Liv Jagrell, the former front-woman for Swedish band Sister Sin has just released her first solo album, entitled “Follow Me”, through Despotz Records. It has been a busy 18 months for the singer following the demise of Sister Sin at the end of 2015; culminating in the release of the first Liv Sin album on 28th April. I managed to have a chat with Liv via Skype on 1st May to talk about the new album, future plans and more. That interview and 4 tracks from the new album featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 5th May. That Show is now available now via our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-liv-sin-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-5th-may-2017/

 

 

 

 

The interview has been transcribed and posted below.


Playlist for the Show

STORMZONE – Cuchulainn’s Story

IRON MAIDEN – Powerslave

SEVEN KINGDOMS – Stargazer

BALEFUL CREED – God’s Fear

LIV SIN – Immortal Sin

Interview with Liv Jagrell of LIV SIN Part 1 (7.5 min)

LIV SIN – The Fall

Interview with Liv Jagrell of LIV SIN Part 2 (7 min)

LIV SIN – The Beast Inside

Interview with Liv Jagrell of LIV SIN Part 3 (4.5 min)

LIV SIN – Hypocrite

UNLEASH THE ARCHERS – Cleanse the Bloodlines

THE AGONIST – Take Me To Church

STONE SOUR – Fabuless

PR Interview with Shaun Morgan from SEETHER

SEETHER – Let You Down

STITCHED UP HEART – Catch Me When I Fall

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – You Don’t Know

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The House of the Rising Sun

 

You’ll find an interview on the Rock Radio NI website with former Sister Sin guitarist Jimmy Hiltula from December 2014 just after the release of what was to be that band’s last album “Black Lotus” - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/1745-ni-rocks-interview-with-sister-sin.html

 

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NI ROCKS - Hi Liv, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI….. I wanted to chat first of all about the new solo album “Follow Me” which was released on the 28th April through Despotz Records…. First of all, where was it recorded and who did you work with for production etc?

LIV – We recorded with Stefan Kaufmann and also with UDO member Fitty Wienhold who helped us with the pre-production. So both of them are the producers – Fitty and Stefan together.


NI ROCKS - And who performs on the album with you?

LIV – My band is Patrick (Ankermark) on guitar and Christopher (Bertzell) also on guitar, Per (Bjelovuk) on drums and Tommie (Winther) on bass. We didn’t find Tommie until after the record was actually recorded and Patrick plays bass on the recording. We didn’t have time – we had a deadline and it was getting pretty stressy getting everything together with all the songs and get into the studio. So it was only after the record that we had time to search for a bass player. Tommie will play bass on the next album.


NI ROCKS - How hard was it to find the people you wanted to work with in the band?

LIV – It’s very hard to find bass players, apparently. We had the same issue with my old band Sister Sin. Always something with the bass players – so we had a couple of them. They were the only ones leaving – it was always the bass players. So it’s hard to find a bass player. The other guys weren’t that hard to find. The drummer I already had as he used to work with Sister Sin a little bit whenever Dave Sundberg couldn’t tour he helped out. Patrick, the first guitar player, who also writes the songs with me, was one of the first people I reached out to when I started this project. Christopher was new. I found him on Instagram where he started to follow me and I followed him back. I liked the way he played and asked him if he wanted to join me. So that was pretty easy to find him also actually. But, then the bass player, hmmph! (Laughs). I was looking and looking and talking to everybody. Then another Swedish band Hardcore Superstar, said to me one of their crew, the tour manager, he’s a bass player. I thought Ok and asked him if he wanted to do it and he said yes. That was one week before our first video shoot and it was really prime time for that.


NI ROCKS - After 12 years with recording with Sister Sin, how did it feel doing things with a new group of people?

LIV – It felt very, very good. At this point. At first when Sister Sin broke up, it didn’t feel very good. That was my whole life. I was very sad and didn’t know what to do. I was very lost as I’d lived my whole life around that. Now that I’ve taken a new start I can play the kind of music that I want to play etc. I feel I’ve a really good album and really good band members and that they really want to do this. They’re not tired from touring a lot; they’re hungry to get out on tour. They play in this band because they want to play music and not because they want to party. I feel very, very good right now.


NI ROCKS – Musically, how would you compare the new solo album “Follow Me” to, for example, the last of the Sister Sin albums “Black Lotus”?

LIV – I think it’s heavier. The music is absolutely heavier. Sister Sin was more rock ‘n’ roll and I think I’ve taken away most of that rock ‘n’ roll. Not all of it; “Endless Roads” is more rock ‘n’ roll, that kind of song. And also “The Beast Inside” maybe. But most of the rock ‘n’ roll that Sister Sin had, I have not taken with me. I wanted to have more guitar-driven metal music. Sister Sin did get heavier with every album and “Black Lotus” was the heaviest album, but I still think what I’m doing now is taking it one step further towards metal and the guitar players give it a more metal sound of course.


NI ROCKS - You’d released 3 tracks from the album as singles ahead of the release of the album. Were those picked as being the best representation of what people could expect on the album, or were those favourite tracks?

LIV – Probably not. The album is kind of heavier than the tracks that we released. “Let Me Out” was the first single and that was chosen because it is probably the closest song to Sister Sin. So for the Sister Sin fans it was a good song to start with and keep them and not maybe put out “The Fall” which is one of the heavier songs and kinda far away from Sister Sin. And also it’s catchy; “Let Me Out” is catchy and very hooky which is why we chose that one. Then we decided to take the guest appearance songs because of the guest appearances! To make it something else. And we’re also going to release a video for “Immortal Sin” song – tomorrow actually. So that’s why we chose those as the singles. I still think most of the songs on the album are actually heavier than the singles.


NI ROCKS - We’ll play a track from the album now. Can you pick a track and tell us something about it?

LIV – I’ll choose “The Fall” because that is my favourite song. I love that it is the opening track on the album because if you had any doubts that I was going towards the softer style, you immediately know that that’s not going to happen when you hear that song (laughs). I think we chose a very good starting song. It’s like, this is where we’re going. We put it here and this is what we are. Listen to it if you like it and if you don’t then skip it, but I love that song. I love the fastness of it and I love the energy of it. It’s just a really heavy metal song. My favourite.


(Check out the Show to hear “The Fall”. Here’s the video for “Immortal Sin” featuring Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes)

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NI ROCKS - At the time of the announcement of the end of Sister Sin in November 2015, you made it quite clear that you hadn’t finished singing and had a lot more to offer. Did you anticipate then that your first solo album would be released within 18 months?

LIV – No, absolutely not. I thought it would take longer of course. Both to find the band and also to find a label and do the songs etc. But I pretty quickly got interest from Despotz and I felt that the offer was very good and also I thought it would be nice to have a label in the same city I was living in. Sister Sin was on Victory Records in America and I felt that I’d done the American label thing, I wanted to take it to Europe again. Despotz do good work with their bands and I got an offer and liked it immediately. It was not a very hard choice.

 

NI ROCKS - Is it too soon to ask if you’ve given any thought to or even started writing for a second solo album?

LIV – Well, my guitar player has already made seven new songs and I’ve done no lyrics, so I’m feeling the pressure from him now! Obviously he has started playing around with riffs and stuff but I’m not there yet. I’ve a lot of interviews in the week and a lot of the evenings. So interviews and other promo stuff mean I don’t have the time right now to even think about the second album. But I do feel the pressure from him so I’ll have to start soon.

 

NI ROCKS – You’ve played a few gigs over the last couple of days. What plans have you in terms of touring to support the new album?

LIV – We are doing festivals this summer. The album was released a little too late for the Spring tour unfortunately. The plan was to release it in March, but you know how it is with schedules, things don’t happen, they get postponed and stuff like that. So we were too late for a Spring tour, and we’re looking at a Fall tour. So far we have Spain booked and we’re looking around to book more dates in Spain and the rest of Europe hopefully at the same time.

NI ROCKS - Any chance of some UK shows?

LIV – You never know. I don’t know what we’re looking into. I just know we have Spain and that we’re looking at more dates around that. It could be the UK too, you never know. I was hoping to play some of your festivals but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I played Bloodstock before and I loved it.

 

NI ROCKS - Sister Sin always had a great following in the United States. Has the new album been released there at the same time and are you hoping to get some shows arranged for North America?

LIV – I think we have to wait with America. It’s too expensive to get over to America. Not having an American label it’s harder also. With Sister Sin it was easier with Victory they helped us all the time to get over there and they wanted us to play there. With a Swedish label there’s not as much interest in putting their bands over to America as it costs too much to do that. But, I do know that I’ve a lot of fans over in America, so it is in my plans to over there; it’ll maybe just take a while to save up money to do that.

 

NI ROCKS – You mentioned Instagram earlier. You’ve a presence on all the usual social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. How involved do you get with those and is the social media thing something you enjoy doing or just more of just a necessary evil sometimes?

LIV -  A little bit of a necessary evil. Sometimes I just wish we could stop all that, just log out of Facebook and never log in again. But I also know that today you have to be present and you have to give your fans something. It is a very good way to communicate with the fans – an awesome way to communicate with fans; and I like that idea. But sometimes it seems you have to post something every day and I’m thinking what am I going to post? I worked today, I drank coffee, it’s boring! (laughs). So then I feel like no! It is a good thing, but it gets too much sometimes.

 

NI ROCKS - We’ll play another track from the new album now. Again, can you pick a track and tell us something about it?

LIV – Let’s pick “The Beast Inside” because that the end song and totally different from “The Fall”. Like two different sides of Liv Sin. Maybe you could call it a ballad, maybe you could call it a rock anthem, I don’t know. It definitely starts out as a ballad. It is a song that could be about whatever mental illness you want, but it about me fighting my inner demons, or inner beast; and that would be my eating disorder that I had. I fought it and I’m over it, but the beast is always going to be inside me. And I think it is the same thing with any mental illness that you have. It is something that you can live with, but it is something that you always fight and you can never let it win. That’s how I build up the song. It starts slow and it’s softer and more emotional and sadder in the beginning. Then in the end it’s heavier and there’s more energy and power, because that’s how I see it; in the end you have to be the strongest.

 

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NI ROCKS - As I mentioned earlier, it’s about 18 months since Sister Sin broke-up. Looking ahead, what would you hope to achieved professionally over the next 18 months?

LIV – I really hope that we can go out and tour and also get a support slot for a bigger band so that we can get out to more people. Today, it’s very important to be seen and the best way of doing that is to support a bigger band. Then you’ll reach an audience who might like this music, but who don’t know that I exist. That is what I hope - that I can get out and get more audiences and more people and hopefully build this band. My goal of course is to build a band that gets bigger than Sister Sin so that in the end we are able to live for music. That is my dream.

 

NI ROCKS - You’ve been in bands now for about 15 years. Who were your musical influences when you first started singing and have those changed at all to the present day?

LIV – I got into music by listening to Nirvana and Courtney Love, and I don’t listen to Nirvana and Courtney Love today, but I’m thankful that they got me into playing guitar actually. I started off playing guitar, I was not singing at first and I wanted to be a guitar player. From that I went on and I found Pantera. I was still playing guitar and thought this is so cool and the riffs were whooaa! And I still listen to Pantera. That is probably the band that made me want to play heavy metal and that I still listen to today. I can forever listen to Pantera and I never get tired of them.

 

NI ROCKS – You mentioned there bands that you listen to now. What bands or singers do you find yourself listening to now when you have a chance to listen to some music?

LIV – I like Machine Head a lot, I listen to them. I love the music and I also think Robb Flynn is an interesting person, so I follow him a little bit. And also Arch Enemy, I love them very much. That’s kinda what I’m listening to. What else am I listening to? Oh, Kreator! The new Kreator album is amazing; I love it!

 

NI ROCKS – Can you remember the last gig that you went to apart from one that you were performing at yourself?

LIV – It was probably Doro or Dirkschneider – when they were playing here in Stockholm. But I know both Dirkschneider and Doro so I went to meet them too. I went to the concert and then to see them. I love them both and I love their concerts too. Dirkschneider was amazing, I remember that.

 

NI ROCKS - You’ve a collaboration with Schmier from the band Destruction on the album, and in the past you’ve recorded with Doro. Would you been keen to do more collaborations and who would you most like to work with?

LIV – I would love to work with Angela (Gossow) from Arch Enemy. I love Alissa (White-Gluz ) too, she’s great, but for me Angela is a role model and someone I’ve always been looking up to. For me Angela is Arch Enemy and I’d love to do something with her.

 

NI ROCKS - That’s all the questions that I have, but we’ll play another track from the album to finish off with. Which track do you want to play and tell us something about it.

LIV – I would pick the song “Hypocrite”. I like the groove with that song. It’s heavy and it’s groovy. Yeah, I like it because it has some groove that the rest of the tracks we’ve played might not. Play “Hypocrite” because it’s groovy.

 

NI ROCKS - Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Best of luck with the new album.

LIV – Thank you so much.

 

(Check out the Show to hear “Hypocrite”. Here’s the video for “Killing Ourselves to Live” featuring Schmier.)

 

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Last Updated (Monday, 10 July 2017 00:40)