Liv Kristine Bio - Biography

Name Liv Kristine
Naionality Norway
Date of Birth February 14, 1976
Place of Birth Stavanger, Norway
Famous for
Since Liv Kristine appeared in the music scene, she turned out to be one of the most extraordinary and creative female artists in Europe. She has left her footprints in various genres: with her gothic metal band Theatre of Tragedy she secured her position in the history of music. Moreover, as solo artists she has secured her position within the tops of the pop business.

Music in the Veins
Liv Kristine Espenaes was born 14th February, 1976, in Stavanger at the Norwegian west-coast, where she spends her childhood and years at school. Already as a little girl she discovers her fascination for music and singing. Pop-icon Madonna is the ultimate idol for the young Liv, who spends hours on studying the songs and poses of the material girl in front of her mirror.

At the age of ten, Liv and a friend of her found their first band “Twice”; later on she joins a church choir, singing a.o. the masterpieces of J. S. Bach. However, Liv is searching for creative freedom and thus decides to found the band Theatre of Tragedy together with some friends. Originally cast as background singer, she convinces her band mates with her singing qualities and turns into the equal duet partner with vocalist Raymond.

On her Way to the Top
In 1994, Theatre of Tragedy record their first demo-cassette and sign a record deal. Half a year later, they produce their self-titled debut album in cooperation with Dan Swanö which is released summer ’95. But the record fails in the view of most press issues: Although German Break Out-Magazine calls them “Newcomer of the Month”, most of the other media do not exactly know how to “handle” this new combination of female vocals and harsh metal riffs. But it turns out to be exactly what the audience had been waiting for: within a short time the album sells the sensational number of 25.000 copies, which has tripled its numbers until today. No wonder that Theatre of Tragedy get into the focus of the media. And they easily figure out the reason for their surprising success – the soprano of Liv Kristine. With the distinct contrast to the dark male vocals, Theatre of Tragedy is the symbol and origin of the “Beauty and Beast”-phenomena of the late nineties. Even today they are still being followed by dozens of similar bands trying to reach the same success.

With the following album “Velvet Darkness They Fear” and the settling of the self-created style Theatre of Tragedy reach their final breakthrough with 125.000 sold copies. The single “Der Tanz der Schatten” is sold out within a few weeks. The German track will soon prove to be the official anthem for an entire scene. Along with their spectacular symbiosis of gothic/wave and metal-sounds the band easily crosses the formerly strict border between both styles and thus they unite fans of all of the genres.

Theatre of Tragedy, along with Atrocity, is the first metal band to play at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany. With their appearance they open the doors to dozens of other gothic acts to the most important festival of the scene. “Der Tanz der Schatten” resounds through all dark clubs throughout Europe and might be one the songs with the strongest appearance on samplers of gothic music.

Along with their success also the public interest in Theatre of Tragedy expands and fans and press soon find a media favourite in Liv Kristine. From now on, all relevant magazines feature the blonde girl with the extraordinary voice – Liv Kristine becomes the face of gothic metal. Fans vote for her and her band in a number of polls to become the definite newcomer of the year and the request for Liv and her voice raises.

Pop up in Pop
The German metal band Atrocity are the first ones who ask Liv to do a guest performance and thus she appears as guest singer for “Werk 80”. With excellent reviews concerning her participation on the interpretations of 80s-classics and a phenomenal chart entry in the top 30, Liv feels encouraged to realize the idea of an own project.

In 1997, Liv Kristine starts to work on her first solo-album. March 2nd 1998, is the release date for the result of the recordings and under the brand Liv Kristine she comes up with “Deus ex Machina”. Although Liv is expected to present dark gothic sounds in her solo project she surprises everybody with atmospheric and fragile pop songs and thus abandons every possible parallel to her former work. In the meantime Liv decides to move to Germany. Visually she represents her creative diversity and can hardly be re-recognized in her angelic white outfit in middle of the purity of doves. With fantastic melodies, soft ballads, fresh pop-hits and a great portion of individuality, Liv captures the listener on their way to her fairy world. Own lyrics and the Norwegian lullaby „Je har ei Tulle med Øyne Blå“ strengthen the measure of personality even more and the singer reflects her inner self through “Deus ex Machina”, wich reminds us of Enya or Loreena McKennitt. Another highlight is the duet “3am” with Paradise-Lost-singer Nick Holmes. It appears on a special single edition and soon become the hit track of the album. Without extravagant promotion activities, “Deus ex Machina” sells more than 30.000 copies within few months and Liv Kristine has established herself as a solo artist.

The first concerts with Liv Kristine take place at the Dark Storm Festivals, Christmas 1998. The shows prove to be an enormous success and the audience is again deeply impressed by the live qualities of the friendly singer. Because the rush on Liv is so unbelievably great at the premiere in Chemnitz, she will be booked right away after the concert for next years’s show on the main stage.

In 1998, Theatre of Tragedy and Liv release their concept masterpiece “Aégis“, as well. The record will be a milestone in the history of metal and hits the German billboards at a magnificent position of 40. Cover stories in all important magazines of the scene (a.o. Metal Hammer, Sonic Seducer) reflect the strong position of the band in the scene. Viva 2 TV broadcasts parts of Theatre of Tragedy’s live performance at Dynamo Open Air in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Moreover, they cheer up more than 8.000 people with their first concert in Greece, Athens. At the Zillo Festival they play in front of 20.000 people. “Aégis“ is one of the most successful releases of the scene.

Songs for Crimes
Liv Kristine gets the honour to sing “3am” as the title song for Germany’s most popular TV crime series, “Tatort”. With the broadcasting of the episode “Dagoberts Enkel” her name is now well-known outside the gothic scene. Due to this success, the song “One Love” is composed only for her - a romantic ballad which is written to be the title song for the TV-thriller “Sehnsucht”, a series of the Schimanski-films. The episode receives some of the best rating results in the history of this show (ca. 9.92 mill. viewers). Right after the release November 7th the telephone lines of Westdeutscher Rundfunk, producer of “Schimanski, glow hot. Never before, there has been such an enormous request for one of the series’ title tracks. Liv Kristine has finally managed to establish herself as an estimated artist in both the alternative and the pop scene. With “One Love” she certainly enters this new genre without disappointing her long-year followers. European largest youth magazine “Bravo” honours the song with a participation on their “Bravo Hits – Best of 1999”-sampler, printed in an edition of more than 925.000 copies. At the age of 23, Liv Kristine has climbed the top to be the most successful female artist of the gothic scene.

Breaking the Waves
By the new millennium many things change just like the music of Theatre of Tragedy. In 2000 they come up with their album “[`mju:zik]“ which leads to an outcry. In a new image and with major labels Eastwest and Nuclear Blast as label partners they present a hit-stuffed album with strong electronic attitudes. Although it takes some time to get used to their new sound it turns out to be the logical step for an outstanding group of the meanwhile overcrowded gothic genre. The chart entry at position 39, numerous cover stories (Orkus, Sonic Seducer…) and a week-long rotation of the video clip “Image” on Germany’s music channels says it all. The second single will be the substitute for “Der Tanz der Schatten” as dance floor hit and reaches a position 15 in the German Alternative Charts of 2000. And Liv Kristine surprises with even more unique and various singing that make this record becoming a masterpiece. She carries us away with soft and tender lines but also with rocky and deeper voices. And like her idol Madonna, she came through another metamorphoses and now appears in completely new looks with her legendary red leather suit. Sexy and modern like never before she shows her individuality and outstanding position among the singers in the gothic scene.

Theatre of Tragedy continues in their new direction with the following album “Assembly” in 2002 and hit the billboards one more time. After two most successful tours through Europe and concerts in Mexico, London and Moscow they will be the first European band playing in Beirut, Lebanon, after the end of the civil war there.

2003 will bet he most eventful year in the life of the singer. After living together for seven years Alexander Krull (Atrocity) and Liv Kristine finally marry July 3rd, and in December Liv gives birth to son Leon Alexander. But at same time a sad message is announced: After ten years of cooperation and more than 500.000 sold records, Theatre of Tragedy all of a sudden decides to part ways with Liv Kristine without any detailed explanation. But what seems to be the end of a career turns out to be the personal deus ex machina (“divine dispensation”): Together with her friends of Atrocity Liv founds a new band where the experience of all the members come together and form a unique sound under the name Leaves’ Eyes. In spring of 2004, they release their debut “Lovelorn” with the Austrian label Napalm Records. The opus “Lovelorn” brings gothic metal in its most entertaining and strongest form. With her comeback album Liv shows her abilities as a lyrical writer and shows an enormous development of her voice. On this conceptual album she combines classical, poppy and even opera-like and opulent vocals in one – the press compares her with Kate Bush a.o.

The video clip for the single “Into Your Light” enters heavy rotation on Viva and the important music magazines feature the newcomer on their covers of the June-issues. And the fans are happy as well and celebrate Leaves’ Eyes at their live-premiere at Wave Gotik Treffen 2004. The album itself gets the most positive reviews, worldwide. Besides dozens of interviews with the international press, Liv and Alex even go for a promotional tour to Greece. On their six-week tour through Europe the band plays in 13 countries and Liv celebrates her powerful comeback. With their latest releases Leaves’ Eyes hit the German Charts in May and June of 2005: The single “Elegy” stays four weeks in the Single Charts (peak: #76) and “Vinland Saga” hits the Album Charts at #62. The vide oclip for "Elegy" is a regular guest on music TV. Being a mother and reaching new heights with Leaves’ Eyes there’s doubt about who really owns the title of the Gothic Queen.

A Desirable Guest
Liv Kristine has established herself as a guest singer with Atrocity but also together with a number of other bands asking for cooperation with the talented and experienced artist. Like no other singer she easily convinces in a diversity of styles. With the gothic-icons Silke Bischoff she records the wave-number “Blue Moon”, with Weltenbrand she presents her first classic-metal song. On the album “Swallow” with the Portugesian gothic metal act Heavenwood you can find a duet with heavy metal-hero and ex-Helloween-/Gamma Ray-singer Kai Hansen. The Genius-project invites her and Eric Martin (ex-Mr. Big) a.o. for a heavy-rock track and her collaboration with Immortal Rites brings her into death metal. Her most successful and well-known guest appearance is the duet “Nymphetamine” with Dani Filth and the legendary Cradle of Filth. The baroque video clip is played by all important music channels around the world and Liv Kristine receives enormous interest from the media. The unbelievable success of “Nymphetamine” beats all expectations and Liv Kristine and Cradle of Filth are finally nominated for the most important award of the music world, the Grammy.

Sounds of the Future
Anno 2006 Liv Kristine once again enchants with her personality and unique artistic knowledge. The Single "Fake a Smile" hit the German single charts. The long awaited follower of "Deus ex Machina", the album "Enter My Religion", has been published: A catchy and impressive work. Liv Kristine proved again that an artist who was born with such a fantastic voice can have many faces and facets, however still keeping the one and only personal note of her own. The atmospheric mix of Pop and Rock music, exotic instruments and Liv's angelic vocals is just touching you by the heart and it shows a promising future for an great artist. Liv Kristine has had quite a successful time and both fans and media will be impressed for one more time by her talent and individuality in the following years. Her promising pop project will enter a new era and also the gothic scene can look forward to and be prepared for a unique Liv.

Liv Kristine Photos