Thomas S. Orwat Jr. of RockMusicStar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Morgan Lander of the Canadian all-girl band KITTIE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockMusicStar.com: How do you think your new release "In the Black" compares to your last release "Funeral for Yesterday"?
Morgan: The difference between "Funeral" and "Black" are obviously apparent. I think that a lot of the changes made to intensify the music were done because we were kind of dissatisfied with the way that "Funeral" turned out. Definitely the songs were on there, we had an awesome time recording it. But sonically, it wasn't where we wanted to be. In comparison to our other recordings, it wasn't really representative of who we are. So with "Black" we made a conscious effort to do things a little differently. More solos, heavier more raw, and a lot less layering, especially with the vocals.
RockMusicStar.com: When you write, do you ever try to capture the vibe of the current music scene?
Morgan: Um…, to be honest with you, I'm not really aware of what is going on with the current scene. Obviously, I listen to some of the bigger bands like MASTODON and stuff like that. But, that's so far removed from what we do musically that it would be stupid to rip them off. We really don't pay attention. For us, we do what feels right. In terms of evolution, with every recording we get better as a band and better as musicians. What you are hearing is the evolution of the band.
RockMusicStar.com: Over the years, you've had some difficultly with your record labels. You're now with E1 Records, what makes them so special?
Morgan: Well, we know some of the people that work there. We have actually worked with some of these people in our past. So, it felt a little more comfortable. The Vice President of Metal from E1 worked with us on our first two releases with another label. He was very adamant about having us on board. And in comparisons to the other offers we were getting, this one just seemed right. It's definitely a good atmosphere; it just seemed like the right place to go.
RockMusicStar.com: Were you signed to E1 before you started recording the CD?
Morgan: No, which was good, because we didn't have to rush and we didn't have a deadline. Usually a label likes to keep the momentum going and wants you to tour and then after, write a CD and have it done for an optimum release date. But this time it was really nice not to feel rushed and have to meet a deadline. Because I know what that feels like and I had to do that in the past and it's definitely not a lot of fun.
RockMusicStar.com: You are one of the first female metal bands that broke into the mainstream. How long into your career did it take before you were recognized for your talent and not just as a novelty band?
Morgan: I don't know. I think we still struggle with that even now. To be quite honest.
Morgan: Yeah, definitely. But, I think that with the new album we have changed a lot of people's minds. In the past, harsh critics like Blabbermouth have been really hard on us. And for the first time in the bands history, we got a good review from them. But I think slowly, but surely people are starting to understand and appreciate the fact that we are not going to give up. We continue to get better and it's just a matter of time before people see the validity and merit in what we are doing. Obviously, we have our fans. We have fans that have enjoyed the band for ten plus years. And we have a rapid following when it comes to our diehard true fans. But I think, we still have yet to crack that idea, that bias that a lot of people have about the band. With every new CD, the old KITTIE that people remember and slag on, kind of fades away because we are not that band anymore. We shouldn't be judged now on what we did when we were fourteen.
RockMusicStar.com: I agree. Did the negative press ever get so bad that you considered breaking up the band at any point? Or did it motivate you to try harder?
Morgan: A little of both actually. We've been down both of those paths. There have been times when, especially Mercedes [Lander, drums] and I, when we've had a lineup change or something that didn't stick, for a while, we would think, "is this going to be it. Should we continue as a band?" But, it's always a struggle, but not so much anymore. There was one particular time in 2004 or 2005 when we really wonder what we wanted to do and if continuing with the band was the right thing to do. But obviously it was, because here we are.
Read the entire interview from RockMusicStar.com.