KITTIE's MERCEDES LANDER: 'When Live Music Is Finally Able To Come Back, It's Gonna Explode'
September 23, 2020
In a new interview with Janne Vuorela, KITTIE drummer and THE WHITE SWAN frontwoman Mercedes Lander discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the music industry. She said (see video below): "I think the short term, we're seeing the effects already. Especially here in Canada, there's been live venues that have closed. Right off the bat, a bunch of 'em closed, and they were probably hanging on by a thread. A couple of those venues that THE WHITE SWAN would play in the Hamilton, Toronto, London area, a lot of them didn't make it, even through the first couple of months, which is sad, because a lot of those smaller venues that house bands like us that are up and coming, and really help the local scene, those types of venues aren't gonna exist in a lot of places. So, that's kind of sad. And for a musician that is really super into playing live — I don't play music for any other reason; I [like] to play live and to create. Creating is secondary to me. I like playing live. I do love creating, and I love writing music, but I feel like playing live is above that, if that makes sense. So, I think that's really gonna affect the short term."
She continued: "I think the long term [effect] is that this might be positive. It might create some crazy, innovative way of creating music and playing live. Like, we've seen all of those live streams that bands have been doing. That's craziness. That didn't really exist. People didn't really do that very often before this happened, and now everybody's doing it. And that's amazing. So, some guy that lives in who knows — Alaska or something like that — can turn on his computer and go see CLUTCH, 'cause I know they were doing a bunch of really cool live streams for a while.
"It's gonna change the way that we kind of do all of this, I think," Mercedes added. "And I think it'll probably push things a lot more digitally, but I feel like when live music is finally able to come back, it's gonna explode, because people are so fucking bored in their houses right now. [Laughs] So, I don't blame them — I'm bored too — and as soon as I'm able to play a show, I will. And I expect everybody to be there."
THE WHITE SWAN released its new EP, "Nocturnal Transmission", on September 18. The effort contains four tracks, including a moving cover of Tracy Bonham's "Tell It To The Sky".
Named after the T.REX song, THE WHITE SWAN features Lander as the principal songwriter but she is far from being a dictator, preferring to view THE WHITE SWAN as a team effort.
KITTIE released a concert film titled "Kittie: Live At The London Music Hall" in March 2019. It features footage of the Canadian metal band's October 27, 2017 20th-anniversary hometown show at the London Music Hall in London, Ontario. The event, which also served as a screening of the long-in-the-making documentary "Kittie: Origins/Evolutions", saw KITTIE mainstays Mercedes and Morgan Lander (guitar, vocals) take the stage with a number of their former bandmates to perform songs from the group's entire repertoire.
KITTIE was formed in 1996 by Mercedes, Morgan, Fallon Bowman and Tanya Candler. Tanya left KITTIE soon after recording of its debut album, "Spit", which has sold more than 1.2 million copies. Bowman exited the group in 2001. Guitarist Tara McLeod and bass player Trish Doan joined the band in 2005. Although Doan left for health reasons in 2008, she returned three years later. Other musicians who have played with KITTIE during the years include Talena Atfield, Lisa Marx, Jennifer Arroyo and Ivana "Ivy" Vujic.
The band has released five albums since "Spit": "Oracle" (2001),"Until The End" (2004),"Funeral For Yesterday" (2007),"In The Black" (2009) and "I've Failed You" (2011).