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Home » Festivals, Metal Market

Spread the Metal festival saw the return of Kittie

Submitted by on September 10, 2013 – 11:43 pmNo Comment

Morgan Lander - KittieSaturday, Sept. 7, marked the first ever “Spread the Metal” festival, held at the Opera House in the east end of Toronto. This night had much in store for its eclectic platforms of fans coming out.

The most notable of all aspects of the festival, was the return of Kittie to the stage.

The all-girl killer metal band born and bred in London, Ont., has had to overcome many obstacles, trials and tribulations, and coming and goings during their 15 plus years in the music realm.

KittieFounding members, and still the bonding agents of the band today, sisters Morgan and Mercedes Lander have been the anchor of Kittie, and what has kept it strong throughout the years. After all, a sisterly bond as such is hard to break. Although other members of the band have come and gone over the years, the name Kittie has resonated in Canadian metal militias.

“It’s crazy right?” Said Morgan in regards to how long the band has been on the circuit. “It’s obviously been a struggle, and we try not to broadcast those troubles. But I always thought we deserved more, and that’s we’ve always strived for better.”Tara McLeod MercedesThe band has since put those troubles behind them and has gained solidarity in both their musical and personal lives.

The band had taken a break from playing and touring for the last year and a half, but have finally made their first appearance back on stage since.

One of their biggest accomplishments came from bassist Trish Doan. She faced a bout of anorexia, a severe eating disorder, developed during the recording of Funeral for Yesterday for the better part of two years. This caused her to leave the band in 2007. Doan has since made a full recovery and is back in the band, replacing Ivy Vujic in 2012 who filled the void while she was gone.Trish DVujic has now left due to circumstances of her own, paving the way for Doan’s re-entry, and Doan couldn’t be happier.

“Honestly, returning to the band was a really big thing for me personally,” expressed Doan. “It was something I wanted to prove to not only myself, but also Kittie fans. We all go through hard times, and that was mine. I really missed playing with these girls. They’re all my best friends.”

Morgan interjected “It just makes sense. We only do things that make sense!”

“It makes so much sense, the four of us, to be in this band,” said Doan. “We all grew up 20 minutes from each other. We practiced every day for five weeks coming up to this show.”

Morgan Lander

Kittie isn’t exactly sure where this venture is going to take them now, since they have no intentions of recording a new album or plans for further shows. It was amazing to see them out again, doing what they love and do best, which had been cast aside for a group reality check all the girls seemed to need to recalibrate.

“This is the only show this year planned, obviously,” said Morgan. “This is a weird time in our lives. We’re getting older and we’re focusing on our careers. We have bills to pay too! And the way the economy is going…”

Everything for Kittie is now coming around full circle, so who knows what’s next for these veteran head-bangers, but it’s nowhere but up from here since the worst is behind them.

Besides the headlining band, which was Suffocation out of Long Island, N.Y., the bill of over a dozen bands was entirely Canadian, represent.

Crimson Shadows, freshly fertilized and ready to grow after their recent victory in Waken, Germany, at the Waken Open Air competition, where they won best international band, put on an amazing set for their home town crowd.

As usual, the band’s solid fan base was there to show love and support for the Toronto based speed metal band, which in the last year has seen immense success, which lead singer Jimi Maltais attributes solely to their dedication to their art.crimson shadows1 Jimi Maltais“Once we got to Waken, I thought there was no fucking chance in hell we were ever going to win, there was some quality bands there, especially before and after us,” said Maltais. “Long story short, it happened and we won.

“As far as the stamina, when we got together, we talked about what our goal was, and all members said without skipping a beat, we just wanted to make music, and here we are.”

Maltais said that it took the band seven years together to get here, and they just want to keep the momentum going forward. And it really felt like the dream was just beginning for them once again playing in Toronto. “It’s just worked out, there’s nothing else to say about it.”Ryan and GregTheir sister band, Vesperia, was also on the bill, and both members which play in both bands, Cory Hofing on drums and Morgan Rider on bass and vocals, couldn’t be happier for the successes that both bands have seen in the last year.

“I feel good,” Hofing said laughing after slaying two straight sets on the skins. “I got used to doing it when we toured Canada together. It just pumps me up to drink more after.”

When asked about the difficulties of playing in two separate bands, especially with the momentum they’ve both been gaining as of late, Rider shrugged it off as nothing and said that’s the way it is because it has to be for now.Vesperia“It was born out of necessity,” said Rider. “We both need players for both bands. We just make it happen. It was difficult at first but we’ve gotten used to it, after our tour across Canada together we’re good now.”

Talking about the success of both bands, and what would happen if one band soared, Rider said “that’s a problem we want to have.”

One act that completely turned the crowds head upside down, another solid metal quartet based out of Toronto, Skull Fist, who lives by the simple motto of “no false metal.” The slogan is burned into their t-shirts and fans alike, and this 80s power metal revival is another one of those bands to keep your eyes open for, because these guys can shred like no other.

Their unique standout features on stage above the revival of classic power metal included piggy-back guitar solos (check Martyr’s Instagram to see a video) and drinking beers from generous fans.Skull Fisting Skull FistAll things considered, with last minute schedule changes and date rearrangements, the Spread the Metal Festival did very well for its inaugural display, and is surely a show for people to remember and look forward to next year should it happen again, barring any other difficulties or extemporaneous circumstances.

Story by Devin Size, Photos by Tee Onek

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