Kittie's Morgan Lander: 'We Are Stronger Than Ever'
Since their inception nearly a decade ago, Kittie have endured a revolving door membership for the guitar and bass positions, with guitarist/vocalist Morgan Lander and her little sister, drummer Mercedes, being the sole constants. The sisters Lander are all grown up on their fifth album, 'In the Black.'
"We've been through so much," Morgan told Noisecreep. "We've been together since 1996! It's almost 14 years now. When we were 14, no one took us seriously, because no one wanted to talk to a teenager trying to book a show! But now, we are stronger than ever. The trials and roadblocks of life are put up in order to test you, and there is a lesson to take away from it. This album was in the making for a long time, and we had to wait before things were finished with our previous label. Some tragic things happened, with our dad passing away, but it's been joyous since we have signed a new deal and we're able to release this to the world. But at the same time, it's been bittersweet. I guess that is the story of the band, with so many ups and downs, but we wanted to come back with a vengeance."
Lander admits that the new album -- due out on E1 this September -- is the intentional antithesis to 2007's 'Funeral for Yesterday,' which didn't turn out as planned. "Sonically, we wanted to go back to a more raw, angry, brutal metal approach," Lander said.
Some of the anger came from the band disentangling from a label 'partnership' which generated their own imprint. Of the experience, Lander reflected, "We decided to try new things and see what happened, but it was not for us. We're not made out of money, but we have experience, and we have had to do things for ourselves. But that situation was too difficult."
While the lineup has changed constantly during the course of Kittie's career, the sisters are undaunted by the stress and pressures of replacing the dearly departed. "It's definitely been challenging for Mercedes and I," Lander said. "The lineup has evolved but it's not necessarily the way we wanted things to be. We were young when we started and you cannot expect everyone to cope with the lifestyle and the pace. People have a different idea about what it is like to be in a band, and they expect certain things. And if they don't get them, they think maybe this is not cut out for them. Our guitarist Tara [McLeod] has been with us since 2005, and 'In the Black' is the first CD that there is someone who has played on two albums for us! It's not like we're terrible people! We don't want to get rid of people. The circumstances haven't matched up."
It appears as though things are finally matching up just fine for Kittie with 'In the Black.'