While waiting for the new Midnattsol album “The Aftermath” to be released on May 25th via Napalm Records we had a nice chat with the band’s amazing vocalists Liv Kristine and Carmen Elise!
The Offering: What made you decide to join Midnattsol as permanent member?
Liv: I joined my sister’s band “Midnattsol” some months ago. I am very happy about it. The album will be out in May, this month, and I am amazed by the band’s work and artistic quality. It makes so much fun to sing in Norwegian and Swedish and just suck up the raw, clear, Nordic metal sound. I am very happy to be in Midnattsol, moreover, I feel such positive vibes and good friendship in this band. There is something magic when our voices join: we have completely different singing manners and techniques, however, we complement each other.
TO: What do you love most about singing with your sister Carmen Elise?
Liv: I feel such joy and a strong connection to Carmen. I remember a special appearance that I had with Carmen at Metal Female Voices Fest in 2016. That was after I had been forced to leave my own band, Leaves’ Eyes. Carmen called me to come on stage and it was a magic moment for me to feel her warm embracement and support. I can’t wait to play live with Midnattsol! It means so much for me to share stage with my sister. All the guys in Midnattsol are just wonderful. Feels like a family. Freedom, open-mindedness in the band members’ artistic development, accept, joy on stage and a good communication are to me features that Midnattsol represent as a band. I appreciate that a lot.
TO: The new album “The Aftermath” will be released on May 25th, tell us a bit about the songwriting.
Carmen: Believe it or not, we started writing the songs many years ago. But the problem was that the song writing process was very inefficient. We had so many ideas and couldn’t finish the songs, because we focused on different things and musical directions. We also had different ideas how the songs should be written. Huge private changes in our lives such as getting children, building houses, new work etc didn’t make it easier. All in all, the years went by, but luckily, our keyboardist and organizer Daniel early 2016 said: Guys, now we need to finish these songs, it`s now or never! And then we started going through all the material and ideas that we had (which were a lot), decided what we wanted to use and rewrite, and we wrote some totally new songs as well. And the process went very well this time and made a lot of fun! We didn’t have any restrictions when we were writing the album, just total freedom to let the creativity flow, so we sang and played things we haven`t done before. We really hope our fans like the new songs, thank you so much for supporting us through all these years and not giving us up, it means a lot to us!
TO: Did you actively participate in the creation of this album?
Liv: Most of the songs existed as demos when I joined the band. The album’s title “The Aftermath” just blew me away as if that could have been the title of my own musical work. As I got to hear the songs in their demo version it was such a revelation. “Eitrdråpar” is a piece of music that I just thought initially would be lovely to sing on and to write lyrics for.
TO: Is there a particular lyrical concept?
Carmen: The title should be a symbol of the consequences of our actions, and it is connected to us on a personal level, but mostly it should remind us on how we treat ourselves, other ones, the nature, the animals, the earth in general. «Syn», the woman on the cover, is a goddess from the norse mythology who you could compare with «Justicia», the goddess of right and wrong. She should also be a reminder of the fact that everything comes back to you, we can`t continue like we do. We are destroying our earth and every living thing including ourselves! Now is the time to wake up, we should open our eyes! I think the focus on our looks, on money and power – it`s such a wrong perspective. What about what life is really about? Inner Values like love, friendship, peace, trying to make the best out of life on earth without destroying people and the environment around you – what happened to them? This is our message on «The Aftermath», and you can see a red line through the songs when it comes to this theme.
TO: Do you have a favorite song to sing from “The Aftermath” ?
Liv: “Eitrdråpar” and “Syns Sang” are my momentary favourites. Moreover, they are two songs for which Nordic mythology plays an influential role. I also thought it was a good idea to shoot a video for “The Purple Sky”. It’s hard to choose, anyway.
TO: Are you working on other projects or a new solo album?
Liv: Parallel to Midnattsol, and a soon-to-be released album of Sabbathian (Anette Gullbrandsen), I’m working on my upcoming solo album. A handful of demos are ready and I’m just awaiting the “go” from the record company. It will follow in the veins of “Vervain”. It will be a really heavy album, influenced by different songwriters. Great melodies, deep emotional settings and lyrics with direct language and a clear message. I’ve collected a pool of brilliant pieces of music and I’m just enjoying the whole creative process. I’ve included a number of new professionals in my solo-team which feels really refreshing. Tommy Olsson (Theatre of Tragedy) and Micky Richter (Liv Kristine Band) are two of my composers who will contribute to my sixth solo album.
TO: You are an iconic vocalist in the metal scene, how do you feel about it?
Liv: You make me blush! I am forever grateful. The truth is that I have an amazing fan base. It is incredible how my fan clubs have stuck up for me during these two last years which have been pretty tough for me. You inspire me to keep singing and expressing myself in music, lyrics, paintings and on stage.
TO: During your career you collaborated with many artists, with whom you would love to work in the future?
Liv: I’ll be recording next week and then we will see what happens from there. I would love to work with Maite Itoiz, Tarja, Heri from Tyr, Doro, Teufel, Michelle Darkness, Roy Khan…there are so many good singers out there!
TO: Do you have touring plans with Midnattsol?
Liv: We will play a few gigs this year to support the album release. Next year we will be going for festivals.
TO: Do you think you will tour also in North America?
Liv: Invite us over! You have some brilliant festivals we would love to join.
TO: At this point what are your expectations for you music career?
Liv: I am just extremely happy to be the artist I am here and now with 30 years of experience. I enjoy the freedom to be creative, to move on in my own tempo and to include new inspiring people in my team. Next to my musical career, I am also working with autistic children and youth with special needs. What an inspiring path! Both ways are so important to me and I really am happy and comfortable with everything I have achieved, moreover, I have such a wonderful home and beautiful family and I enjoy my daily life together with my son, soon-to-be-husband and dog(s).
TO: Thank you for the interview!
Liv & Carmen: We thank you for the interview and send all our thankfulness and love to our fans.