Nü-metal has been enjoying quite the resurgence lately, with big exponents like Limp Bizkit and Mudvayne headlining arenas, and emerging bands contributing to bolster the genre’s revival. But was nü-metal always destined for a comeback?

During a recent interview on The Ex-Man podcast, Kittie members Mercedes Lander (drums), Morgan Lander (guitar, vocals), and Tara McLeod (guitar) spoke at large with host Doc Coyle of Bad Wolves, and among the topics discussed, they weighed in on the nü-metal newfound popularity.

Tara McLeod reflected on the genre’s cyclical reception: “It just seems like every time there’s a shift in music, everyone hates it at first. A big, popular shift, everyone has to hate it at first. And I think with nü-metal, it’s like a simplified form of music, but that doesn’t make it a lesser-than form of music. And I think that oftentimes it takes a little bit of growth and perhaps some years for some of the music fans to catch up and look back and realize, like, ‘Wow, okay, that was super catchy. And actually writing those riffs and the hooks and the vocals, that’s actually not simple.’ They’re, like, simplified; it’s not simple.”

Mercedes Lander highlighted the technical prowess within the genre, particularly praising Limp Bizkit: “Honestly, go and listen to any of [Limp Bizkit guitarist] Wes Borland‘s playing. That’s not easy. Also, [Limp Bizkit drummer] John Otto, the GOAT. Have you ever watched John Otto play drums? He’s amazing.”

Morgan Lander chimed in, emphasizing the importance of musical restraint: “It takes restraint for skilled musicians to not overplay. And I think that is a sign of real talent, and also being strategic about where you’re putting things in and how you’re writing.”

Mercedes added further insights on the value of simplicity in music: “I think a lot of people confuse busy playing with good music. ‘Cause there’s a lot of busy songs that I’m, like, ‘This song sucks.’ It doesn’t have to be super busy or shreddy or whatever, it doesn’t have to be like that to be good. It’s the same thing as I like to say — just ’cause you can play fast, it doesn’t mean that you should… Giving yourself that space can provide you with so much more. Keeping your music kind of simplistic even, and giving yourself that space, you can do more vocally or whatever the case might be. Less is more sometimes.”

However, during a previous interview with Metal HammerMorgan disregarded Kittie‘s comeback as timed to coincide with nü-metal’s resurgence: “We’re not a nü-metal band, and we never will be again. We’re not trying to recapture something that is long gone for us. There might be a riff or an idea that harkens back to who we were in the past, but that is married with the more modern ideas of Kittie as well.””

Expanding about the band’s upcoming album Fire, she added: “It’s probably the best-sounding album that we’ve ever recorded. It has its foot in many worlds. I feel like when we were writing this album, there didn’t feel like there was anything to prove. So it’s definitely heavy and more mature, and the songwriting is incredible.”

Mercedes added some thought about the record, by saying: “I feel like we could have phoned it in and done what people expected us to do, but we’ve never been that band. We’ve always defied everything and done our own thing, and I think we’re going to continue to do that. And that is the beauty of this band.”

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