Travelling on the UK leg of their European jaunt, metal chicks Kittie pull into Newcastle, and George has the chance to probe them with questions; he chats to drummer Mercedes Lander and bassist Ivy Vujic about their new album In The Black, how they brought the New Year in on a plane, and… vaginas.
George: Can you say your name and what you do in the band?
Mercedes: I’m Mercedes and I play drums.
Ivy: I’m Ivy, I play bass.
George: How does it feel to be back in the UK?
Mercedes: Awesome, it’s been a little over a year since we’ve been here last, and we have a new album out, so it’s nice to be here with a new album.
George: You’ve been touring Europe, how have people across the pond been treating you?
Mercedes: Awesome, we have so much fun pretty much everywhere we go, Europe is like, they’re definitely super die-hard and people in England as well, so I think this tour is turning out to be a success.
George: So, how’s Christmas been?
Mercedes: Good! [laughs] We spent it at home with our families, and we flew to Europe on New Year’s, that sucked.
Ivy: Yeah, we took off on the 31st and landed on the 1st.
Mercedes: It wasn’t the best New Year’s I’ve had.
Ivy: There was free booze on the plane, though.
George: You recently released In The Black, are you pleased with the reception it’s received?
Mercedes: Yeah, it seems to be that everyone who’s heard the album really enjoys it and, I think, for us, we kind of needed to put out an album like this, just like a super heavy album, and just give the finger to everybody. I think we definitely accomplished what we set out to do.
George: What are your favourite songs on the record?
Ivy: It’s so hard to choose favourites, I guess, Sorrow I Know is probably up there, just because it’s so different from anything else, and the timing and everything is really cool, and Forgive and Forget because it’s super heavy, it punches you in the face.
Mercedes: I love Sorrow I Know and My Plague.
George: Would you say it’s your proudest work to date?
Mercedes: Yes, for sure! I think if we don’t take a step forward on every album that we do, then we’re not a real band. Real bands work together as a whole to be able to become better musicians and, definitely, with every album, especially this album, it was a really big leap for us. This is the best we’ve ever done, except for the next record, the next record is obviously going to be better, or at least I hope!
George: In The Black has come a long way since your debut record Spit, has your sound just naturally changed or was it the swapping of different members that influenced it?
Mercedes: I think more than anything, because up until this album, it was basically Morgan and I that were writing everything, so I think it was basically us just growing up with our instruments and becoming better players. I wrote Spit when I was 12 and 13 years old, and I’m 26 now. [laughs] We’re getting older and, obviously, we’re maturing with our instruments. I think it’s just more of a progression than anything else.
George: Back in the day, Kittie was lumped in with all the nu-metal bands, how does it feel to have outlasted most of them?
Mercedes: You know what I think is really weird? I don’t think we’ve fit in really anywhere. I think we were lumped in with those bands, because, at the time, it was what was popular. I don’t think we sounded like anybody else, and now I don’t think we sound like anybody really, either. Morgan has such a distinct voice, but, yeah, we definitely have lived longer than most of those bands, it’s a nice feeling and at the end of the day, it’s like, “Cool!” and “Wow!”, because when you think about it, this band has been around for 14-years, it’s really a long time.
George: Are you over people just thinking of Kittie as a novelty band?
Mercedes: I think that if we were a novelty band, we wouldn’t still be a band right now, so if people think that, they can go fuck themselves, really.
George: Do you have any sisterly differences on tour?
Mercedes: Not really, not anymore, like every once in a while, there’ll be something, but, to be honest with you, we stopped fighting a long time ago, just because we work together. I see Morgan every day, whether we’re touring or not, her and I go to the gym together, I go pick her up because she doesn’t drive, and we drive to the gym down the street, so I see her every day, which is nice.
George: As a female band, what differs you on the road, compared to a band full of men?
Ivy: Well, we have vaginas.
Mercedes: We smell better, a lot better, I think that’s about it, though.
Ivy: We’re sharing a bus right now with how many dudes? Like there’s 12 guys on the bus and the four of us, it’s cool, it’s all normal.
Mercedes: Yeah, I don’t think there’s much difference, other than we smell better. The foot smell at the top of the stairs is fucking out-of-control. Somebody needs to wash their feet!
George: What’s in store for Kittie in the near future?
Mercedes: Well, coming up, we’ll be doing another US tour with God Forbid, they’re nice guys, I like them, they’re cool. So, after that, hopefully, we’ll be doing some more touring. We want to come back here for the festivals, whether we do that or not is a different story, but that’s what we would like to do.
George: Are you hoping for Download or Sonisphere?
Mercedes: Yeah, that would be nice, we’ve never played any English festivals, so that would be a first time for us.
George: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Mercedes: You can listen to Thine Eyes Bleed, they’re like our brother band, they’re a band we kind of took under our wing. They’re all really good friends of ours, Jeff used to play for us for three years, that’s his band, they’re great, they’re writing their third record right now. Also, there’s an up and coming band from London, Ontario called Nothing Left For Tomorrow, and they do really well in our area, they’re also really good friends of ours, from our home town, they’re pretty cool, that’s about it, though.
George: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Mercedes: Thank you to everybody that has supported us throughout the years, and thank you to everybody who has came out to a show, and…
Ivy: Don’t yell song names while we’re playing. [laughs]
Mercedes: Yeah, I fucking hate that so much, and, lastly, go buy our new record In The Black, it’s out now, they’re something on there for everyone, I think.
– George Cannings.
Many thanks to Kittie for the interview, and for more information on the band, visit: www.kittierocks.com
The album In The Black by Kittie is out now through E1 Music.