Today, I have the honor of not only conducting my first interview for Metal Maidens, but to be interviewing someone I truly admire for her talent and commitment to her craft. I will be talking with Metallic Kitty (alias Kitty Saric) vocalist of the band DECADENCE and we will be checking in with her fresh off of the Sweden Rock Festival and in the midst of recording her 4th full-length CD with the band.
DECADENCE is a melodic thrash metal band, that was born in 2003 and hails from Stockholm, Sweden. Their resume of classic thrash metal songs includes the following "Land Of Despair", "Decadence", "The Creature" and "Third Stage Of Decay". While their music on CD form is amazing to truly appreciate this band and what they bring to metal, you really have to experience them live. The band is loud, aggressive and tight as hell, and let me say this: no one headbangs like this young lady. So, if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to see these guys play, you will not be disappointed.
First let me introduce you to this unique and very talented group of young musicians...
Metallic Kitty: vocalist extraordinaire
Kenneth Lantz: guitar
Simon Galle: guitar
Joakim Antman: bass
Erik Rojas: drums
First of all Kitty, I know how incredibly busy you are right now so we greatly appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today.
Metallic Kitty: "Iím glad to be introduced to the Metal Maidens readers and I appreciate you taking your time as well."
The band just performed at the Sweden Rock Festival in June, how was that experience?
MK: "It was great at the Sweden Rock Festival and the crowd was amazing. We hope, we will return there soon enough!"
How was the crowd and how long did the band get to play?
MK: "We got a really nice mosh pit and great support along the way and that means a successful concert as far as Iím concerned! We played for about fifty minutes and we even squeezed in a new track, that will be on our 4th full-length album. It was great to see the response to that one!"
Are you excited about the new CD and where are you at in the recording process?
MK: "Yes, I am excited, least to say! We have worked hard on the new material and we are all very curious to hear it all completed. We have finished recording the drums and we are in the middle of the rhythm guitars now."
In a lot of bands, the singer does the majority of the lyric writing, is that the case with DECADENCE as well?
MK: "Yes, I write all lyrics for DECADENCE."
You also have just signed with Massacre Records. How have they been to work with?
MK: "We havenít worked with them for so long yet, but when we were in the middle of the negotiations with them they showed to be a really good cooperation partner. We look forwards to good continuous work with them."
Each one of your CDs has shown a natural progression in musicianship and vocals also. What can the fans expect from this CD?
MK: "If I was to summarize the new album in one word I would say: intense. It is still DECADENCE as always, but as the progress have been between our other albums, the same goes here between our latest album "3rd Stage Of Decay" and this new one. The genre we stand for, that we call melodic thrash metal, is highlighted even more on this album and that will hopefully be noticed both vocally and musically."
I have a photo of you, that is one of my favorites in a slow motion headbanging pose. It's one of the coolest examples of headbanging I have ever seen. Your live performance is something I am sure no one could ever forget. But I have to ask, does your neck ever get sore, haha?
MK: "Thank you, thatís great to hear! My neck has gotten used to this mane of mine now, I think! Of course I get a bang-over every now and then, but thatís part of metal, right? (laughs)"
Who are some of the bands you would like to share a stage with?
MK: "There are plenty of amazing bands out there, but to mention some of them that I would like to share the stage with it would be METALLICA, KREATOR, TESTAMENT, VADER and MEGADETH."
DECADENCE is a band that seems truly at home playing live. Do you feed off of the crowd's energy or is it the other way around?
mk: "I hope, itís both! But, for me personally, I can definitely say, that itís the crowd that gives me the energy to show people what DECADENCE is."
You are a seasoned vet of the stage, but do you ever get nervous before going on?
mk: "Actually, Iíve never had the problem of being nervous before going up on stage for a concert. That place is my home and nothing to be afraid of there!"
Any crazy stories from the road you can share or do we need to put the little one's to bed first?
mk: "When we had a concert in Rome, Italy in 2006, it was so steaming hot there in the middle of the Italian summer and all, and my latex outfit was literally sliding off! (laugh) I had a hard time during that concert to keep my pants up and we had a good laugh about it afterwards! Fortunately, for the little ones, it all stayed in the right places in the end!"
You are also the band's manager. Do you like having the control over that part of the business or do you hope to delegate that to someone else in the future because of the demands on your time?
mk: "DECADENCE is something Iíve worked with from such an early age and I want the best for it in all cases. That is also why Iíve always been the one in charge, especially in the business aspect of it. I will do as much as I can for DECADENCE and if it comes to a point, when I know someone can do it better, then I wouldnít mind handing over some of the more burdened work for me."
Your track "Corrosion" was featured on the excellent "Thrashing Like A Maniac" compilation CD, that also featured some of the best thrash bands in the scene today. How did it feel to be asked to be on that CD and what was it like working with Earache Records?
MK: "We had been in contact with Earache Records for a while before we were asked to take part of the killer "Thrashing Like A Maniac" compilation and we all thought it would be great to have our track featured there. At the time we had some deeper negotiations going on, but as you know, we ended up with Massacre Records."
How do you explain the huge metal scene in Sweden and when do you think the rest of the world will catch up?
MK: "Death metal is dominating the metal scene in Sweden. Scandinavia is flooding with all melodic death metal bands and especially Sweden with its Gothenburg style. The fan support is mostly leaning towards that scene. The underground is tough in Stockholm and overcrowded with more and more bands. Cross borders away from Sweden the support is nowadays much stronger for thrash metal for example. That is what I think the world can catch up on, other genres except the now traditional Swedish death metal. There are countries with a much stronger scene for thrash, general death and gore grind for example and that is something that could develop further."
As a strong woman musician in heavy metal,do you think of yourself as a role model for young women who want to play metal and what advice would you give to them about the business?
MK: "I have a hard time thinking of myself as a role model for young female artists in this industry, but if I could be that for some people then I am of course flattered. An advice I could give is to not forget who you are. Itís easy to get caught up in whatís popular and what females Ďusually do, which is considered coolí. Be yourself and do what you enjoy doing. Being yourself is the most unique thing you can do since weíre all individuals."
Who were some of your musical influences growing up and how did they help you decide what you wanted to do with your life?
MK: "To mention some of the bands that have been inspiring to me, I could say: METALLICA, DEATH, VADER, KREATOR, TESTAMENT, MEGADETH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, ANNIHILATOR, TANKARD, SODOM, SLAYER, PANTERA, EXODUS and so on. As you can see, the list mostly consists of various thrash metal bands with some exceptions. I find both vocal and instrumental inspiration in acts such as mentioned above, which constantly makes me what to express myself in Decadence. To mention some musicians in particular (with focus on vocals), I would say James Hetfield (METALLICA), both as a guitarist, vocalist and song/lyrical writer, Chuck Shuldiner (DEATH), Mille Petrozza (KREATOR), Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM), Piotr Wiwczarek (VADER) and more. I constantly want to develop my vocals and I wanted to hear as many different styles of Metal vocals as possible to create my own voice. I still experiment today to come up with different pitches or styles and I really enjoy that and discovering new and inspiring bands."
You have an incredible and powerful voice. How did you train your voice and at what time in your life did you think you wanted to do this professionally?
MK: "Thank you very much. When I got my first guitar at the age of twelve, I focused only on my guitar playing. I believed I would become a thrash metal guitarist, which was what I always wanted and I could have never imagined that I would become the lead singer of a metal band. I had been playing guitar for a while until I, just by coincidence and impulse really, contacted a band searching for a vocalist. I had attempted growling at home, but I was never serious with it. It was only something I did for fun. So, when I came to audition in 2003 as a sixteen year old growling vocalist, it all began for real. I never thought that band would develop into what now is known as DECADENCE. I have had no academic musical training whatsoever, I have been experimenting with my voice alone for all these years and I still am!"
Does your family support what you are doing?
MK: "They do, in the very highest degree. They have been following me and DECADENCE through all this time and are still active in everything that is going on."
I have seen a few videos from the band on You Tube in the past. Are there any plans to do any new ones and maybe try to get them played on "Headbangers Ball" or some other medium to expose the band to new fans?
MK: "There will be more videos for sure! We always put up clips from fanís recordings of our live shows and we are happy to share it with everyone. We also hope to have a studio recorded video in the nearest future. If any of them will be played on things such as "Headbangerís Ball" is a will see!"
Your 'Street Teams' seem to be all over the place. Do you think the fans have had a big say in spreading the word about DECADENCE?
MK: "Itís amazing how much support our fans have shown us, especially in our growing number of Street Teams. They are definitely doing a great job in spreading the word and we are very grateful for that."
I recently had a chance to see some of the artwork for the new CD and it is incredible. The artist's name is Yumi Nishikata. How did you find her?
MK: "Actually, the artwork you have seen (You tube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zLWtZSmNnM) is not the artwork for our booklet, but just a preview of some of Yumi Nishikataís previous work. Itís a little sneaky peek at what you all have to expect of the new booklet. We met this young Japanese girl, because she is a DECADENCE fan and after seeing her art, we wanted to make her a part of all this. I give her the concept, she draws it and then I modify it once more for the booklet. Her original art will be placed at our official site: http://www.decadence.se, when the album is done, and the modified versions will be inside the booklet."
If you were not the current 'Queen of Thrash', what else would you be doing as your life's work?
MK: "Well, Iím doing my final year at University now and next summer I will be entitled ĎMasterí in Computer System Science, which is quite fun actually. My work there is also highly interesting, so I guess I would be spending more time with that and my job to come. Other than that, I would of course spend lots of time with music in general and play guitar, write new songs and go to as many concerts as possible!"
What is something about you that your fans may not know? Come on,don't be shy?
MK: "Thatís a hard one... hmm... a weird hobby I have is diving, without tubes or anything. I think thatís how I developed my lungs at such an early age. I hope that answer will do! (laugh)"
Well, miss Kitty, it has truly been an honor to talk with you today and this is something I will always remember as I am not only 'the interview dude', but also a huge fan of you and the band. Thank you for your time and for agreeing to be my first interview for Metal Maidens. I wish you luck with the new CD and cannot wait to get my hand's on it. Hopefully, sometime in the near future a tour of the US is coming and I can check out the live show.
Horns way up, Nick.
MK: "For me, you will always be the fan, who supported DECADENCE and that matters the most to me! Thank you, Metal Maidens and the readers for sharing this interview with me and I wish you the very best of luck with your new work at Metal Maidens! Thanks for the good luck, too and you will soon have the new album for sure. When we are in the US for a tour, you and everyone else will know! All the best and horns up from Metallic Kitty of DECADENCE."
Visit their website at: www.decadence.se/
or My Space: www.myspace.com/decadenceswe