by Ryan Meehan
Percussionist Mercedes Lander caught the eye of the music industry in the late nineties, when Kittie’s single “Brackish” broke through the modern rock and metal charts. After a decade and a half of hardcore touring, Mercedes has managed to stand out in the very competitive world of metal drumming. Steve Thompson (Guns and Roses – “Appetite for Destruction”, Korn – “Follow the Leader”) who produced their 3rd album entitled “Until the End”, is quoted as saying “I’ve worked with a lot of rock bands in the guy department that couldn’t hold a candle to Mercedes’ style and timing” Her new band The Alcohollys is in full swing, and she’s our guest today in 5 Questions.
RM: Where exactly is Kittie right now as a band and how close are you to having another album’s worth of material at the moment?
ML: As of right now we are taking a well-deserved break and focusing on other projects. Not to say that a new album will never happen but, I don’t foresee us making a new album any time soon.
RM: How has the songwriting process changed for you over the past fifteen years? Is there anything specific you do different now that you really wish you’d done more in the beginning?
ML: The song writing process for us really hasn’t changed much at all with the exception of Tara lending her chops to some of the songs for the last few albums. We still jam in my mom’s basement and music always comes first.
RM: I’ve always really dug your cover of Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell”, because the alterations Morgan made to the main hooks in the original version are very evil sounding. When you first started playing that song in practice, was it closer to the original version or did it always sound like it had that super metal feel to it?
ML: That song always had the “Kittie” feel to it. We listened to the song a few times and from there; put our own signature on it. I would much rather make the song my own than play an exact replica of the original track.
RM: I can’t help but notice from some of the pictures you posted on Facebook how large your ride is in your current setup. What is the rest of your current setup like and do you use the same kit in both bands?
ML: In all four bands I’m in I use the same setup for the most part. In the last year I’ve really started to play around with the setup and positioning of my drums. The biggest change happened a year ago when I downsized to 10′ 12′ 14′ 16′ 20′. I found with a smaller kit I could get everything on my kit in a much closer area and eliminate reaching and straining. As for cymbals my ride is a Zildjian 21′ mega bell ride, which I’ve recently been referring to as my idiot proof ride, because it’s almost impossible to miss the bell. As for the rest of my cymbals I use a Zildjian Z3 18′ medium crash, Z3 19′ thrash ride 18′ oriental china, 14′ A custom hats and a 8′ oriental splash.
RM: The Alcohollys seem like a real fun sounding band to be in…Could you discuss a little bit about being in that band and what it’s meant for you as a musician?
ML: The Alcohollys have been a great experience so far for me. I really missed playing with people who were genuinely excited to play with no strings attached. I always enjoy playing for different genres and this band is no exception. It’s also very nice to play with Tanya Candler again.
RM: What’s next for you in the twelve months that follow? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
ML: As of right now my goal for the next year is to put out as many recordings as possible. I have a six song EP coming out with “The Painted Dogs” a new “Alcohollys” EP coming out in august, a new secret project coming out in the near future that would probably be best described as a “Metal Super Group” and a bunch of session work that I did a while back so 2013-14 will be a Mercedes Lander filled year in the drum department 🙂
“Flashback to ‘93”: http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=91623731&ac=now
The Alcohollys on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thealcohollys
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