Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about the album. How’s everything going on your end?
Things are going great. We just completed a successful 6 week headlining tour in support of our latest release “I’ve Failed You”, the new album is being received well and the shows were successful. Not much to complain about, life is good!
I’ve Failed You is due out for release here in the states on August 30th. Are you and the band anxious for the album to drop and see what happens, or are you expecting about the same as your previous album In the Black?
The album has dropped, and we are very please with how well its been received and the amount of support we have gotten from it. Its always nerve racking and overwhelming to write plan and release an album, and being uncertain and nervous is to be expected. We are very excited about its release, perhaps even more so that ITB.
Has Kittie performed any of the tracks off the album live at this point, and if so, what was the fan reaction like to them?
We were performing quite a few new tracks on the tour, as well as a few old favorites too. The response has been amazing. Its always great to go through the process of creating an album, and the end result is people in the front row, in the crowd, singing along to the lyrics that YOU wrote. Its really an accomplished feeling.
Do you feel the band has been maturing more either musically or personally with this album and the last two releases the line-up you have now?
Absolutely. Its really the difference between being 15 and being 30. We have grown as people, as musicians, as songwriters and as a band, ESPECIALLY over the past few years. Having a bit of stability does wonders for creativity. Being part of a functioning unit and having great chemistry really is the only thing that helps a band to grow and evolve, aside from age and experience.
Is this album composed by the band, or was it one or two members of Kittie who came up with the material as a whole?
“I’ve Failed You” was a group effort, with all of the girls contributing in some way, just as “In The Black” was. I think you can hear that, too, in the diversity of the music, and the cohesive nature of the songs. We all work so well together, so its easy to get in the zone and create with us as a group.
Were you or any of the other members influenced by anything or any bands in particular while writing the material for this effort?
Not really in particular. We all have our diverse tastes in music, which reflect in our writing and playing styles, and ultimately make for variety in both riffs and styles of songs. I think its important to keep that, as it keeps things interesting, and keeps people guessing.
I’d understand if this question may end up being a bit too personal, but there’s a number of tracks that sound like you’re putting yourselves down like “I’ve Failed You” and “What Have I Done”, and “Never Come Home” just feels so emotional and so dynamically different to the rest of the album… Are there any personal moments or events that came into play when writing the lyrics to the album?
This album, both lyrics and music, was the product of a very difficult, complex, life changing turn of events for me, so you are correct in assuming that the subject matter is very personal and very apologetic in nature. Without getting into too much detail, I felt like it was important for me to really open up the emotional floodgates, and really be honest with myself about the situation and with the way that I wrote. It was a tough year, and I needed this honesty to help me to get over it.
I noticed the album sticks to using a mid-tempo or slower pace (“What Have I Done” for example) throughout the album. Why are the songs performed in such a more simplified manner and never really getting that fast? Were you going for a more commanding sound to the release?
I think, for the most part, that we have always adhered to a mid-tempo pace of writing. Its something that we’ve always gravitated towards, and to me it does allow the songs to be bigger, and have more impact. Slow is devastating!
I want to break away from the album for a minute. I saw Kittie touring with Devildriver in support of your last effort, and the set was great from what I saw. But, I’ve always been curious, does being an all female band and touring with various all male bands pose any problems or make touring different in any way?
A lot of people ask about this about this, so don’t apologize for your curiousity. If I’m being totally honest, we are a touring band, who has slugged it out in vans, RVs and busses for 12 years. We are a band, and while most people would assume that there would be some sort of a difference in our style, or the way that we tour, the fact is, is that we are no different from the men that we tour with. We are professionals, not princesses. We go without showers, eat shitty food, don’t sleep much, play shows, do interviews, party and are down to earth, just like most of the bands out there. There are people who expect it to be different, but once you meet us and get a feel for what we’re all about, its easy to see beyond the all-female facade. We’re just dudes, in female form.
I also noticed at that show, from what I saw and heard, you stuck more to newer material. Does Kittie not play the older material anymore? If not, mind explaining why?
We try and play something from every album, and this past tour was no different. We played something from every CD, including “Spit”. But its tough when you have 6 albums worth of material under your belt, and a half hour or an hour to play it. Choosing what goes into a set is tough, and we know that we wont please everyone with our decisions. When we tour, its usually to promote a new release, so obviously its important to perform new songs, too, so there is some compromise.
When your set was done, I heard a few guys lobs insults for not playing early material, which really took me by surprise. Morgan had walked past when it started and she looked very upset. Does this kind of stuff happen to Kittie a lot, if so, does it still dig deep at you, or have you kind of grown use to it over the years?
As I said in the previous response, we know that we can’t please everyone. Some people come to our shows, owning only the first album, and some come with knowledge of all six AND a tattoo. We have all kinds of fans, from casual to die hard, and we try our best to chose songs keeping this in mind, as well as keeping it exciting and fresh for us. We want to be excited to play these song, and be into it and not look bored up there too. Selecting an hours worth of material from almost 70 songs is hard, but we try not to let a few incensed people ruin our day. Criticism comes with the territory, no matter what you do.
Well, speaking of touring, I’d like the chance to see Kittie live again. Are there any plans to come back to the States to support I’ve Failed You?
We have quite a few things in the works for next year, so yes, there will be more tours!
Hey thank you very much for sitting down with me. I’ve actually been trying to talk to one of you girls for quite some time over my various ventures in the Metal world, so it’s great to finally say I had a chance to pick your brains! I hope all goes well for you and the band, and hopefully I’ll catch up with you all next time you’re up my neck of the woods!
Well, thanks for being so cool, and enjoying the show last year! “I’ve Failed You” is in stores now!
Interview conducted thanks to Massacre Records.