I arrived with intentions of getting some words in with the kiddies of Kittie. Actually, I think singer Morgan is 18 (or almost) and the rest are between 15-17, and have put in time with bands like Slipknot and are booked for OzzFest. Calling them kiddies might be inaccurate. In fact, I found singer Morgan and guitarist Fallon very mature, intelligent and aside from a bit of disbelief over their own success, quite grounded about what is happening to them and the pitfalls that fame at such a young age can bring.
It probably helps that Morgan and her sister, drummer Mercedes Landers have their father in tow as manager and mother puts in time at the concessions booth selling t-shirts. Actually, I saw Fallon signing tons of autographs and chatting with many fans as she took a turn in the T-shirt booth. But don’t think this is the Osmonds hanging out in the rock clubs. The girls seemed pretty free to wear what they want and say what they feel both on the stage and off. It must help to know the where their own daughters are coming from when one screams into the mic, “I look into the mirror and a whore is all I see” on a nightly basis. The band performed to a packed house that had patiently waited through four opening bands (although The StepKings absolutely rocked) to see the Canadian metal chicks. And on the musical tip, Coal Chamber is the easiest touch point to their sound, so expect monster crunch riffs and hoarse screaming, and yes, it’s a truly a sight when it’s emitted out of these young female musicians.
Words with Morgan Landers (singer) and Fallon (guitarist).
What’s the current mental state of Kittie?
Fallon: Very mental.
What’s the stupidest question that has been asked of Kittie?
Morgan: So far its, “When’s the new album coming out?” Considering that this album has only been out for about 5 months. They expect us to be like this crazy machine or something. We haven’t even hit every center in North America, let alone the rest of the world.
Are you going overseas with this album?
Morgan: Yes, in June with some dates with Slipknot.
You’ve toured with Slipknot before right?
Morgan: The mighty Slipknot!
How was that?
Fallon: That was amazing.
Morgan: We’re still alive aren’t we? Those guys are awesome. They turn into different people when they put the masks on, but really, they are just like everyone else. It’s an interesting thing with the masks that they can walk out into the crowd and no one knows who they are. They’re definitely good guys and they stick up for us.
Do you feel your age has presented any obstacles for you?
Morgan: I would hope not. I think the album speaks for itself. When you listen to it, you really can’t tell the age. When we sent out promo CD’s, there wasn’t any pictures on the CD’s and a lot of people thought I was a guy, with a high voice. They just weren’t expecting it. It really shouldn’t matter and I think the album speaks for itself.
How obsessive are the Kittie groupies?
Fallon: Our fans are not all crazy and out of control.
Morgan: Some of them are.
Fallon: They’re very loyal. If we say we like something in an interview that we like something, people will bring us stuff.
Morgan: Ok, let’s try this. I have two monkeys so far… (showing me attached to her Blair Witch Project patched backpack). Now both of these have been on pure coincidence that I have received these. This was from a guy in Connecticut, and this one is from a guy in Toronto. Neither of the two knew each other, but they each gave me a monkey. Now…I’m going to try this, “Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuum I’m starting a collection of stuffed monkeys. Small monkeys. Because I don’t have much room on the bus.”
What are you thoughts on music being typically offered from “teenager” bands?
Morgan: Let’s see. Reveille, for instance they’re a hard rocking band, and they are young. And it was refreshing to meet them and know that they’ve kinda gone through the same thing. They’ve had to deal with the whole people trying to focus on the age and making it become a hindrance rather than being helpful. In terms of the whole pop thing, I really don’t have a comment on it because I really have no idea what’s going on with it. I think people think we are the antidote to such and such which really isn’t the case, because when we started this band in 1996, none of that had even occurred. We weren’t fighting against the whole “pop revolution” or whatever that is going on. It’s nothing that we really try to think about.
So you all are from Canada, eh? (said only because, originally being from Wisconsin, even Morgan’s pronunciation of “about” sounding like “aboot” made me laugh).
Morgan: The only people that say “aboot” are from Scotland.
Morgan: OzzFest is going to be one hell of an amazing summer. It’s going to be like summer camp times 300,000.
Fallon: Filled with cool people and no counselors.
Thoughts on MP3’s and Napster?
Morgan: I really have no idea about that kinda thing. I know what it is; you don’t have to buy the CD to get the music.
Fallon: I think I agree becomes some bands say that its good because it gets their music out there and brings it to people that can’t get it. Sometimes it also can be a pain in the ass because somehow people find material you don’t want out.
Morgan: I think the whole thing with Metallica was, I heard, that someone had gotten something they had done in the studio and it wasn’t finished and they put it on Napster to be distributed and they were kinda pissed off about that. But I mean if its used in the right context, it could be helpful to get your music out there if your on a small label or unsigned band, that sort of thing.
So it has its place?
Morgan: Yeah it has its pluses, but also has its minuses if used in a negative way.
What is Canadian music television like?
Morgan: There is no Canadian MTV. It’s Much Music. It rocks. Much Music is about music. Much Music has nothing but music.
Fallon: It’s not just Much… (in unison) “It’s Much Music”
Morgan: Exactly. It’s not overproduced. It’s really cable access kind of, almost underground. Basically they’re all about music. They have Indie Spotlights every hour. If you make a video for 500 bucks, they will play it. Every week they have an entire hour dedicated to metal. And they don’t just play your Korn and your Deftones, they like black metal, they’ll play everything. They’ll play Slayer…
Morgan: They’ll play My Dying Bride. They are really good with that sort of thing. They have all these obscure bands that they will just pop in there.
What put you on the path to Kittie?
Fallon: I guess overall love for music. I guess all of us have been surrounded with music since before we could walk.
Morgan: I’ve always been a musical sort of person, but I kind of had a turning point after when I moved, and it was like, “Boo hoo. I have no friends.” And I found salvation in music.
Any rumors about Kittie that need to be put to rest?
Morgan: Everything that I’ve ever read that’s been a negative sort of press has always been uneducated in the sense that they really hadn’t seen us play before. There are a lot of people that think that we have this “thing” going for us and we don’t live up to what everyone says. Which really is not very cool because it sucks to have to prove yourself all the time. If this was guys, I’m sure that there wouldn’t be an issue. There is a lot of jealousy out there and that’s really depressing. We’ve worked really hard for this, from ground zero basically.
You play in a heavy genre of music that typically indulges in the “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll” creed. How does that apply towards your band?
Morgan: You have to take things in stride and sort of look at what you have, and not go out of your way to do things like that… it’s just going to destroy you in the end. If you get to overindulged in that sort of thing, you are not focusing on the main reason you’re in the industry in the first place… and that’s to make music.
What do you fear?
Morgan: Aliens. Because I know that they are real. They’re going to probe my ass.
Fallon: Most of the things that I’m scared of, I like to challenge them.
What’s your most prized possession?
Fallon: My guitar.
Morgan: My cat. I miss Silly.
What’s the best thing to happen to you lately?
Fallon: I met Hatebreed. And they like us to. They are like fans. They’re like, “Kittie!” and I’m like, “No, no, no. HATEBREED!”.
Musically, Kittie seems to be very angry and dissatisfied. Where do you draw such inspiration?
Morgan: The world around us. Talking about the good and evil, it’s 50/50. You could focus on good things or you could focus on bad things. A lot of things we write about is just environment, society. Not like, “Oh, the trees are burning.” But our environment, surrounding media people and in general, things that we’ve come into contact with.
What’s been the most rock-n-roll defining moment of your careers?
Morgan: I think the best is yet to come. I think sometimes I kind of forget that I’m here doing this. That this is my job. Like on Saturday, I’m walking around Vegas and we’re playing with Stone Temple Pilots and Godsmack. And I’m feeling like I don’t really belong here.
Fallon: You’re walking around and people are coming up to you and going, “Hey, how to you take this all in stride so well?” Then they’re like, “Do you wanna go hang out or go to the movies or something like that?” And I’m like, (hesitantly) “I can’t. I don’t even know you.”
Morgan: You never know who you are meeting. You could be meeting… Jeffery Dahmer. I’m sure we’ve run into some psycho killers along the way, but they were nice to us. So we are still here.
“Run Like Hell” – You guys are covering that Pink Floyd classic. I heard talk of you and a tribute album.
Morgan: Yeah. There was supposed to a tribute album. Actually the StepKings actually did, “The Wall” tonight and they were supposed to be on that album as well, but it kind of fell through. But we had this recorded version of this song and we might as well extend the set (we only have a 37 minute album). And it’s a good song and we kind of spruce it up.
Morgan: You know the band (hed)pe? I did a song with them for their new album (with Serge from System of a Down). Jared scared me. But he is a good guy. I think the song is called, “Feel Good”. It’s a good song.
Any other bands you want to give some props out to?
Morgan: All the bands that we are on tour with, The StepKings, the Workhorse Movement, Shuvel – we’re all having a good time with them. I’m trying to think of some girlie bands….
Fallon: Tulie. Morgan: They are from Toronto. They are nice. We like them. Robin Black, because he is the Queen.
Who is a Sinner?
Fallon: I am.
Who is a Saint?
Morgan: Jaime Hatebreed is a Saint.
What is the coolest?
Morgan: Being here right now. Doing this interview.
What is the lamest?
Morgan: Not being able to do your laundry. That is pretty lame. Not saying that I smell right now, but sometimes they get a little bit rank.
Messages to the masses?
Morgan: Thank you for helping us to make our dreams a reality. Kick some ass in the pit. Yeah. Rock on.
2000 Spit (Artemis)
2001 Oracle (Artemis)
2004 Until The End (Artemis)
2007 Funeral For Yesterday (X of Infamy)
2009 In The Black (E1 Music)
2011 I’ve Failed You (E1 Music)