'Klawing Their Way Back'
Kittie was founded in 1996 by sisters Mercedes and Morgan Lander when they were barely on the cusp of adolescence. Now at the ages of 21 and 23, they are accomplished musicians, writers and well seasoned veterans of the industry.
They were just 15 and 17 years of age when their first C.D., “Spit”, was released on NG/Artemis records. “Spit” was quickly Certified Gold and to date, they have sold well over 1,250,000 units worldwide with 3 Albums and 2 EP’s under their belts.
Kittie have toured extensively, played with such notables as Slipknot and Pantera, co-headlined Second Stage at Ozzfest, co-headlined Snowcore, performed on the Conan O’Brien and Later Shows and hosted MTV’s Head Banger’s Ball.
Kittie have managed to stand out and be noticed in the very competitive world of Metal. Their incisive brand of music has definitely taken them into uncharted territory. Never before have an all female heavy metal band impacted on such a male dominated genre. Every time they step on stage they make history.
The ladies are now poised to strike at history again with new music that expresses quantum leaps in evolution and a fresh and very talented new lineup: Tara Mcleod (21), brings with her from popular South Western Ontario Band “Sherry”, scorching guitar solos and riffs that only serve to make “Metal’s Truest Diva’s” unattainably peerless. Trish Doan (20), previously in London all girl band “Her”, is the final dynamic element in Kittie’s bold presence. Her powerful presentation on bass adds unprecedented clarity and weight to the bottom end.
The fortuitous melding of all these ladies’ gifts has birthed a dazzling presence and stunning stage performance. It is as it always should have been………a united, awe inspiring juggernaut forging indelible melodies born upon gale force metal backdrops. What started out as a group of little girls in a basement nearly a decade ago has become a massive indomitable force. And with this new force comes their new album, 'Funeral For Yesterday' [X Of Infamy Records].
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? [Morgan Lander] - "While growing up, we were surrounded by a lot of what our parents listened to, which was a steady dose of classic 70's and 80's guitar driven rock. I think that exposure early on helped to formulate our ideas about music and while we don't really draw directly from those influences for our music today, I definitely think it helped to steer us in the right direction!"
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "I would say we are a melodic heavy metal band, but we are so much more than that as well. It’s like beauty and the beast, tough yet feminine. It’s hard to describe, but there aren't too many bands out there that sound like we do."
Your album title 'Funeral For Yesterday' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it has more of a personal meaning to you?! "FFY was written during a really difficult time in Mercedes and My career. We had no idea whether we were even going to be able to continue on as a band, and out of that struggle came this concept and this music. The whole idea behind the album is a chance to evolve and be reborn. In order to be reborn you must have death, so this album signifies the death of what once was, putting the past to rest and a chance to move on."
And just where does the bands name originate? "It originated in our young 12 year old minds hahaha. It was our way of having a name that was contradictory to our sound. It was unexpected and we liked that."
Knowing that Kittie was formed back in 1996 by both you sisters, if it hadn't been a band that you girls had put all your angst and frustrations into, what would it have been? "It wouldn't have been at all. It was our release, and if we weren't able to do exactly what we felt and wanted, it wouldn't have existed all together."
How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Well I think the beauty of this band is that we started off very young, and we are still very young, so we sort of evolve and change with age and experience regardless of whether or not it is a conscious effort. We are always improving and changing no matter what, and as long as we continue to write the music that we feel is relevant, that we enjoy and ignore trends and expectations, we are fine!"
Please tell us more (in a quick fashion!) about what was going on in your life when these songs were being written and recorded:
'Breathe' - "Breathe is actually a song that lyrically was written by Mercedes. We were both in the same situation together, so I felt it was important for her to have a voice to. This song to me is about the death of a relationship, and having to let go even though you still love this person."
'Slow Motion' - "This song is about holding on to something or someone that is dying, and there is nothing that can be done to stop nature from taking its course."
'Flower of Flesh and Blood' - "This song sort of deviates from the concept of death and resurrection that the other songs on the album have. This song is about the concept of having a human guinea pig and seeing beauty in death and things that are ugly..."
Being that Kittie has had brushes with greatness and near misses with extinction along the way, just where do they stand now as a musical force? "I think we are stronger and musically more relevant than ever. I think we remain outside the musical box and are constantly pushing the boundaries and changing peoples ideas about what is heavy and metal and cookie cutter."
What's been one of the longest running misconceptions about Kittie that you would like to set straight right here, right now?! "Yhat we are shorter than we appear to be, and we are not dating each other hahaha..."
Interesting! ... er, if asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today ... and why?! "We have always toyed with covering a Heart song or something by Metallica, I think either of those would be good choices."
Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "I love to kill them before I eat them :)"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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