Phone interview with Mercedes Lander of Kittie
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
March 19th 2010, Los Angeles CA
Andrew: You are doing this tour to promote 'In The Black'. How are new songs coming along on stage?
Mercedes: Awesome! Everything is going quite well on this tour. The kids really seem to like the new album and the bands that we are here with, God Forbid, Periphery and Gwen Stacy are great. So we've had a good time. It's coming to an end. We only have a few dates left on the tour. So we've had a lot of fun!
Andrew: This was your bassist Ivy's first album. What difference do you think she has made?
Mercedes: She is an awesome bass player. I guess she is one of those bass players that really know when to play intricately and at other times to keep it simple. She does what's right for the song. She is a great bass player like that. So we are very happy.
Andrew: According to some of the reviews, you seem to have taken a few more chances with this album as compared to 'Funeral For Yesterday'. What are your thoughts?
Mercedes: I don't think we've taken more risks per se. We've actually kind of kept it safe with this album. We went back to kind of a more heavy sound. 'Funeral For Yesterday' wasn't meant to be the way it was. I don't think it turned out the way we wanted it to. So this one is pretty sage actually.
Andrew: When you sit down to write an album, is there a set goal that you are looking to achieve?
Mercedes: Its different for every song. I don't think we sit there and say 'Oh, we're going to write a song like this'. I think it just kind of happens. That's the beauty of writing a song. It just flows. I don't think we really ever set out to do anything except for playing music that sounds like us!
Andrew: Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy recently criticized Revolver Magazine's 'hottest chick in metal' award. What are your thoughts on that?
Mercedes: We've actually never been in an issue of that magazine either. And considering that we're really the only all-girl metal band at this level, which is pretty funny, I personally don't care about whether people think I'm hot or not (laughs). I play music and I'm not here to look attractive. If people think I'm attractive, that's a bonus. But I don't care what people think of my appearance.
Andrew: You haven't released a proper DVD. Have you ever thought about doing it?
Mercedes: Yeah we'd love to. It's just a case of getting a chance to do it, really. Hopefully in the next little while, we'll get to release a DVD. But in the meantime, we'll see what happens. You never know because we're always filming stuff but it's about getting good enough footage and taking care of those kinds of things. We'd love to do it.
Andrew: What was it like to start a band at the age of 12? How hard was it?
Mercedes: It wasn't easy at all, actually (laughs). It was pretty hard. Finding people that are dedicated was one thing that we definitely had a problem with. It was definitely different. I don't really know anybody else who started that young! It was more of an innocent thing at that time. We just wanted to learn our instruments and play and have a good time. It just kind of turned into this whole other thing and we never expected it at all. As far as the fan base goes, we've had a lot of different kinds of fans. We have fans that are teenagers, fans in the twenties and even in the 60s. We have such a broad spectrum of people that listen to our music. I think that's really cool. I don't think a lot of bands have that.
Andrew: The reason for naming the band Kittie was to have a name contradictory to what the music sounds like, so that people are shocked when they hear you for the first time. Does it still happen?
Mercedes: I think so, perhaps. But people know a little more about the actual band now as opposed to when we first started and made the band. That's kind of what we wanted to achieve I guess. In our 12 and 14-year old minds I guess it sounded like a wonderful name. But you know, whatever. It just happened!
Andrew: You'll be touring in the spring as a support band for a totally different line-up [ICP, Coolio and Kottonmouth Kings]. What do you expect from it?
Check out the band's official website www.kittierocks.com.
Mercedes: I think it'll be exciting. We've never really played to that kind of audience before. We're the 'odd man out' on that tour which is kind of nice, but at the same time there are no bands on that tour that sound like us. But I think it'll work out well. We're just excited to be able to play in front of a different audience more than anything. We are looking to get some new fans for sure, as we haven't even done that in a long time.