Rocking Your Balls Off: Our Interview With Sister Sin's Liv Jagrell

It occurred to me once that women who rock don't just take the road less traveled, they spend their days running twice as fast down the path, while dodging slings and arrows from brutal critics and narrow-minded fans. Many years ago, someone challenged me to name more than five women who "really rocked" and after I'd finished firing off a list that would have filled ten sheets of paper from top to bottom, I swore to always acknowledge the unsung heroes of music: the ladies.

Liv Jagrell, the dynamic front woman of Sweden's Sister Sin, has never needed the distinction of being treated like a delicate flower. Her stage presence and explosive rock vocals speak for themselves.

There are plenty of women in rock these days but I always maintain that plenty is never enough. Are you more conscious that you are out there with the big boys of legend and does it inspire you to give them a run for their money?
Yes, absolutely. As you said, in my experience it is like that. I have to fight so much harder and I have to work my ass off to earn that respect. Women are out there getting more jobs but they have to work harder and you get a thicker skin from that. When you play with other bands, I go out there and show them that even though I am female I can rock the balls off of them too. You have to have that comfort and confidence in yourself.

Your live shows have people talking and you are getting ready to hit the road in the US with Doro to support your new album Now And Forever. You are from Sweden and I know you've toured extensively in Europe and the States. What are the biggest pros and cons about touring close to home as opposed to the United States which is a whole different kettle of fish?
Absolutely, I think it's maybe a little bit different for us since we had Victory (record label) from our first record, which is our American label. The first tour we did after we released the record with Victory was the US tour and not Europe and not so much in Scandinavia, so for us we actually built a fan base in the US pretty much first. Now finally we are getting more attention here in Sweden and of course now with the last album, too. I feel that we have more attention from them now than we did before and I think that's because we have matured so much and feel comfortable touring here but before that, I strangely felt more comfortable touring in America than Sweden. There are so many good bands here in Sweden it's so much competition, the musical styles and the talent! Touring in the US can sometimes be bad because they don't understand the music sometimes because it's hardcore metal music. It's also good because it's old school metal but it's somewhat new for them now. Here in Europe and Sweden, there are so many bands who play this kind of music.

The extensive touring has really made a difference here as you've become rather popular and your music video for "The End Of The Line" has been widely viewed. It's very Armageddon/Sarah Connor in The Terminator flavored. We heard you are very physically fit and this really showcased that. Who came up with the concept?
Well, I mean the song is about, you know, 2012 and there are all these predictions about how the world is going to end and stuff like that and the song is a little like that. We felt that we wanted to do something apocalyptic. There were many ideas floating around but we knew that we were sticking with the fixed image of end of the world and I like to be physically fit so we thought maybe we can do something a little bit Terminator or Sarah Connor with the living in the hospital with the person breaking out and prepare to take over the world or something like that. I think it could have been totally bad if it had been done without a good producer but we were very happy with the result and the fans seem to like it, so that's good.

You are referred to as an "old school" metal band and your third album Now And Forever definitely fits the bill. You also collaborated with Doro Pesch while covering Motorhead's "Rock N' Roll." I know a lot of huge Motorhead fans. Was that daunting? Trying to get it right?
We are pretty heavy Motorhead fans ourselves and on our first album we did "Make My Day." We really love Motorhead and it's always kind of nerve-racking of course to cover a band that you are really into, who are your idols. The thing with Motorhead is that they do simple rock 'n' roll songs. We have a lot to work with and you can try to do it a little bit different or arrange it differently, how we want it, so it's easy to take a Motorhead song and put your take on it. These are great songs in their own right, but it's nice to do something of our own with it. We were pretty comfortable with a Motorhead cover and we were happy with how it came out. I really hope that they liked it too!

Every band has heroes and favorite legendary front man or front woman. Who do you consider to be your idols or your heroes?
I have two people that are absolutely my favorites of all time that never get old. The first one is Dee Snider and it's because he's my role model when it comes to entertaining people and being a front figure. I think he's the best. I can never get tired of him. I can watch him countless times and without fail he is always so good. You can really tell that he loves being on stage, he loves music and he communicates with the audience and that is one of the things you should do. All front people should entertain and he does. He is my biggest influence. The second one is Sebastian Bach; as an iconic front man and entertainer, he's great. I wanted to be the female Sebastain Bach when I started doing this. That was my goal. I loved his way of singing and using the high notes and everything like that. Both excellent entertainers and that's what I aim to be.

If you were in charge of putting on a music festival and booking the acts, who would your put on the bill and what would be the final song you'd all jam on before the curtain fell?
Oh, that's a good question. There are so many bands but of course I would put Twisted Sister on the bill because I'd want to play with them and see them play. Also I would love to see Pantera, I have never caught them live unfortunately and it's a big regret of mine. The song at the end, what should that be? I guess some kind of Twister Sister playing along. Maybe "Under the Blade?" Yes, everyone could rock out to "Under The Blade".

Sounds amazing. Thanks so much for talking with us today.
You are welcome, and thanks!

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