Guitarist Fallon Bowman knows the sting of being ignored and having her accomplishments go unrecognized.
After she quit Kittie last August, the group's label issued a statement alluding to that fact without ever mentioning her name. It merely stated that Kittie were now a three piece.
"It was so hurtful," Bowman recalled. "I was really, really distraught over it."
But now, nearly a year after leaving the group (see "Kittie Guitarist Scratched From Lineup"), Bowman is happily creating music that makes her smile â€” though her new material, which takes its cues from the most pummeling German electronic industrial and techno metal Bowman could find, isn't exactly cheery.
Amphibious Assault is a one-woman project that takes its name from a military tactic. Contrary to rumor, Bowman didn't join a fanatical cult in the short term following her departure from Kittie. She was, however, confused about her place in music â€” and whether she still even had a place there.
Bowman said a period of purgatory ensued after leaving the group she helped form five years ago with high school classmate drummer Mercedes Lander. She was cast in indecision until inspiration struck while traveling.
"I was like, 'Hey, wait a second, I could start my own thing. I could do this and this and this,' and it was a succession of different things. I was just bursting with ideas at that point."
Among the skills written on her "can do" list was her ability to program drum machines, which she put to use with her discovery of electronic music and her interest in politics and human and animal rights. Enter Amphibious Assault, a mix of Rage Against the Machine and KMFDM taking Skinny Puppy for a walk on a short leash. Although only one song, "Searchlight," has been posted on the Amphibious Assault Web site, Bowman promised the remaining songs she has written are aggressive and melodic while thematically sticking to AA's de facto motto: "advocating social unrest."
"A lot of people, with September 11 and everything else that's happened, aren't speaking out," she said. "This time is the best time to speak your opinion and just rustle the system a bit. Because things aren't right, obviously, if people are flying planes into buildings and there's a war between the Israelis and Palestinians. There are things that need to be said and done in order for this stuff to stop."
While there's an amalgam of influences apparent in the music, there's one genre Amphibious Assault stays away from â€” but that's not to say Bowman has abandoned it personally.
"No metal," she proclaimed proudly. "There are guitars in some of the songs, though."
"It's very different from [Kittie]. It's a total 360 polar opposite. It's very electronic, and a lot of people say that it has an '80s synth-pop influence to it. Some people told me Depeche Mode. I heard some really weird comparisons. It's definitely very electro. It's a culmination of every type of electronic music I've ever listened to."
Next month Bowman plans to track a nine- or 10-song demo in her basement studio in hopes of garnering a label deal. Recording demos and shopping for a deal can be daunting, but it's also one of the more gratifying parts of being in a band â€” an aspect Bowman said is nearly forgotten as it pertains to Kittie.
"Things in Kittie had happened so fast, I did not have time to soak in any of the stuff that was going on," she said. "This stage where I'm at now [with Amphibious Assault], I don't even remember. We started playing shows and then 'Bam!' we had [label] interest already, people calling us every day, it was so overwhelming."
Selling more than 641,000 copies of your debut album before the age of 18 can do that to a kid.
For Spit's follow-up, what eventually become last year's Oracle, Bowman attempted to steer things toward music she was then listening to â€” techno, German industrial and black metal, for instance â€” but was met with resistance from singer/guitarist Morgan Lander, who was entrenched in extreme metal, she said.
The turmoil came to a head at a radio show last Memorial Day. The Kittie bandmembers didn't talk to each other for the entire day â€” which didn't prevent them from kicking ass, Bowman noted. They weren't mad at each other over a particular thing, per se, but the silence was indicative of deep-rooted problems within their relationships.
"Many people in the industry have told me, as soon as it doesn't become fun anymore, you know that there's something wrong and you need to stop," she said. "And I've always kept that advice in the back of my head."
For more on Kittie, check out the MTV News Archive
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