METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Mercedes. I'm so glad to be catching up with you again. It’s always a pleasure. As always, thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. So, how are you doing? It’s been almost a year since we last spoke. You had just released your 3rd EP titled Touch Taste Destroy on War Crime Recordings, and you had mentioned in that interview that you were working on some new material. How has the new material been coming along since then? Any chance we can expect some new stuff out soon?
MERCEDES LANDER: We will be gearing up this winter to record again. We’ve been working on a bunch of new material and will probably release more than a 3-song ep this time around.
MPAP: Very nice. Looking forward to that! Moving forward, this was somewhat big news. On August 22 the internet was abuzz with this music headline: 'Kittie's Morgan Lander Joins Montreal's Karkaos.' Right after that, we reached out to you as soon as this was announced, and you had this to say to us: "I am absolutely thrilled for Morgan and her new musical adventure. Justine is an amazing drummer, and I'm looking forward to hearing the new material. I can't wait to set up some shows with White Swan and Karkaos." It’s great you’ve been successful with your band the White Swan since 2016, and now Morgan has Karkaos; but lest we not forget about Kittie, right? It’s not like you were a one-hit-wonder. You’ve put out six killer albums and toured the world many times.
MERCEDES: Right now, I think taking some time to work on other projects is good for Kittie. I feel like a little distance will help put things into perspective if we ever do decide to pick things back up with Kittie.
MPAP: Continuing with your comment, you mentioned you were thrilled for Morgan joining Karkaos, but at any moment did you think, 'hey, what the hell! What about Kittie?' There is a loyal fanbase out there for you. I know it must be hard to move on without Trish Doan, who passed away in 2017, but sometimes groups do pick up the pieces and move on without someone respectfully. Metallica did it when Cliff Burton passed away. And then recently Hellyeah moved forward after the passing of Vinnie Paul. So, tell us why not get Kittie back together again, especially now that your sister might have the music bug inside her since joining Karkaos?
MERCEDES: Absolutely not. At this point it’s about personal satisfaction and creating an identity away from Kittie. Its great to try new things and think outside of the Kittie box. All of the projects I’m in are vastly different and I think that’s how musicians grow. Kittie will reemerge when the time is right.
MPAP: Kittie formed in 1996 when you and Fallon Bowman met in a gym class. Your sister Morgan would become the lead vocalist and guitarists, with Tanya Candler completing the band's lineup on bass. After signing to NG Records, Kittie released their debut album Spit which was supposed to have been released in October 1999, but with the departure of bassist Tanya Candler, it delayed the album's release to January 11, 2000. So, if you could go back to any moment during your tenure with Kittie, is there any one thing you’d change now that you are a seasoned veteran in the music industry?
MERCEDES: There are so many things I would change. But most importantly I would just not be so trusting. I think that would make a huge difference.
MPAP: Now, after everyone steps back for a moment and lets the dust settle, I guess the main question is; with your sister now joining Karkaos, has Kittie in a way, officially come to an end? Should the media move on and let you do your thing with the White Swan, and your sister with Karkaos now, and just let Kittie rest in peace?
MERCEDES: I think we should just let Kittie rest for a bit and see what happens. Never say never.
MPAP: This is a statement from 2018. 'Morgan Lander has confirmed that Kittie hasn't written any new music in more than six years. It seems like a short of amount of time, but in music years, that’s a very long time in a way. So, if you did by chance go into the recording studio with the members of Kittie, do you even know where’d you’d begin? Do you have a vault of demos you’d turn to?
MERCEDES: Morgan and I have been writing together for so long I think we would pick right back up. I don’t think we would have any issue writing material. We’ve written lots of songs since the last Kittie release, not necessarily for Kittie.
MPAP: How about this, during any time in the White Swan songwriting process did you write something and then have it on the back burner, because it would sound better if Kittie recorded it?
MERCEDES: I have a whole bunch of songs in the bank so to speak. Lots of music that would fit tons of genres.
MPAP: In 1996 there weren’t many all-female fronted metal bands in the music industry, let alone an all-girl band. What do you think about today’s music? There are now quite a few female-fronted groups out there. Are there any female fronted bands out there that stand out to you?
MERCEDES: I don’t really listen to a lot of new metal music. I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you the name of any band from that genre that came out in the last six or seven years.
MPAP: Do you think that back in the day, Kittie would have eaten all of those bands for breakfast?
MERCEDES: Being in a band isn’t a competition. It’s about creating art and having a great time playing music.
MPAP: Now during 2018, the White Swans played four shows in the United States, and you mentioned possibly returning to the US in 2019. With less than three months left of this calendar year, will 2020 be more like it now for your return?
MERCEDES: If we have the cash for the US visa process then absolutely, we will be back.
MPAP: Let's hope some money falls in to your lap real soon Mercedes so that can happen. On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Mercedes, for doing this interview. We look forward to what White Swan does to finish out 2019 and beyond. Any last words for all your fans out there?
MERCEDES: Be on the lookout for new White Swan music and a new secret project I’m releasing in 2020. I am always so thankful for everyone's continued support.
Mercedes Lander~ White Swan/ September 24th, 2019/ Interview #157