KITTIE On Nu-Metal's Decline And Eventual Resurgence: 'Every Time There's A Shift In Music, Everyone Hates It At First'

May 27, 2024

During a recent appearance on the "The Ex-Man" podcast hosted by Doc Coyle (BAD WOLVES),KITTIE members Mercedes Lander (drums),Morgan Lander (guitar, vocals) and Tara McLeod (guitar) spoke about how they feel about the supposed nu-metal resurgence in recent years, partly thanks to a whole new wave of exciting revivalists as well as scene godfathers like LIMP BIZKIT and MUDVAYNE returning to headlining arenas.

Tara said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It just seems like every time there's a shift in music, everyone hates it at first. A big, popular shift, everyone has to hate it at first. And I think with nu metal, it's like a simplified form of music, but that doesn't make it a lesser-than form of music. And I think that oftentimes it takes a little bit of growth and perhaps some years for some of the music fans to catch up and look back and realize, like, 'Wow, okay, that was super catchy. And actually writing those riffs and the hooks and the vocals, that's actually not simple.' They're, like, simplified; it's not simple."

Added Mercedes: "Honestly, go and listen to any of [LIMP BIZKIT guitarist] Wes Borland's playing. That's not easy. Also, [LIMP BIZKIT drummer] John Otto, the GOAT. Have you ever watched John Otto play drums? He's amazing."

Morgan said that it takes restraint for skilled musicians "to not overplay. And I think that is a sign of real talent, and also being strategic about where you're putting things in and how you're writing," she added.

Mercedes continued: "I think a lot of people confuse busy playing with good music. 'Cause there's a lot of busy songs that I'm, like, 'This song sucks.' It doesn't have to be super busy or shreddy or whatever, it doesn't have to be like that to be good. It's the same thing as I like to say — just 'cause you can play fast, it doesn't mean that you should… Giving yourself that space can provide you with so much more. Keeping your music kind of simplistic even, and giving yourself that space, you can do more vocally or whatever the case might be. Less is more sometimes."

KITTIE will release its long-awaited new studio album, "Fire", on June 21 via Sumerian Records.

In a separate interview with Metal Hammer magazine, Morgan shot down any suggestion that KITTIE's comeback was timed to coincide with nu-metal's resurgence.

"We're not a nu-metal band, and we never will be again," she said. "We're not trying to recapture something that is long gone for us. There might be a riff or an idea that harkens back to who we were in the past, but that is married with the more modern ideas of KITTIE as well. It's probably the best-sounding album that we've ever recorded. It has its foot in many worlds. I feel like when we were writing this album, there didn't feel like there was anything to prove. So it's definitely heavy and more mature, and the songwriting is incredible."

"I feel like we could have phoned it in and done what people expected us to do, but we've never been that band," added Mercedes. "We've always defied everything and done our own thing, and I think we're going to continue to do that. And that is the beauty of this band."

Last month, KITTIE announced an exclusive run of North American headline dates. The long-awaited shows will see the band perform in five cities across the U.S. and Canada this July and August, giving fans a very special and rare chance to see the band play a full headline set that will include their recently released singles "We Are Shadows" and "Eyes Wide Open" as well as classic hits and some deep cuts not played live since the band's early days.

Last November, it was revealed that KITTIE was working on a new studio LP with producer Nick Raskulinecz at Nashville's Sienna Studios.

Raskulinecz, who moved to Nashville from Los Angeles around 16 years ago, had previously worked with such acts as RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS, KORN, RISE AGAINST, HALESTORM, EVANESCENCE, SKID ROW and the DEFTONES.

KITTIE played its first concert in five years in September 2022 at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival at the Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.

Joining Morgan, Mercedes and Tara in KITTIE's current lineup is bassist Ivana "Ivy" Vujic.

Prior to Blue Ridge, KITTIE had not performed since its reunion show at London Music Hall in the band's native London, Ontario in 2017, celebrating the group's documentary "Kittie: Origins/Evolutions".

Vujic joined KITTIE in 2008 and appeared on the band's fifth studio CD, 2009's "In The Black". She also wrote and recorded bass for KITTIE's sixth album, 2011's "I've Failed You".

After KITTIE completed the touring cycle for "I've Failed You" album, the band entered a long period of inactivity during which Morgan focused on a marketing job for a chain of fitness clubs while Mercedes worked in real estate and more recently at a software company. The group also began work on a career-spanning documentary, "Origins/Evolutions", which finally saw the light of day in 2018 via Lightyear Entertainment in North America.

Photo credit: Dante Dellamore

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