I spoke to Liv Jagrell, aka Liv Sin, former lead singer of Sister Sin about her forthcoming solo album.
It’s been around a year and a half since Sister Sin came to an end. When the band split did you take time off to reflect or did you know you wanted to do a solo album at that point?
Yes, it was October 2015. I took a little time off, mostly because I was very confused and didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue or not because I was a little bit caught by surprise when Sister Sin ended, so I just had to take a few months getting myself back into stability because I kind of gave my whole life to Sister Sin. My whole personality was to be the lead singer of Sister Sin, so when we stopped playing I was very confused for a long time. I didn’t know what to do, if I had to start at zero again, would I have the energy to do that? would people believe in my again? All those kind of thoughts, so I just took a little bit of time off to figure that out. Deep in my heart I always wanted to continue playing. I just got a little bit insecure about the whole thing.
That’s hardly surprising since as you say, it was a huge part of your life for so long and you’re suddenly left with lots of free time.
It was extremely strange because we used to tour all the time, Sister Sin was one of the busiest touring bands in Sweden and we had weekend shows almost every weekend. I remember one of the last years, we had three or maybe four weekends in the whole year that we could do something or be at home, and all the other ones we were playing. Suddenly it’s like I’m not going away at weekends, I’m not going on tour, what am I going to do, I’m climbing the walls here.
Your solo album, Follow Me is due out at the end of April. How long did you spend writing the album?
Not an especially long time – we only have pourselves to blame. The thing was exactly one year ago, I didn’t have a band, I had a manager, who was the manager for Sister Sin, who said “If you want to continue, I want to continue managing you”. I had an idea in my head, and I didn’t know how to get it out. Who am I going to play with? who am I going to write with? Am I going to write the music? There were a lot of thigns going around. Then after a while I found a guitar player, actually an old friend of mine, but I didn’t think of him at first because he was a punk rock guitar player – he plays in 50s bands, punk bands and rock & roll bands so I didn’t think of him at first, but after a while I decided I needed someone to help me make those songs that I had in my head because I’m not such a good guitar player myself – I can play a bit of guitar, but not those riffs that I wanted or the type of music. So I asked him maybe April/May last year and he sent me some stuff. One of the first riffs he sent me was the riff to “Let me out” and I loved that – this is exactly what I wanted, this kind of guitar driven, heavy riffs, very guitar based. So we had ideas, then the summer went. It was the first summer for maybe ten years where I was actually free for summer, so I went on vacation mostly during the summer. We had a couple of ideas, then I got home and we already had a record deal, and suddenly we had a date for recording of the album and the release. We had to record in October and it was already the middle of August, so we had omne and a half months to make all those songs, so we took all the free time we had. I’d go from work – I work as a personal trainer, so I might have one class then go home for three hours and write stuff for the album, then go back to more classes and clients, so that’s how it was for one and a half months, just doing that. It was very intense and stressful but we managed to come up with a whole album, so I’m very happy about that. Then we went on to record it in October, and in November I went to Germany to record the vocals. At the end of December, the album was done, so it was a pretty quick process.
We just took what had and threw it in rather than overthinking things.
What are your inspirations for writing the lyrics?
Some part of the album is very political, so it’s kind of my view on how the world looks today. A lot fo the lyrics came to me when I was kind of disappointed in humanity (I’m still disappointed) and how we’re treating each other and how we’re treating our world. That makes pretty good lyrics. I’m not the type of person that writes about happy party stuff, that’s not me, I write about the things that get to my heart. Also some of the lyrics are coming from my own experiences, more from my feelings than experiences.
Have you got any plans for live shows?
Actually yes, the same date as the album release we have our first show, so it’s going to be twice as nervous because the release date and also the very first show for the band and all of us to be on stage together. It’s going to be a lot of fun but I think we’re all going to be very very nervous.
It’s going to be a difficult show because people haven’t had chance to hear the songs before the show.
I know, so it is a difficult one because it’s new for everybody. So we have that show then some festivals in the summer and we’re planning a tour for the Autumn. Most of the festivals so far are in Scandinavia, one in Czech republic but the rest in Scandinavia. I’d love to play over here and in Germany, Spain and lots of other places, but I think we released the album a bit too late, people have only heard one or two songs now, so I think the festivals don’t want to book a new band based on one or two songs.
Hopefully by next year more festivals will be interested as they can see how the album has done, see you playing lots of shows, so they have more to go on.
I hope so, I love playing festivals.