From Metal to Mortgages: An Interview with Kittie Drummer Mercedes Lander

Mercedes_mergedA couple weeks ago, I interviewed Kittie drummer Mercedes Lander for a post on my day job’s company blog. (I write for a real estate media company.) With Kittie on hiatus after their 2012 tour, Lander pursued a hobby of hers that she’s passionate about. She’s now a Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX Centre City in London, Ontario, Canada. We chatted about real estate – how she got into it, what she loves about her job, and if her background as a drummer affects her new position. More importantly, we talked about music and the future of her band, too.

The Littlest Winslow: Kittie raised double its target goal on its IndieGoGo campaign for the 20th anniversary documentary and book. How are those projects coming along?

Mercedes Lander: It’s my labor of love. We’ve been putting things together and having weekly conversations with Marc Eglinton and David Brodsky for the documentary aspect of it. We’re waiting on MuchMusic – they have a lot of great old archive footage. As soon as that happens, David has the rest of the footage. After that, we’re on our way with the documentary. It’s been a little bit of a process, but we’re still right on target.

It’s been a grand undertaking for sure, but it’s something that we need to do. I think it’s important. There are so many things we never really talked about – things people really don’t know or haven’t learned about the band. There’s so much speculation around the history of the band that people are unaware of. Our goal is to clear it up. The documentary is going to be more lighthearted and fun. We’re going to hang out and have already planned to do the commentary for the DVD. I think more than anything, this is just going to be very interesting. It’ll change the outlook of the band. The biography is going to be more in depth, delving a little deeper into these topics.

TLW:What does the future look like for Kittie?

ML: What we’ve kind of planned on doing is a remix and remastering of our catalog to be released probably sometime in mid-2015, depending on when our label gets in gear. Other than that, we’re obviously going to do a press tour for the book and the DVD. People should at least expect live shows sometime 2016.

TLW: Have you ever sold a house to a fan?

ML: I have fans paging my office because they [Blabbermouth] posted my office number. They honestly have absolutely no idea what the music industry is like if this is fucking news. If that continues I may be reprimanded from work. It’s wasting [the secretary’s] time. Other than that, I do actually have a few people that I am working with that I’ve met through shows. One particular guy is moving to London, Ontario. When he sells his house, I’m going to be helping him find one here. I’ve had a lot of referrals through the band, in general.

TLW: What is the reaction when clients find out you’re in a metal band?headshot
I’ve had clients Google me and when they realize [my background], it’s either really bad or really good. There’s no such thing as in between. I had an older Irish couple in their 70’s that I worked with at one of my previous brokerages. I listed their house and I think they Googled me because they hated me after that. My past is on the Internet. It’s readily available. It can be a blessing sometimes…or not.

TLW: Can you tell me a little bit about your other band, The Alcohollys? 

ML: Tanya [original Kittie bass player] and myself have been really good buds for the duration that we’ve known each other – there’s never been any bad stuff when she left the band. Her and I have hung out. She actually joined The Alcoholly’s in 2009, so it’s basically a bunch of girls that I’ve known for years. I’ve known Dana Hartman [lead vocals, keys, guitar] for close to 16 or 17 years. Their drummer ended up leaving in 2011 and I ended up filling in for a while, and then just made it permanent. We have two EP’s. Tanya’s on leave, since she’s having her first baby. It’s so enjoyable to be able to play with Tanya again. She’s such a great person. It’s so much fun to be playing with them.

TLW: What are you listening to these days? Do you have any guilty pleasures?

ML: I readily admit I have a very large collection of 90’s R&B music, but I have always admitted that so it’s not really a guilty pleasure! I’ve been gravitating, especially the last few years, toward Classic Rock more than anything, just kind of reminding myself how good music was back then in the 60’s and 70’s. Records from the 70’s just crush modern-day production. The amount of detail that went into them is just astounding. Rock music in general now is just boring. This might not be the best example, but listen to The Guess Who. Go listen to the amount of production that went into those songs – all the thousands of layers of music. I always enjoy reminding myself of how great music was back then.

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