INTERVIEW WITH LIV SIN
Date: May 4, 2017
STARTING OVER AS AN ARTIST AFTER HAVING RELEASED OVER FIVE ALBUMS, TOURED THE WORLD AND BUILT A NAME BRAND (SISTER SIN) WOULD DEFINITELY BE A DAUNTING TASK. IT’S AN EVER MORE DIFFICULT TASK WHEN AN ARTIST HAS RELIED ON HER NOW FORMER BANDMATES TO COME UP WITH THE SONGS FOR OVR TEN YEARS. YET, HERE WAS POWERHOUSE SINGER LIV JAGRELL (NOW KNOWN AS LIV SIN) WITH A BURNING DESIRE TO KEEP GOING DESPITE HER BAND OF MORE THAN TEN YEARS CALLING IT QUITS. SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH LIV SIN A WEEK AFTER THE RELEASE OF HER FIRST POST-SISTER SIN ALBUM ENTITLED ‘FOLLOW ME.’
Sleaze Roxx: Congratulations on the new album!
Liv Sin: Thank you.
Sleaze Roxx: Are you surprised by how fast you were able to rebound from Sister Sin’s demise and come up with a new band and new album?
Liv Sin: Yes actually [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Liv Sin: Actually very amazed because I just saw on my Facebook — like the Facebook memories thing — that last year, yesterday last year or something was the day that I actually went public that I was going to do something but I didn’t have a band by then. So I found the guys that I started to work with the music, with the songwriting, probably the end of May  and then I had almost the whole band when we started recording in October  and we had all the songs made by then. And we’ve released the record now. So yeah, it could have taken much more time, a very long time. I am very happy. I think about it like one year ago, did I ever think this would happen or go so fast or go so well? No, I did not. So, I am very happy right now.
Sleaze Roxx: That’s great. I understand that some of your bandmates were somewhat easier to recruit than others?
Liv Sin: Absolutely. Well, my boyfriend is the drummer [Per Bjelovuk]. He kind of didn’t have a choice.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] And where did you find your other band members?
Liv Sin: The guitar player who I do the songwriting together with — Patrick [Ankermark] — I’ve known him for a very long time but he’s always played punk rock or more pop rock n’ roll so I wasn’t sure if he was interested in doing metal but at the same time, I knew that he had very bad luck with bands and he really wanted a band, a new band. He didn’t have one. So I asked him, “If you can consider yourself doing and playing metal. Can you do it? Are you interested?” And he was. He sent me some ideas. I sent him some inspiration and then he sent me back some ideas, and one of the riffs that he sent me was the riff to “Let Me Out.” And then I knew like, “Yes! He’s totally understanding the music I want to do, the riffs, everything.” We went from there and made all the songs.
Liv Sin‘s “Let Me Out” video:
ROCK/HARD ROCK/METALLiv Sin – Let Me Out The first single from Liv Sin’s debut album “Follow Me” that will be released april 28 2017.The singer and major for…
Liv Sin: Before, right before we went into the studio in October  — we recorded guitars and bass in October and then we recorded vocals and drums in November  in Germany and the guitars were here in Stockholm [Sweden]. But right before we went into the studio, I’d actually have found the second guitar player because I knew that I wanted two guitars and I wanted one that was more of a solo guitar player, who was more like a shredding kind of guy. I think that suits the music. So that was Christopher [Bertzell]. And I didn’t know him before. I found him through Instagram where he was — he actually started to follow me when I was in Sister Sin I think and then I started following him back when I was looking [laughs] for a guitar players. And he was posting those videos, small videos, all the time where he was playing solos and stuff. He was really — he can play so I contacted him and he was on board directly so he could be on the recording of the record, which is really good. And then after we were done with the record, then we had time to focus on finding the bass player. So he’s not playing on the record unfortunately. He was the toughest one to find — the bass player. It’s always tough with the bass player.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Liv Sin: It happens all the time. He [Tommie Winther] used to work as a crew for another Swedish band called Hardcore Superstar so it was actually they who said to me, “Our crew guy told me he plays the bass.” So now I stole him from them [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] Who did you have… Who played bass on your album then?
Liv Sin: Patrick, one of the guitar players.
Sleaze Roxx: From what I understand, you didn’t actually handle the songwriting for Sister Sin. Am I correct in that? It was mostly Dave [Sundberg]…
Liv Sin: It was Dave and Jimmy [Hitula].
Sleaze Roxx: It must have been daunting for you because not only are you starting a new band but all of a sudden you’re in charge of the songwriting as well.
Liv Sin: Absolutely, and that’s why at the beginning, I thought maybe I just go solo and then I hire musicians. But not really actually because I really wanted a band. When I started, I picked up my guitar and I was like, “OK. I’m going to write songs now.” And I had so many ideas. I had so many cool riffs in my head but I hadn’t played guitar for ten years. So when I tried playing them, it didn’t sound cool at all [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Liv Sin: It sounded very very bad so it was like, “No. This is not going to work very well. I need to find a guitar player who can understand what I’m after. Understand what I’m thinking in my head and put it out in the guitar. And then I found Patrick and he did exactly that so I am very grateful that I found him very fast [laughs]. ‘Cause that was hard and also to start writing lyrics. ‘Cause i hadn’t done that for over 10-12 years either. Also, you have to start somewhere like, “Hey! How do I write the song?” But then after a while, you get into it. I start off with something I am feel in or something, and write down what that feeling rings with you, and then you have something to start with. So I got better and better. In the beginning, I had to dig deep to find it [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs] So why weren’t you writing at all when you were in Sister Sin?
Liv Sin: Ummm. It was not my choice. It was Dave and Jimmy. They made the music. They were really good at doing that. And also for the lyrics, Dave wrote lyrics and I didn’t complain so much because he wrote really really good lyrics. I tried a little bit sometimes but in the end, it always was his lyrics anyways [laughs] so…
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Liv Sin: I am actually pretty happy now that I can write about stuff myself.
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah, for sure.
Liv Sin: I am not as good of a lyric writer as Dave though because he was amazing. He had his way to use words which I don’t have unfortunately but I’m working on it.
Sleaze Roxx: You seem with your lyrics to be exploring darker themes. Would you agree with that?
Liv Sin: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely!
Sleaze Roxx: And why is that?
Liv Sin: Well, musically, I have always wanted to play a little heavier. Sister Sin got heavier and heavier also. I listened a lot to my favorite bands which are heavier kind of bands besides from Twisted Sister. I love Twisted Sister.
Sleaze Roxx: Me too.
Liv Sin: But otherwise, I listen to Arch Enemy, Dissection, Amon Amarth, Machine Head — more that kind of music. So I wanted to try to play that style since I listen to it so much. And I love guitar driven riffs, very very guitar based music with a lot of guitars — heavy riffs and just a lot of head banging. So yes, I wanted to try to be heavier and also wanted to try to explore vocally what I could do — both heavier but also… I just explored and experimented a lot with the vocals too.
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah, for your new album, you have collaborations with two different people. Why did you decide to bring outside people to collaborate on a few songs?
Liv Sin: I think that collaborations are always very good. It’s nice to bring in something else into it and also from the beginning, the record label [Despotz Records] had a wish that one song would be with a collaboration, with guest vocals. That song was “Killing Yourself To Live.” We used Schmier from Destruction and I think it suited to have more thrashy vocals on it. So then, for “Immortal Sin” — which was not supposed to be on the record because we didn’t think about having a cover on the record… It just happened when I was in the studio and recording with Stefan Kaufman. Me and Stefan are both very big [Rob] Halford fans so we were YouTubing everything that Halford did — Judas Priest stuff, Halford, Fight stuff, etc. And then “Immortal Sin” came up and we were both thought, “Aaaah. This is such a good riff.” And we were like digging it and just listing to it. Then, Stefan just said, “You should cover that song. It suits [you] really well with the riff, the heaviness and also it’s an underrated song. We should try to put it out.” So we did that — the day of, we recorded it. I love the riff and everything but it’s a little bit too low for me to sing. So then I also started to think about, “Maybe we should bring someone in who has a lower voice? Who could make this song more — something else.” And I have been friends with Jyrki for over ten years and I always wanted to do a song with him. So he popped up in my head. I called him up and he said, “Yes. I fly down to Germany and I record the vocals.” So that’s how that happened. So it wasn’t supposed to be two guest vocals in the beginning. It just happened.
Liv Sin‘s “Immortal Sin” feat. Jyrki 69 video:
Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.
Liv Sin‘s “Killing Yourself To Live” feat. Schmier lyric video:
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Sleaze Roxx: I was watching your video for “Immortal Sin” and what struck me was that the video is quite different from what Sister Sin used to do.
Liv Sin: Yeah. Absolutely! Maybe.
Sleaze Roxx: In terms of style… Sister Sin was more straightforward. You know, you have the “Fight Song” or whatever but over here, there’s more style and there’s a little more acting. Do you agree?
Liv Sin: Yeah. Absolutely!
Sleaze Roxx: Is that something that you wanted to incorporate for Sister Sin but were never able to do or is to just that you’ve decided to do something different now?
Liv Sin: I think that this is suited the song but I am a theatrical person. I had one of those. “Hearts Of Cold” with Sister Sin was also one of those… And I loved recording the video. It was so fun! So yeah, definitely could do that again. So maybe I can do that a little bit more in my project now.
Sister Sin‘s “Hearts Of Cold” video:
Sister Sin “Hearts Of Cold” is from the album, Now And Forever, available now.iTunes: http://bit.ly/TaYmsGAmazon: http://amzn.to/18YMH6VDirect (CD / Vinyl): …
Sleaze Roxx: In terms of your new album, have you stayed in touch with your former Sister Sin bandmates and have you received any feedback from them about the new album?
Liv Sin: I have not received any feedback but I still have stayed a little bit in touch with them. But I have actually not heard, “Oh yes. Yes. Good luck with the album actually.” I think for Jimmy, he is one of the ones — one of the two guys that didn’t want to tour anymore. He was really really tired from it. And I think that he is really happy for me because he knows that he doesn’t want to do it anymore. Sister Sin is not going to force him to do it anymore. He knows that I still want to do it very very hard and very deep in my heart. So I think that he’s really happy for me that I can actually continue to do this. For Dave, I mean he didn’t want to stop playing. It was me and Dave that didn’t want to stop playing. Of course, I think that he’s happy for me too but also, I think that he may still be disappointed that Sister Sin broke up.
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah. I know that we had spoken about this more than a year ago and at that point, you were a little bit cryptic on what was going on within the band but now that we know that you and Dave wanted to continue, why don’t you just try to find a new guitarist and bassist?
Liv Sin: Because we didn’t feel like it was Sister Sin anymore. It was like when Jimmy said that he would be leaving the band, then me and Dave felt, “Without him, it would not be Sister Sin. His guitars and also, he was from the very start. It was me, Dave and Jimmy. And it would not feel right. I think tat it would just turn out to be bad or worse, or not a very good version of Sister Sin in the end and then maybe, we’ll start to fight and not liking each other and stuff like that. So when Jimmy said that he didn’t want to continue, me and Dave said, “Alright. Then we just quit here where we are still in a very good place, when we are still on a high spot or whatever and we are still friends everybody.
Sleaze Roxx: That’s great and I respect that. Last question for you — what is next for Liv Sin? You’ve just released your album. What are your plans for the future?
Liv Sin: Well, we had our very first show this Friday, which we survived.
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Liv Sin: [Laughs] So we had a Friday and Saturday how and then we are continuing. And then the festival season start so we are going to do festivals here in Scandinavia. And our plan in to go out on a longer tour in Europe in the fall. We have Spain confirmed and we are working around the area, around Spain, to make it a longer tour. I also hope that we can get on a support slot for a bigger band. That would be the best ’cause if you’re a smaller band, it’s always good to support a bigger band so you can reach out to more people. That is what we are looking for or aiming for right now. And then, we’ll see. And also very far ahead, we are working and thinking towards America but it’s going to be — maybe next year.
Sleaze Roxx: I think you spoiled us with Sister Sin because you used to come so often [to tour in America].
Liv Sin: Yeah. Exactly [laughs].
Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]
Liv Sin: I know and I miss it.
Sleaze Roxx: Anyways, I look forward to seeing you again when you come back to Canada and the States.
Liv Sin: Thank you.
Sleaze Roxx: And thank you very much for doing the interview.