Liv Kristine is not a woman to rest on her laurels. In fact, she had to be dragged from the studio to celebrate her birthday. Fortunately she took some spare time to catch Metalholic readers up on her latest solo effort, Libertine. She also gave us a head’s up on the next Leaves’ Eyes album, and what she enjoys during her infrequent down time.
The 36-year-old Norwegian soprano vocalist began her career with Theatre of Tragedy in 1994, and after nearly a decade in the band she and husband Alexander Krull formed Leaves’ Eyes.
Leaves’ Eyes is essentially the members of Krull’s other band Atrocity for whom Liv often guested as a vocalist. Leaves’ Eyes gave Liv new voice for her talents, and they soon made a mark in the symphonic metal arena. The band also includes elements of folk into its sound, something the band has done more of lately.
Still Liv had more creativity flowing through her. Thus she has recorded four solo albums, which also feature her husband and members of the other bands, including new bassist J.B. van der Wal. Her solo efforts give voice to her other varied musical muses such as pop and rock. Libertine will be released worldwide the first week of September through Napalm Records.
“Music’s been my life since I was a teenager,” Kristine laughs about her constant musical output. “I guess I’m just lucky. I was born with a very creative mind. My band members say it’s more like a hyperactive artistic soul within me. I’m actually never bored. If there’s an Atrocity or Leaves’ Eyes production going on, I continue with my solo work. There is always something going on.”
Kristine’s last solo album was 2010’s Skintight. The singer talked about the difference between that record and Libertine.
“Skintight was dedicated to the children of the world. Many of the tracks on Skintight were about my own childhood, whereas Libertine is more connected to my life, or moments from my life being a grown up woman. A mother, lover, and all these things, so Libertine is a more grown up album. Skintight probably had a more campfire sound to it. A lot of acoustic guitars, where Libertine has very deep emotional ballads played on the piano, next to songs that probably would remind you of my early days with Theatre of Tragedy. So Libertine is kind of a back to the roots album.”
“’Silence’ is actually the song that makes me shiver sometimes or lose a tear. It was recorded in a one take session. That’s how I prefer to record my ballads, to build up the emotional expression to make it more intimate. It’s a very emotional song, and it was very emotional to record it. I grew up by the sea somewhere by the countryside in Norway, and I grew up in silence. The only thing I heard except for silence was the music in my own head. So silence is still the best way for me to relax, and I need it sometimes.”
She then talked about one of my own favorite tracks on the album, the pop-rockish, “Vanilla Skin Delight”.
“That’s about the fun times you have when you just don’t think about anything anymore, and you just go out and have fun with your friends. ‘Glitter shoes on dirty pavement’ – the way the song starts you can already imagine that moment when you have people running across the street and looking for another bar to enter.”
As the album’s title would suggest, Kristine has let down her hair and opened herself up on this record, sharing more of her soul, more of her playfulness, and her own romantic idealism.