. I completely identified with some of the compositions, the lyrics and melodies coming from the heart, and I still somehow do… but it feels strange to watch what used to be my band where it is today, carrying my name, just doing something very different. I wish they could change the name. They are innovative enough, they don't need my name and my concept to release albums. 

M.I. - Leaving Leaves’ Eyes was very difficult, because it was your “baby”. Do you still miss that specific era, musically and professionally speaking?

Yes, you are so right. Concerning Leaves' Eyes, there was a specific area in the beginning where everything felt so light and easy, just right, somehow. Then I started to miss the early days when there was this clear, positive path about the compositions. I remember the very early days when Chris Lukhaup and I were jamming to a few bass lines. Somehow the songs on "Lovelorn" and "Vinland Saga" had a different magic touch to their concept and sound. I enjoyed it so much, I just felt the freedom linked to creativity, moreover, the joy when presenting the new songs live to the audiences. The first two albums will always be magic to me. They are somehow like a fresh chapter in my musical career. I wish and hope the fans can still listen to our songs with joy and passion, no matter what happened in 2016. 

M.I. - You joined Midnattsol, as a member, alongside your sister Carmen. How was the experience for you?

It feels so good to be next to Carmen, I love singing with her. At first, I was meant to record some backing vocals and duet parts on "Aftermath", however, we ended up working with almost every track on the album. It's a pity we are currently living in two different countries which puts a break to live performances. Still it's wonderful for me to join Carmen and her lovely bandmembers on her artistic path, in both Savn and Midnattsol.

M.I. - You’ve collaborated with bands such as Heavenwood, Cradle Of Filth, Tanzwut, The Sabbathian and many more. What have you learned from these experiences?

I'm enjoying every collaboration and I'm always open for more. Every song has its own nature and inspires me to give the best of me in a new setting. I love it and every experience is highly important to me. 

M.I. - “Vervain” was launched in 2014 and for your new upcoming album, you’ve signed with Allegro Talent Music. What can you tell us about it?

Mikkel has so much knowledge and experience as a label, whereas I'm positively absorbed by the music-making and singing side of it. He supports me in those areas where I choose not to really involve more than necessary. The performing and creating is my "business", however, he's my best advisor and I appreciate his advice and support. We are a really good team.

M.I. - “Skylight” is the name of the new single. Why this one? What were your thoughts while composing this song? Will it have a video?

"Skylight" was composed by Tommy a while ago and he sent it to me to have a listen. We've been exchanging ideas for a while now, actually since the beginning of 2016. I love his ideas and what really inspires me in his songs is that he leaves enough space for me to develop my melodies and lyrics. It's like going with a magic flow. I have ideas all the time. "Skylight" was then recorded vocally at Tommy's studio in August last year. We both are really happy about what we've created together. Moreover, I am sure that this song will be enjoyed by my audience. "Gravity" is the second composition on the "Skylight" single which was especially released in connection with my annual December show in Nagold, Germany. We are thinking of a live release of it or of a few songs, which I haven't done so far in my solo career, moreover, a video of one of the two songs. 

M.I. - What surprises may we have with this album? Who or what were your inspiration for this new album?

Yes, we are in the middle of the production. Tommy is sending me ideas for me to pick and work on. Within 2020 we will have released a few singles, and I hope an EP quite soon, then the album follows. 
After a few rollercoaster rides in my past years and marriage I finally got the point of freeing myself from all doubt and fears. It's been 5 years since the release of "Vervain". Personally, I've opened up my heart and I feel both ground and heaven again. I had to get back to that inner place of love, passion, joy, clarity and safety. At that point I was ready to work with my melodies and lyrics again, moreover, Mikkel turned up in my life. I am now bursting of inspiration. In general, writing lyrics, poems, diary, short stories, scientific reports etc. is important to me. In this way, I can free my soul and deal with themes entering my mind. Mikkel is my heart’s perfect match, moreover, we’re yin and yang, one frequency. We speak the same languages (especially Norwegian and Danish), the languages I grew up with. Our first meeting was one magic moment. I know it was destiny. I love him, he is wonderful and beautiful inside and outside, my family embraced him from the very first moment, moreover, we are going to marry in 2020, in Denmark. "Gravity", the second track on my single "Skylight", was dedicated to my love. All songs on the album could be a story from my personal diary. 

M.I. - You’ve signed with Allegro Talent Music now. What are your main goals with this album? What do you hope it will bring you, personally and professionally speaking?

For all of you who love “Aégis” of Theatre of Tragedy and my last solo album "Vervain", my new album will surely inspire you! It is lovely to work with Tommy, it feels so easy and absolutely unproblematic, there's just trust in each other's work and we often have the same ideas. I record, mix and master in Germany and Norway. The sound is heavy and melodic, which is where I came from in the mid-nineties. The album honours the gothic metal-rock genre and will evoke memories of “Aégis", which I remember as some of my best times with Theatre of Tragedy. In tight cooperation with Tommy Olsson, each song radiates an unique paradigm of depth and width of sound with a high note of Romanticism. I would like to share these special pieces of music which come from the place of love and creativity with as many of you as possible. 

M.I. - The logo of your website has changed. Where did you get the idea for it?

The pictures were taken in quiet surroundings one summer day by my friend, Ina, and everything developed from there. It's the real me you see. 

M.I. - Every year, in December, you make a special concert in Nagold, Germany. Why this month and city?

It's an annual show and always a once-in-a-lifetime live experience with a unique setlist. I've been playing in Nagold for eight years now and it is always special and very important to me. The team is lovely, the venue beautiful. People come from all over the world. 

M.I. - You came to Lisbon, to the Festival “Under The Doom”. How was the experience for you, singing on a festival like this? What can you tell us about the country? Do you plan to be back soon? Will we see you on a tour soon?

I loved it so much, I love your beautiful culture, your music and vegetarian dishes. I have friends from Porto and beautiful fans all over the country. I thank you for being so supportive and involved with my artistic work. 

M.I. - Thanks once again for the interview and good luck. Cheers.

Thank you from the heart. 

For Portuguese version, click here 

Questions by Raquel Miranda