Depending on when you discovered Canadian bashers Kittie has a direct influence on how you see them. For those that were on board from the beginning with the Spit album, released in 1999, Kittie was considered part of the nu-metal movement. Going into their later albums, In The Black (2009) and I've Failed You (2011), the band had evolved into something far more sinister, and were viewed as a serious full-on metal outfit. Just as they seemed to be hitting their stride six albums into their career, however, Kittie slowly disappeared from the scene in the wake of touring for I've Failed You. The silence was eventually dubbed an "indefinite hiatus" by the band, broken only by a one-off hometown show in London, Ontario in 2017, and the release of the documentary, Kittie: Origins/Evolutions, in 2018

Now, 13 years later, that silence has been broken in earnest

Produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush, Alice In Chains, Korn), Kittie have unleashed Fire. In the making for the better part of 2023, the band kept things under wraps as best they could, determined to make the biggest and best noise possible when the new record finally surfaced with lead single, “Eyes Wide Open”. Incidentally, the first song written for the new album. Call it taking care of unfinished business years after coming to the conclusion that Kittie had overstayed their welcome

"We felt like we had to take a break, and I think that sucked some of the excitement and the fun out of it for us," reveals vocalist / guitarist Morgan Lander. "We did a lot of touring, and the more we hit the same markets over and over again, it felt like there were fewer people there. We weren't sure that we could keep doing this financially, mentally and emotionally. It's fun and everything, but sweating it out in a band was not the nicest thing to do at that point in our lives. We felt that maybe it would be okay to put Kittie aside and try a different life. It was a really hard time."

Morgan, drummer Mercedes Lander, guitarist Tara McLeod and bassist Ivy Vujic maintain that Kittie did not break up because it is an ingrained part of their identity. The documentary and the one-off show in London were intended as a cap on everything, leaving a big question mark at what might happen down the road at the same time. Offers from promoters to do some shows in 2022 and 2023 were enough to convince Kittie to dust off their instruments, resulting in a renewed interest in the band and a label deal offer from Sumerian Records. The quartet discussed it and agreed that it sounded like fun to get back to making music again.

Mercedes: "We had nothing but the label said it didn't matter. We were 100% unprepared to be offered a record deal, so we had to get into gear and make things happen."

Fire was written unlike any other Kittie album. It was the first time in the band's history that they weren't in a room together due to living so far apart from one another. When they finally did gather as a unit, it was like putting on a pair of comfortable boots., with no need to break things in before getting down to business.

"It was one of those 'Oh yes' moments," says Tara, "because it's pretty crazy the way the four of us click. I found that super refreshing. We can play together without having to settle into it first."

Fire lifts elements from every album in Kittie's catalogue, although that wasn't necessarily a conscious decision. Thirteen years away has turned out growth in songwriting, arranging, lyrical content and vocal melodies, creating something monstrous and volatile.

Morgan: "I was trying to find a way to marry the ideas of this band. Some people think of us as a nu-metal band, and those elements are still under the surface in our sound, but as we progressed as a band, we were able to create our own identity with a little bit more fast and extreme stuff."

The final piece of the puzzle for Fire was Nick Raskulinecz. Regarded as a producer-to-the-stars at this point of his career, and on Kittie's shortlist, they initially opted not to submit his name as a possibility. They did contact Raskulinecz eventually, following a few discussions with other producers, and were blown away by his excitement for the new material and music as a whole.

"Nick fits the spirit of Kittie," says Ivy. "He has the same musical philosophy that we do in terms of we're just trying to make the best music we can make. It's not like, 'Hey guys, let's listen to what's hip and cool on internet radio.' Nick just wanted to make a piece of art, and that matches the idea behind Kittie. He's very pure that way, so I think that's why we got the record that we did; because we all wanted the best."