How LIV KRISTINE Came Back To Music Through Teaching

June 6, 2023

Former LEAVES' EYES and THEATRE OF TRAGEDY singer Liv Kristine recently went on "Side Jams With Bryan Reesman"to talk about how she came back to being creative with music by going into teaching. Her sixth and latest solo album is called "River Of Diamonds" and features guest appearances from MOONSPELL frontman Fernando Ribeiro and her sister, MIDNATTSOL singer Carmen Elise Espenæs. It's been nearly nine years since her last album.

"It feels great because I'm 47 years old now, and I'm standing in the middle of my life," said Liv. "And 'River of Diamonds' feels like the first album of my second life."

Liv originally started teaching when her son Leon, now nearly 20 years old, entered primary school at age six. She and her ex-husband Alexander Krull (ATROCITY, LEAVES' EYES) chose a private school in Germany because they were often taking Leon on tour.

"Being a part of the teachers team gave me some freedom," she explained. "I used to teach at Leon's primary school, and that was 14 years ago. That was when my teaching process started. I didn't study that. I studied linguistics, ancient languages, language acquisition, but I never took that part you need to become a teacher. But it's always been in my blood. So when the headmaster of Leon's primary school asked me to support his school, I did. Which gave us some freedom to take Leon on the road, and then it just continued like that with every school that Leon went to."

After her unceremonious departure from her former band LEAVES' EYES in 2016, and her divorce, Liv's life went into a tailspin and she lost her main income source. So she reached out to some people she knew and got a job teaching children with autism.

"I got some experience and I feel great empathy for these lovely human beings," she said. "I was lucky to get into this place, and then it just grew and grew. I started working with children growing up without parents [and] children with Down Syndrome. It's been an amazing experience and an amazing journey. So when COVID happened in Europe, I was not dependent on touring [or] going on stage."

Liv and her husband Michael moved to Switzerland a year ago. "It took some time for me to realize that I had to get through a very rough period, I had to dissolve some blockages," Liv recalled to "Side Jams". "I had to dissolve a trauma. I had to get rid of some dusty layers to really see what I want to do in my life. How can I serve? How can I be really authentic?"

She says balancing her art and teaching has made her feel more secure and creative, which was not the case a few years ago. Liv did join MIDNATTSOL for their 2018 album "The Aftermath" and has done a few guest vocal appearances since 2016, but she had not worked on new music of her own. The singer credits her husband with bringing her back to that.

"I released an EP a couple of years ago, 'Have Courage Dear Heart'," said Liv. "I got it tattooed just underneath my heart, and that was in 2018, 2019, when I met Michael, now my husband and soul partner. I had decided to be without singing. No performance anymore, no band. I just wanted to quit the whole thing — [the] music business sucks, court cases and all the bullshit. Sometimes I found myself in front of court, and I didn't even know what I was doing there. I just wanted to quit it all. And I quit. But I realized that I'm not being myself. So when Michael turned up in my life, he gave me the real kick that I needed. He pushed me. That was when I released 'Have Courage Dear Heart'. It takes a lot of courage to go through that process, but it's very relieving and very freeing in the end."

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