The touring lives of Killitorous band members are ones that sometimes include ham, but rarely include hotels.
“There’s something just so sterile and dry and not rock ‘n’ roll about going to a hotel after a show, you know?” said guitarist Nick Miller.
“We’re a firm believer in no hotels.”
That belief stems from the fact that by not staying at hotels, Killitorous members have a chance to meet and interact with their fans in scenarios that are sometimes extremely cozy — like when all five of them sleep on the floor of someone’s kitchen.
And the ham?
“We had these guys start throwing ham at us on stage because they saw an interview where we talked about throwing ham,” Miller explained.
“It wasn’t actually too distracting. People think that playing this technical music, I can’t have any distractions, but I don’t know — I didn’t mind it. It made for an entertaining show and that’s all that matters.”
Miller is one of three guitarists in the band, which recently added Marc Roy, a former session bassist, to its guitar roster while recording the band’s upcoming second full-length album AfterParty.
“I studied jazz in university, so it’s been kind of up to me to arrange all the guitars and fit them all into each other,” Miller said.
The guitarist, who joined the band in 2011, compared his composition work to a sudoku puzzle, trying to make three lead guitars — one of which is doubled — work on each track.
Killitorous plays technical death metal, which features drums, guitar and vocals that are intense, fast and complex. The lyrics, if you can understand them, are often comical, horrific or grotesque — or all three at once — as is tradition in death metal circles.
But to gain notoriety in the scene requires serious skills — skills Miller said he has developed alongside co-lead guitarist Aaron Homma, with whom he lives in an Ottawa apartment.
“We spend a lot of time watching old guitar instructional videos from the ‘80s, trying to get our chops up to the levels of people like Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai — those kind of guys. But really we have a drive to get better at guitar and just do things other people aren’t doing,” Miller said.
“We’re really students of the craft. We try to dive deep and find the weird guitar thing that no one else is doing.”
AfterParty doesn’t have a set release date just yet, but Miller said to expect it before summer 2019, and to find arrangements of “beautiful guitars” and top notch songwriting on the album.
Miller said he knows Killitorous’ music fits a niche, but said the band’s music is starting to “evolve a little bit,” and hinted they may start to cross over into new territories, with plans to include some more traditional singing on the next album.
“There’s definitely a cap [to how big Killitorous can grow]. We’ve thought about it before because we want to be doing this for the rest of our lives,” he said.
That cap, Miller said, can be seen by looking at where the biggest death metal bands are at, listing off Obscura, Archspire and Beyond Creation as examples of the top dogs in technical death metal.
“So we’re going to try to shoot for there and try to get big and hopefully that’s enough to keep food on the table and pay for rent,” he said.
Killitorous is currently on the western leg of its coast-to-coast tour and will play in Kamloops on Dec. 19 at The Blue Grotto, 319 Victoria St., at 8 p.m. Blackwater Burial of Vancouver and local bands Black Castle Banshee and Shatterless will open. Tickets are $10 and available online at ticketor.com.