METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Mercedes. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
Before we talk about your latest release that came out this past September, first, how are you? How are things going?
MERCEDES LANDER: Everything is going great. We're just gigging and working on new material.
MPAP: Let me introduce you to everyone, in case there are a few reading this that don’t know who your band is just yet. Hello everyone, we have Mercedes Lander with us today from the doom crushing Canadian group called The White Swan here, and they just released their 3rd EP titled Touch Taste Destroy on War Crime Recordings, correct?
MERCEDES: Yes, War Crime released the vinyl version of the EP for us worldwide and we released physical CD's and digitally independently.
MPAP: Also, something huge recently just happened for The White Swan. You played four shows in the United States that started in Champaign, Illinois, and finished up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. So, how was the four-day mini tour?
MERCEDES: We had so much fun considering the strange circumstances that ended up happening. The drummer we hired for the tour ended up not working out, so we decided to do a vocal-less set with me playing drums. Considering not being able to present the songs how they are usually played it went over great. We had a lot of fun and we made a lot of new friends.
MPAP: That's too bad things didn't work out as planned. It just means it will be bigger and better the next time around. So, how did this tour end up finally happening? What got the ball rolling, or what got the tour bus rolling into the United States you could say?
MERCEDES: We just decided that playing US shows just needed to happen. It was the next logical step. We had saved up enough money to purchase visas for the band and booked some shows with our friends in Close The Hatch for Dayton Ohio.
MPAP: This was a huge significant step for The White Swan? That opens the door even farther for your band?
MERCEDES: Absolutely. We're planning on getting back to the US in the summer of 2019.
MPAP: This is a two-part question; does it ever bother you in some way that some people with always refer to you as the drummer from Kittie, never putting your accomplishments of TheWhite Swan first now that it has been your focus since 2016?
MERCEDES: I’m very grateful to have the people that follow me and the other projects that I’m in. Obviously, this has everything to do with my tenure with Kittie. I feel very fortunate to have those people that support my creativity.
MPAP: And then the second half of the question, will it bother you on the other side of the spectrum that the more The White Swan continues and grows, and your other band Kittie stays dormant, you will be distancing yourself farther away with what you and your sister, Morgan, created back in 1996?
MERCEDES: That’s a bi-product of being in a semi-successful band that decides to take a break. I have to continue to create music as that’s what I feel like I need to do to make myself happy, so I feel like I will always continue to create music in a multitude of different ways. Whether that’s writing songs for other people or creating my own music.
MPAP: So, going back to your new release, in a recent interview with Decibel Magazine, you said, 'Touch Taste Destroy is about experiencing real romantic love for the first time. The kind of love that completely consumes you and ruins any idea of what you thought real was like.' Something big must have recently happened in your personal life? Something amazing that maybe you weren’t quite expecting? And is this the first time something very personal, like falling in love, has made its way into your music?
MERCEDES: I think that there has always been a lot of emotion in all of the lyrics that I write, particularly pertaining to love. It’s even present in the lyrics I wrote for Kittie. Knowing that now you can probably pick out the songs that I wrote lyrically with Kittie. The White Swan is no different. Most of the songs are very mushy, hopeful, and positive, which I feel is a great contrast to the musical content. I recently got engaged so that’s probably why TTD has a very romantic feel.
MPAP: In that same interview, you described you wanted to keep the verses of this song very dark sounding to contrast the lyrical content. Did you feel the message would be heard better if the material was darker?
MERCEDES: Not necessarily. I feel like TWS musically, is a very dark band and I'm such a huge fan of adding contrast to our music. I want people to be surprised when they sit down and listen to the lyrics.
MPAP: Touch Taste Destroy is the follow up to 2017s The White, and 2016s Anubis. How do you personally feel The White Swan has grown over the course of these three EPs?
MERCEDES: I feel like our progression is fairly natural. It’s nice to be able to explore different musical nuances and experiment with different sounds. I feel like musically, TTD is very chaotic and has a lot more experimentation with noise and time signatures. We've already started writing for the next EP so who know where that will take us.
MPAP: With all that you’ve done so far in The White Swan, has it passed all your first expectations when you started the band in 2016?
MERCEDES: So far, I’m super happy with everything we've accomplished. I'm always so surprised that people still care about what I do musically. It’s really nice to have people just as excited about this project as I am.
MPAP: What’s one goal that you would like to accomplish that you haven’t been able to do, even in your previous band or any other musical endeavors you have been a part of? What is something you wake up to every day and you want to tackle with The White Swan?
MERCEDES: I would love to do a longer US tour with TWS but in all honesty, the options and possibilities are endless. I love creating and writing. I would love to play drums for a band again other than just studio stuff. I miss it a lot. So hopefully I can do that sooner rather than later.
MPAP:The White Swan has been getting together and putting out an EP each year so far, so, does that mean we can expect something new in 2019?
MERCEDES: Yes! We're already working on our next EP. Maybe if we’re lucky we can put two out in 2019.
MPAP: Can you give a hint, a taste of what we can expect?
MERCEDES: You can expect more controlled chaos.
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Mercedes, for doing this interview. We look forward to what The White Swan does to finish out the year 2018 and beyond.
Any last words for all your fans out there reading this?
MERCEDES: Thank you so much for taking the time to listen buy or support The White Swan's music. It’s very appreciated. You can check us out on Bandcamp at thewhiteswan.bandcamp.com.
Mercedes Lander/ December 12th, 2018/ Interview #132