MORGAN LANDER On KITTIE's Career: 'Our Story Is Not Always A Happy One'
January 21, 2018
James Geiser of Antihero Magazine recently conducted an interview with frontwoman Morgan Lander of Canadian all-female metal band KITTIE about their forthcoming career-spanning documentary, "Origins/Evolutions". You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On her thoughts on KITTIE's 20th anniversary:
Morgan: "It makes me feel very old. [Laughs] I mean, honestly, I'm honored that we have been able to continue as a band and be relatively relevant and have a fairly stable fanbase and have people that still continue to want to hear new music and listen to us and that sort of thing after 20 years. Not very many bands have that opportunity. I can't speak for everyone. I'm sure everyone does feel this way, but we're truly honored this is something we're still able to do and still able to talk about 20 years after the fact."
On whether she had any idea KITTIE would help spearhead a new wave of females playing metal:
Morgan: "Honestly, we had no idea. There was no inclination at all when we started. We honestly, we're just a bunch of friends that wanted to have fun. I think we were too young to understand what kind of an impact a band like that could have. So, yeah, we really had no idea at all. Again, it's just like, 'Wow!' It's an honor to be able to say that. There are people out there that cite us as an inspiration, as an influence, as trailblazers, that sort of thing. I think it's really amazing."
On the initial obstacles KITTIE encountered when they were starting out:
Morgan: "I think we had the age thing against us at that time. We were too young to be legally in bars, so that was kind of an obstacle. [Laughs] I know that sounds kind of strange to think about, even with being in Canada, the drinking age being 19 in most provinces. We were still too young to be actually be legally in the bars, so a lot of shows that we ended up playing, we had to kind of hide out in the back until we went on stage. We weren't even allowed to actually be in the bar portion, so that was interesting. Obviously, until all of us came of age or whatever, but of course, the gender aspect as well, I think, is at the forefront of things. We did have a lot of fans, we also had a lot of critics, people saying they didn't think that we deserved the credit that we got and also didn't think that we were capable of actually writing or playing and producing this kind of music. Those were types of things we encountered early on, especially once we started to really get into the public eye a lot more. Even during our earlier days, there was a lot of that type of thing as well. It was the early kind of explosion of the internet in the late '90s and people were finding new ways to harass people, I guess. [Laughs]"
On the creation of "Origins/Evolutions":
Morgan: "The documentary has been really a process of about four years, if you can imagine. Four years ago, in I think, March or April, we decided that we would like to maybe explore the idea of for our 20th anniversary, putting out some archival footage, doing a documentary, telling our story, that sort of thing. We started an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds for that. We raised over 200 percent of our goal, which is fantastic. That left us with enough money to fund the documentary, which surprisingly enough, it actually is quite expensive. [Laughs] It does take a lot of work. I've never made movies before; I've always been in the music industry. It was all a learning experience for me and Mercedes [Lander, drums] as well to put everything together. Over the course of the last few years, we sourced all of our archival footage. We actually have hundreds of tapes of live shows and backstage stuff, stuff that we shot on our phones and on hand-held devices, of various sizes over the years. Like, a lot of stuff from VHS tapes that we had to dub and stuff like that. We went through everything and compiled some of the best footage that most people, if any, have never seen before. Things like the recording of [the band's debut album] 'Spit', which was something that we filmed the entire thing and have never really [showed it], so there's a lot of footage from the recording of the first album before everything kind of happened. A lot of tour stuff. Even some stuff from when Mercedes and I were very, very young, which is kind of fun and interesting as well, as well as pictures and posters and photos and all kinds of stuff. So yeah, it really is going to be the ultimate fan experience. Our story is not always a happy one. There have been a lot of ups and downs and I think it's important that everyone sees and understands that it hasn't always been easy or a cakewalk, but that's part of the strength of the story. We've managed to persevere through everything and it includes also all updated interviews with past and present band members as well as integral people who were integral to our career like [producer] Garth Richardson, a lot of crew people who were there from the beginning and that sort of thing as well. It really is a comprehensive look at what we've managed to accomplish over 20 years. Everyone is there to tell their own story, which I think is important."
"Origins/Evolutions" is due on March 30 via Lightyear Entertainment in North America. The three-disc set, which was directed by Rob McCallum, includes a Blu-ray and DVD of the documentary as well as a new live album on CD.