LIVAN

LIVAN

 New York City, New York, USA
BandRockAlternative

LIVAN’s compelling, whisper-to-a-scream approach to music is contemporary, cinematic, forward-thinking, dark, passionate, tempered by flashes of unexpected, sly humor. Livan notes, “My goal is to make people feel."

Biography

Greek-born, London-bred singer Livan is a study in contradictions—he has a masters degree in psychology; loves the Clash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bauhaus; has opened for Def Leppard, and cites Lord Byron as his favorite wordsmith. But Off the Grid, LIVAN’s (pronounced Lie’van) third release, is a cohesive, five-song EP of dark yet manically energetic post-punk rock. With captivating songs like the Vampiric, Spaghetti Western-esque “Little White Lies” and the wicked, propulsive “Undead,” Off the Grid is at once raw, primal and polished, hearkening back to the darker-edged British bands of the mid- 70s to mid-90s that influenced LIVAN.

“I called the EP Off the Grid because of the digital recording revolution, so many people are making records in their bedrooms with ProTools,” the songwriter notes. “They lay everything on the ‘grid.’ But it’s soulless. It fails to grab the onstage vibe of musical interaction that’s inherent in a live band.” LIVAN, together with guitarist Will Crewdson (ex of influential UK rockers Rachel Stamp, Malcolm McLaren and Johnette Napolitano) and drummer Damon Wilson (Ray Davies, Joss Stone) tracked Off the Grid old-school style with engineer Nat Chan in London. “We recorded the whole thing with no click, as we play it live,” LIVAN says. “It’s like it used to be, like rolling the tape…so if there are glitches on the record, we’ll live with that; it’s real.” Additionally, in late 2010, Off the Grid’s five songs will become part of a full-length, as yet unnamed CD.

Off the Grid is LIVAN’s third release in as many years, and the prolific writer and performer (who composes on bass, guitar and piano) has grown exponentially with each offering. 2008’s political and fraught Democricy led to 2009’s Happy Returns, which LIVAN calls “punchy, raw and sarcastic.” American radio embraced LIVAN’s, Happy Returns’ title track hitting #8 on the FMQB radio charts. LIVAN’s first US promo tour included well-received stops in New York and Los Angeles, and reinforced the performer’s desire to return to the US for a longer tour. Rock & Roll Report raved that Happy Returns was “fast and furious, with deep and intelligent lyrics,” praising LIVAN’s range and voice “as sounding somewhere between two Peters: Peter Murphy and Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil.” Other reviewers noted Happy Returns’ “mixture of the raw industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails, with the guitar force of the Clash and the flashy showmanship of David Bowie.”

LIVAN’s commanding stage presence, combined with the provocative musicality of songs like the Nosferatu-meets-Type O Negative approach of “The Joker,” explains why LIVAN sells out 2,500-seat clubs in his native Greece, his roughly decadent appeal, dark sexuality and edgy intellect earning him fans of all ages and persuasions. The ultimate for LIVAN is playing live, and he very much believes that “a song is interpreted by the listener. If I wrote it initially about the feeling or hurt or joy in a relationship, the listener might listen and feel completely different. If that happens, then I’ve succeeded lyrically as a writer.” One song making the transition from Happy Returns to Off the Grid is “King of the World,” a song one critic called “a charging ride of post punk dance…. darkly funky bass, and raining guitar chords with a heavy dose of brooding.” LIVAN re-recorded it for the EP, and while some lyrics directly reference Prime Minister Gordon Brown, LIVAN notes, “it’s mainly about how we wish we could have the power to do ‘X, Y, Z’ when you’re frustrated with bureaucracy or politicians. So if you could be ‘King of the World’ for a day, you could fix things.”

LIVAN’s compelling, whisper-to-a-scream approach to music is contemporary and cinematic. Off the Grid acknowledges decades of influential London-based bands, but it’s forward-thinking music that also invokes the romantic drama of the afore-mentioned Lord Byron, while the dark, passionate, sometimes aggro vibe is tempered by flashes of unexpected, sly humor. It’s a unique combination that resonates with critics and fans alike. “I love when people sing along to songs--verses, not just the chorus. That’s priceless to me,” LIVAN notes, concluding: “My goal is to make people feel. When the hair goes up on the back of your neck, when you strike that primal connection: That’s what I desire and demand out of my music.”

Lyrics

king of the world

Written By: Livan

Verse 1
Discipline your holly grail
But you’re still a little tiny pawn
One quick look at her majesty
Delivered you the final blow

Bridge
Undoubtedly a situation, which you can’t resolve
Stupidity a mental scar I should have learned t ply the guitar

Chorus
I wish I was the king of the world
Let the people shout
The king is dead
Long live the King

I wish I was the king of the world
Let the people shout
The king is dead
Long live the King

Verse 2
Humility and concentration
have been your assets all along
you do your math religiously
Commencing at the crack of dawn

Bridge
Unblessed and badly dressed you’re still a pawn
Don’t know if I’m the man for the job but I’m sure you’re fucking wrong

Chorus
I wish I was the king of the world
Let the people shout
The king is dead
Long live the King

I wish I was the king of the world
Let the people shout
The king is dead
Long live the King

undead

Written By: Livan

Verse 1
Up and running since sixty-nine
A revelation a newborn of my kind
I lick my wounds anticipating
For all those years you kept me waiting
A fabricate illusion to entertain your mind
to entertain your mind until you’re blind

Chorus
When I’m through with you there wont be anything left
You keep on trying to shoot me down with bullets made of led
And when I’m done and through with you there won’t be anything left
You cannot kill you can’t destroy me cause I’m already dead

Verse 2
You can purchase religion in a tin or a vile
Seven hail Marys and a box of Viagra
will get you in to heaven in style
I lick my wounds anticipating
For all those years you kept me waiting
A fabricate illusion to entertain your mind
to entertain your mind until you’re blind

Chorus
When I’m through with you there wont be anything left
You keep on trying to shoot me down with bullets made of led
And when I’m done and through with you there won’t be anything left
You cannot kill you can’t destroy me cause I’m already dead

MID 8
When I’m done and through with you there wont be anything left
When I’m done and through with you there wont be anything left
When I’m done and through with you there wont be anything left

Chorus
When I’m through with you there wont be anything left
You keep on trying to shoot me down with bullets made of led
And when I’m done and through with you there won’t be anything left
You cannot kill you can’t destroy me cause I’m already dead

where I bleed

Written By: Livan

Verse 1
I thought I was Invincible
I thought I had transparent tears
I loved to cause a big debate
I’m just the man you loved to hate

My vices all-invisible
I never thought you’d find my fear
I never thought I would reveal
My weakness my Achilles heel
My weakness my Achilles heel

Bridge
I hope you’ll shoot to kill
my time is standing still
I’ve shown you the way in
I’ll pay for every sin

Chorus
Cause this is where I bleed
And on my knees i plead
The truth’s no hidden thing
The time has come to bleed

Verse 2
The truth no longer lies within
You’ve ripped me from under your skin
I never thought that I’d see for real
My weakness my Achilles heel
My weakness my Achilles heel

Bridge
i hope you’ll shoot to kill
For time is standing still
I’ve shown you the way in
I’ll pay for every sin

Chorus
Cause this is where I bleed
And on my knees i plead
The truth’s no hidden thing
The time has come to bleed

Discography

Democr[i]cy - CD Album
Happy Returns - CD Album
If Only CD Single
Life Is Smiling - CD Single
Off The Grid - CD Album (release date TBA)