Still Purring
CoC chats with Morgan and Mercedes Lander of Kittie
by: Adrian Bromley
While London, Ontario all-girl aggressive metal trio Kittie may not be the favourite band for most of the Chronicles of Chaos staff, I myself don't mind them and think that they deserve a story in CoC. To each their own, I suppose.

The band -- singer/guitarist Morgan Lander, drummer and sister Mercedes and new bassist Jennifer J. Arruyo -- couldn't be happier in 2002. They just returned from a successful tour in Europe, they have already done numerous US tours, and their sophomore effort -- 2001's _Oracle_ -- showcases a stronger follow-up to the wildly successful _Spit_ album a few years back. The new disc finds the band adding a bit more aggression to the fold, while at the same time adhering to the melodic, aggressive swaying of their sound. Much more strengthened and equally as brutal sonically as before, these "metal kittens" are rabidly fierce from the get go, especially on songs like "Mouthful of Poison", "Severed" and the ultra-cool cover of Pink Floyd's dark number "Run Like Hell".

"I think this record was just something that had to be done, right then and now, and I think it came out great", starts Mercedes about _Oracle_. "It had been a few years since our debut album and we were just starved for writing music. We toured quite a bit and when we needed to make this album it all came together quite quickly and in a short period of time."

"Like any album you make, you can only do your best and we did that with the new album", chimes in Morgan. "If people don't like this new album and prefer the old stuff, whatever. We were pretty confident with what we were writing for the new album and excited that it was a lot different than the last album."

And what about the line-up changes that have occurred with the band over the last little while, how did that affect the music creation process? "This record is a lot more progressive than the last one", says Morgan. Mercedes juts in: "As for the bandmember changes? The members in the band that sucked are no longer in the band." Both siblings laugh.

Continues Morgan, "I think things happen for a reason and maybe it was fate's way of helping us out by telling us to go in a direction that we wanted to go to. Not to say we couldn't go in the direction we wanted; maybe at that point in time we didn't have the right talent, and now we do."

"Our new bassist Jen is a great bass player and a great addition to the band. It was all about hooking up with the right person, someone who is mature and has the right vision. She has been in numerous bands and toured the US several times and just has that experience and knows what being in a band is all about. She knows that we might not always be on a bus or get good food on the road or get the red carpet treatment wherever we go. I think when we do decide to work on the next album and start writing, she will contribute a lot of strong ideas to the music. She has already adjusted the bass lines on songs to make them heavier and much tighter and not simple like they were originally recorded for _Oracle_."

I remember seeing Kittie at Milwaukee MetalFest a few years ago and your bass player at the time was walking around with a blowup doll. "I'm sorry to hear that", says Mercedes. "That was just wrong", she laughs.

Things have definitely changed since then. The band has grown musically and I think the new album crushes the debut. Do you sense a drastic amount of change in the music of Kittie?

Morgan starts, "I think a lot of people are surprised by what we did with this album. It came out the way we wanted it to be and we are just so much more into evolving the sound come next album. I think people will be happy to know that we plan to become more brutal next time around."

The one thing a lot of fans like about Kittie is the meshing of melody and aggression. Do the Lander sisters think one day Kittie will be full on death metal growls or do they like the mixture of vocal stylings?

"I think the mixture of styles is what makes us who we are", says Morgan. "There is a dynamic and aspect of the way we write that allows us to be melodic and at the same time be heavy and scream. I think as things go along for us it will get heavier as times goes on, as well as the melodic parts will be worked on to bring some variety to what we do. These ideas and changes brought into the music of Kittie is all about the evolution of what we want to do as a band."

Are the members of Kittie still running into music fans who don't like them and/or still don't get what they are doing musically?

Mercedes states, "Yeah, there are still people out there who are not into us and lash out for the sake of lashing out. I think if all those people who wrote off the first record heard this one they might be into what we are doing now. I also think if you were to throw on our record an not tell a non-Kittie fan who it was and played it, they'd be like. "Who the fuck is this? This is good!""

"When we first came out we were a lot different and a lot less experienced than we are now", adds Morgan. "I think it is quite sad that people out there still won't give our new album a chance and because they wrote us off the first time we don't mean anything and they avoid our album. It was the best we could do at ages of 12 and 14 and with the material we had. It is a shame as I think the material on this album is quite good and technical."

"I know a lot of people talk shit about us, but I'd like to see other 12 to 14 year old kids write good music like we had on _Spit_", ends off Mercedes. "I don't think they could. We worked hard to make it happen for Kittie. We've got a good thing going and it has only gotten better. The future looks good for us three girls. Bring it on!"

(article submitted 1/9/2002)

3/21/2003 A McKay Kittie: Kittie's Got Claws
4/28/2003 A McKay 6.5 Kittie - Safe
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