Kittie's Morgan and Mercedes Lander have spoken on what they feel was the most fun period to have been in the band. For those who've followed the group, you know there have been multiple lineup changes around the sibling musicians, but in speaking with Full Metal Jackie, they reflected on their favorite period within the group and explained why it stands out to them.

The discussion came as part of a fresh interview speaking about the band's new album Fire and their return after 13 years. The Lander sisters are joined by the group's Tara McLeod as well and they share some background on "Eyes Wide Open," the song that marked their musical return, and Morgan Lander talks about a songwriter adjustment in writing their new album. They also credit producer Nick Raskulinecz for his work on the record as well.

The band members also share what it's like to have found a new audience upon their return, becoming a "generational" band in the process. And they share their thoughts on Poppy's cover of "Spit," and what it means to see a new generation pick up on their music.

Check out more of the chat below:

It's Full Metal Jackie and I'm super excited to say we've got Kittie's Morgan and Mercedes Lander and Tara McLeod on the show. So glad to have you back. And we're here to celebrate the new record, Fire. We just played the new song "Eyes Wide Open," which, of course, marked your first new material in 13 years. That track has been called a vision quest for truth. Sounds like a deeper story there. Where did the origins of that song start? And how thrilled are you to have that be the song that brought you back into the music world?

Morgan Lander: Well, "Eyes Wide Open" was actually one of the first songs that we had written and demoed to put forth for the new album. The process of writing the entire album in general was just to do as much as possible. I think we demoed 16 songs, but didn't use all of the material that we'd written. But "Eyes Wide Open" definitely was one of the first.

I don't know, I think it's definitely all of the things that Kittie sort of is, but there's a little bit more focus to it. We definitely wanted to come out swinging with this new track as well, and I think we certainly accomplished that.

It's one of the heavier tracks on the album. There are going to be more melodic vocals on other tracks, but this one, we decided just to go buck wild and just do straight screaming vocals. I think it's a really great way to sort of re-introduce the band and remind our fans new and old, we don't play around. We're not playing.

Tara McLeod: Yeah, we're not playing around.

Mercedes Lander: Kittie means business.

Morgan Lander: Usually. I mean, we do also have a good sense of humor, though, I think.

Kittie, "Eyes Wide Open"

Thirteen years is a long time. What were your biggest challenges in figuring out how to present Kittie after this time away? Take us into the writing sessions and eventually the studio with Nick Raskulinecz and what it was like to start this process of making music again?

Mercedes Lander: It was kind of like getting on a bicycle after a long period of time. There was a little bit of period of time where it was like, "Oh,, this is interesting." But then as soon as we got into this swing of things, I feel like the writing just came so naturally, things just kind of poured out. And we really did, after the first couple songs that we demoed. I think it was just like an explosion of creativity after that, which was fantastic.

Tara McLeod: I think one of the things that is sort of a new challenge is navigating our our distance, our physical distance, because we all do sort of live in different parts of the country. And Ivy, she's in the U.S., so we had to sort of adapt the way that we work, because previously it was like, let's all get into a room together and vibe out, jam, riff, let's talk things out.

But because of the distance, we had to utilize things a little differently, use technology to our advantage. Things like Dropbox and self recording and swapping ideas and sort of sharing them and discussing them that way rather than getting in a room together, which it honestly offered an opportunity for us to really analyze our parts a little deeper as well. Morgan and Mercedes did work together, jamming, and then Ivy and I did a lot of contributions to our computer, but then I was able to be like, "Hey, Morgan. Hey, Mercedes...How do you feel about this guitar line? Should we adjust it? Is this cool?"  We can really nitpick it. So I was a little, not apprehensive, but a little curious as to what 13 years later would feel like in the studio. And it was a really cool experience being like, no, that's just the drummer that I'm locked in with. And that's just the other guitar player who I'm locked in with. It was actually so exciting to be like, "Whoa, how is that even possible that we just clicked?"

We just click. It's years and years and years of slugging it out on the road.

Mercedes Lander: That's the thing, right? Like when you tour with somebody for 10-15 years, it just becomes natural to play with them. By the time all the songs were written, which took us about eight months. Once all the songs were written and we got into the studio, we were just ready to go. It was just like, we never left.

That 13 years just did not happen, basically it was like we just rolled out off of a tour and we killed it.

Morgan Lander: It was a really cool experience.

Kittie, "Fire"

We are celebrating Kittie's new album, Fire. And let's talk more about the experience of getting to work with Nick Raskulinecz in the studio.

Morgan Lander: We really enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with Nick, who obviously is such a historied producer. He's had a long career with some of the most incredible and notable bands in metal and rock, and he was so stoked on the demos that we presented, and he was just stoked to be in the studio.

He's got a great vibe. He's just kind of like a big kid. He loves music. And we really, really got along well with him, and it really helped.

Mercedes Lander: Didn't he say that "Eyes Wide Open" was the first song that he heard?

Morgan Lander: Yes. Yeah.

Mercedes Lander: So "Eyes Wide Open," we sent him the demo, cause he obviously wanted to hear stuff before he committed to. Cause if we were sucking, he probably didn't want anything to do with it. But "Eyes Wide Open" was the first song that he heard out of the demos. He just picked one, and that was the first one. And he was like, as soon as that riff happened, that beginning riff, he was, like, "Sold." So, honestly, it's like a dream to be able to work with somebody like that, right? Like, he is an acclaimed producer.

He's a really great guy. It just feels like a dream to be able to work with somebody with that much of a history.

With songwriting, it helps to have some life experiences after a while to help replenish the creative inspiration. Where have you been finding your creative inspiration and what's been driving you as you return to writing your first new album in some time?

Morgan Lander: Well, for me, I did notice that vocally, lyrically, a lot of the themes were sort of outside of myself. I know that in the past, I had tended to write about personal experiences and relationships and those sorts of things, and that sort of lends to a very vague way of sort of putting things out there where people can attribute their own personal experiences to some of the words that I'm saying and that sort of thing.

But this time around, I really felt like there was a lot clearly that has happened, especially the last few years. So for me, I felt like there was a greater worldview and a greater opinion about things out there in the world and how things are going and just in general that I wanted to sort of source from.

There are definitely a few tracks on the album that feel apocalyptic, you know what I mean? Sort of just being like maybe humanity can run its course. Is there anything that we can do? Can we turn the clock back? Or do we just have to sort of relent to time marching on and the world sort of taking itself back.

So some of those more broad concepts, I think are also really present and something that I personally have never touched on before in Kittie's music. It's just sourcing from what's getting weird out there in the world.

We've got the ladies of Kittie on the show with us this week. And one of the great things that brought you back around is the Sick New World festival, which has put a spotlight on many of the early 2000s Nu Metal era acts. How wild has it been to see a new generation of fans bring this music back to the forefront? And have you been inspired by any of the more modern Nu Metal acts that also seem to be pushing things forward?

Tara McLeod: I think my favorite thing about playing shows now is when you look out into the crowd, you can blatantly see the old school Kittie fan with their children, and they are also fans of the music. So it's generational now. I never expected us to be a generational band, but oh my God, it's like moms bringing their daughters, dads bringing their daughters and sons.

It's so crazy to even think that that is a thing. And we just feel so privileged to be able to experience that and experience those festivals that we've been playing and be able to see all of these people. Some of these people we haven't played for in years, some of these people we've never played for.

So it's been a really rewarding experience. Sick New World last year was an absolute banger. I was just watching some of the footage afterwards. Cause when you're onstage, sometimes watching the audience can become mesmerizing. And then you're like, what am I doing? But watching some of the footage afterwards after the fact, it's just like, wow.

Mercedes Lander: Yeah.

Tara McLeod: Wow, we did that, that's us.

Mercedes Lander: It's really nice seeing especially the young ladies who we know they weren't alive when we were around last time doing it. And they can sing all the words. It's so exciting.

READ MORE: 10 Big Things That Happened at Sick New World 2024

Kittie, "Vultures" at Sick New World

For Kittie, another feather in the cap has been Poppy deciding to cover the song "Spit," bringing in more attention to the group. What were your thoughts on her take and seeing more acts start to give Kittie some respect for the music you created.

Morgan Lander: That was a moment for sure, like, a bit of an emotional moment, to be honest. To know that things have come full circle so much that a young act like Poppy loves the music and wanted to cover the song. I think her take on it is really cool.

It definitely brings it. It's modern, it's got a different take on it, but it definitely has Poppy's sort of thing that she does. And I love it. I think it's really great. And it's so interesting to see a younger generation experiencing Kittie through that. It's sort of like a little bit of a gateway.

There's a lot of Kittie-ception happening with that kind of thing.

Poppy, "Spit"

Kittie has had a storied career, much of which was documented in your documentary. For Morgan and Mercedes, did you have a favorite album and tour cycle for you personally where you just felt everything fell into place? It doesn't have to be your favorite album, but more just looking for the period of time in the group where you most enjoyed everything that was happening, from the music to the support you received to creating great memories that have stuck with you. And if you can speak to why that time stood out.

Mercedes Lander: This band, I think we really became a singular unit starting like 2007 and really continued on until we took our little break in 2011 or 2012. I think for us, that's when we really became crazy tight. Really just like one unit. I just feel like for that period of time, we were so tight.

I go back and I watch videos from that period of time and I am like, "Oh my God. We could anticipate anything that anybody onstage was doing. We were just like the hive mind at that point. And the really nice thing is we're like that now, so we're continuing on, which is fantastic.

So that was really that period of time for me. I feel like we were really crushing it. Our live show was like the most tight and really the most rockin that we've really ever had it. We were on the road so much, too, right? Like nine months out of the year, we were killing it. So, practice makes perfect, I guess, right?

Morgan Lander: Yeah. Yeah. We had a lot of fun, I think in those years as well. I think from probably around that time, 2007, up until we had taken our break are some of the most fun, silly times that we have a lot of good stories from that era of our touring. We were a little bit older and there seemed like there was kind of an element of "You know what? We're just here. We know that nothing lasts forever. Let's just have fun and enjoy every moment."

We've been through a lot. That's not to say that some of the earlier times that we had as well as a band weren't poignant or whatever, but we really were able to enjoy things a little more as adults, you know, when you can put things into perspective.

Thanks to Kittie's Morgan and Mercedes Lander and Tara McLeod. The Fire album is available now through Sumerian Records. You can stay up to date with Kittie through their website, Facebook, X, Instagram and Spotify accounts. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.

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