KITTIE's MORGAN LANDER On Her Sister MERCEDES: 'Playing Music Together Is Something That Has Been Born In Us'

June 5, 2024

In a new interview with Terrie Carr of the Morristown, New Jersey radio station 105.5 WDHA, KITTIE guitarist/vocalist Morgan Lander was asked if she ever thought that she would still be making music with her bandmates 25 years after the release of their debut album. She responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "No, of course not. I think, especially when you're young, you're sort of living in the moment. And a lot of the things that were coming to us early on, I didn't think — I genuinely did not think I would still be doing this at 42 years old. And it's such an honor to feel like we have this second life, second opportunity to do this. And we are so excited. Creating music is what we live for. And it's just an incredible feeling to have new music out and people who've been waiting a long time are excited. So we're along for the ride."

When Carr noted that Morgan and her sister, KITTIE drummer Mercedes Lander have had to overcome various adversities, including label woes, the sudden death of their father/manager Dave and passing of their longtime bassist Trish Doan, Morgan said: "Yeah. I think especially, too, when you're young, things that happen, they feel like the end of the world. And we were doing all of our growing pains in public. So that was sort of, I guess, a little bit detrimental. But if there's one thing about Mercedes and myself, we're very resilient. And when life throws something like that at us, we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and just keep going. That's all you can do."

She continued: "Music and playing music together is something that has been born in us. I know that this is what we've been meant to do for our entire lives. And sometimes you do have to step away from a situation to sort of understand the impact on your own life and other people's lives. And that's part of what the hiatus that KITTIE was experiencing was sort of all about. But still understanding and seeing our worth and that people wanted the music."

Morgan added: "Our fans have been asking for new KITTIE music for well over 10 years now. And so it's just an honor to be able to be back in this place. We're older, we're wiser, we're feeling a bit more refreshed, and we've come out of some of those lowest, lowest points, I think sort of better for the experiences and wiser. And it also kind of helps to create a bit more excitement. It's like where you know you've been to those places, being able to enjoy and appreciate every little thing that comes with it, the good and the bad. Right now, things feel amazing. I cannot stress that enough. We're very appreciative."

KITTIE's long-awaited new studio album, "Fire", the band's first in over 13 years, is due on June 21 via Sumerian Records.

When "Fire" was first announced last month, Morgan said in a statement: "10 years ago, if someone would have told us that we would be releasing new KITTIE music in 2024, we'd have dismissed them right away. It feels like something deeper than fate that's brought us together again, allowing us to create something fearless and magical for you. We've worked incredibly hard over the past year, and surrounded ourselves with the ultimate dream team to make this album a reality. We cannot wait for you to lose yourselves in the passion and strength of 'Fire'."

"Fire" is available to pre-order now with a variety of merch bundles including exclusive vinyl colorways, t-shirts, a cassette tape, a sticker pack, guitar pick pack, laminate and two metal lunch box designs.

In April, 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 and Mercedes in KITTIE's current lineup guitarist Tara McLeod and 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".

In January 2022, the original lineup of KITTIEMorgan, Mercedes, Fallon Bowman (guitar) and Tanya Candler (bass) — reunited for an online chat to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of its gold-certified 2000 debut album, "Spit".

Candler left KITTIE after the release of "Spit" in order to finish high school and was replaced by Talena Atfield.

Bowman exited KITTIE in 2001 and started her own industrial/electronic project, AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT.

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.

"I've Failed You" sold 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 178 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Photo credit: Dante Dellamore

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