Kittie - The Lion Speaks Tonight
by Martin Popoff

It's quite fitting that the 16 and 17-year-old Canadian girls that comprise Kittie are on tour with Slipknot. For by some stroke of coincidental synergy, the two find themselves to be the fastest-rising metal bands on the planet, both gathering hairballs of press, critically effusive reviews and boisterous sales in the process.

And both stories are odd and inspirational ones, Slipknot's because of their nine-man-in-masks configuration and a challenging percussive album to soundtrack the mayhem, Kittie because of the aforementioned personal statistics, the fact that they are from a sleepy mid-sized insurance town in Canada, and the fact that all this hub-bub is happening on the strength of a vicious post-grunge debut called Spit on an indie label, Ng/Artemis.

Guitarist and vocalist Morgan Lander explains the particular sacrifices of getting this good, this young. "We gave up every Sunday to go and practice since basically 1996. We would do our thing, practice, just have a good time, have fun. It was never a structured kind of thing. Just friends getting together having a good time doing what they love to do most. Actually me and Mercedes (Lander - drums; Morgan's sister) are the only ones who ever actually took lessons, actual theory. I took classical guitar when I was 8 years old and then I took it again just to brush up." Mercedes adds, "I took lessons for about six months and then I said 'this sucks'."

Outcasts or cool chicks? "Outcasts!" screams the three backing kats, Morgan adding that "I would definitely have to agree with that. But there was a pretty cool group of outcasts." Guitarist Fallon Bowman: "So we had some back up! But we all went to different schools so we weren't always there for each other to go beat up someone who was picking on someone or stuff like that (laughs)."

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