Kittie Frontwoman Morgan Lander Chats With Full Metal Jackie
Radio personality Full Metal Jackie talked to Kittie frontwoman Morgan Lander on this past weekend’s show about the group’s new album, ‘I've Failed You,' the evolution of the band and the current state of heavy metal. If you missed the radio show, you can read Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Lander below:
How’s it going Morgan?
Doing really really well, how’s it going?
I’m doing great, happy to finally have you on the show. We’re here to talk about the brand new record ‘I’ve Failed You.’ It’s out in stores now -- congrats it’s a great record.
Aw, thank you so much. Yeah, we’re really stoked about it, so it’s really good, really cool.
And Kittie’s on tour now through the end of September and let’s talk about this record. First off, the lineup holds the record for longest tenure in Kittie history, how did that stability make ‘I’ve Failed You’ easier or harder to record?
Well, I mean for a band that you know has been together as long as we have, we sure have been plagued with unsteady lineups over the years. And I think for the latter half of our career, it’s been kind of nice to have the stability that we’ve had, basically the same lineup for the last six years and the last two albums, which is really really nice. And I think that stability and that foundation, it really shows with the new album. I think it’s like a step up from what we built, the foundation we built with ‘In the Black.’
It definitely made things a lot easier. It’s nice to be able to just get together and you know where everybody’s head is already at, you know, kind of, their next move in terms of writing and musically and that sort of thing and those are the sort of things that you need to have a great band and the things a great band is built on is a strong foundation. It’s nice to be able to finally have that and I think the proof of it working is in the music.
‘I’ve Failed You’ is the title; so who failed whom?
Well obviously, it’s kind of a personal album. Lyrically I really dug deep with the emotional content and just the whole title and a lot of things that went into the writing were just feelings, you know, the feeling that you let somebody that you love down. So it is very personal and very emotional for me to talk about it or whatever but yes I’m singing about me. [Laughs]
And I’ve read, you have definitely been very vocal about the album, that it contains the most difficult and personal subject matter that you’ve ever written about. It’s a dark album, presumably catharsis for you sounds like.
At what point during the process of promoting and touring the album do you think you stop associating the album with the hardship that inspired it?
Well I think that it’s going to be forever connected, to be honest with you. I mean, every time I’m asked about a song title or “tell me what this song is about” or “describe the process” or “what went into the making of it,” I’m always reminded of the things that I was reflecting on and the things I was going through while I was in the process of writing and recording and stuff like that. So, I think there will always be that association and I think that keeps it real though.
There’s nothing worse than a band that’s singing about something that they don’t believe in or they haven’t lived. For me, I think having that emotional tie is really important. For me, it was tough because just laying it out all on the line like that is something that I haven’t really done before. A lot of times with my writing I leave things veiled, I’m not sure if that’s just to protect myself or whatever but this time it was important for me, cathartically speaking, to be very honest and real with myself and it helped, I think, move along in the situation and made for a better album.
Morgan, you and your sister Mercedes have literally grown up through the evolution of this band. How direct are the parallels between personal and professional maturity and what stands out most to you about the growth on ‘I’ve Failed You’?
Oh man, it’s such a crazy thing to think retrospectively how long we’ve been doing this, Mercedes and I, and you’re right the maturity and experience definitely comes into play when it comes to this band and how we’ve evolved over the years. A lot of people do forget that eleven years ago when we put ‘Spit’ out, we were 16 and 17 years old and when those songs were written we were 12 and 13 years old.
It’s hard to look back and even for me now, you know on the eve of my 13th birthday kind of thing, reflect and relate to the person that I was back then. And over the years we’ve definitely matured as people, as musicians, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve gained new life experiences and all of that stuff has gone into, I guess, the band evolving into what it is today.
I think we’re a great band, we’re a great live act. I don’t think we necessarily get as much credit as sometimes we deserve especially for longevity purposes, 16 years is a long time and before I’m 30 it’s even longer. [Laughs] It feels like a long time.
Happy Birthday by the way.
Thank you very much, yeah, it was crazy to think about that. Sixteen years ago this month four little girls got together in a basement and here we are. [Laughs]
Besides growing up through, like I said the evolution of the band, you’ve kind of grown up around the evolution of the metal world itself. How do you feel about the state of metal today as opposed to when you guys first started things?
It’s funny because I think in some ways metal is more accepted than ever but at the same time I feel like when we first came out we kind of caught the tail end of the good old days of the industry if you know what I mean; like when people weren’t downloading, when people were still buying albums and bands made a lot more money on album sales and there wasn’t this flux in the industry where everybody’s panicking and scared to lose their jobs and all this stuff.
It’s strange to have lived through both but I think metal is never going to die, it’s alive and well. It’s always evolving, it’s always changing and taking on new forms and I think it’s going to continue to surprise people and keep people interested forever. It’s just going to morph and change or whatever and I think now it’s stronger than ever. We need have the community come together and buy more albums, support the bands because it isn’t easy for anybody these days, anymore, and we’re all in this together. We know without our fans we’re nothing and so we keep putting out great music and they keep supporting good bands and everybody’s happy and everybody wins.
I couldn’t agree with you more. Morgan good luck with the rest of this tour and again congrats on the new album ‘I’ve Failed You.’ It’s out in stores now, pick it up, see Kittie out on the road and I really appreciate you being on the show tonight. Thank you Morgan.
Aw, thank you so much, it was my pleasure.
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will have David Vincent of Morbid Angel as a co-host on her radio show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country -- for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.