On the night of January 23rd, I arrived at Cafe Dekcuf in the heart of downtown Ottawa with plans to have a sit down with a couple members of local tech/death metal band Killitorous(yes, you heard right), but I was pleasantly surprised when guitarist Aaron Homma approached me with vocalist Jimi Maltais of Toronto metal band Crimson Shadows to have a dual interview instead.
I unfortunately did not know too much about Crimson Shadows, and when I informed Jimi he was more than happy to bring me up to speed:
Jimi: ..the Wacken Metal Battle in Canada has been going on for like 3 years, we were the Canadian champions, and then we went to Wacken [Germany] to compete against the 29 other countries that had all placed first, and we beat them so we got a contract with them [Napalm Records]. We toured Europe like 3 months ago with Alestorm, we played 24 shows in 24 days in 12 countries.
Aaron: So basically, the reason why we did this tour is because we’re the two, what I would call, the two biggest Ontario metal [underground] bands, simply based on the fact that we keep on the road at all times. That’s why we did the tour together, and that’s basically the brief on the two bands.
Cool! So you guys are friends, you knew each other already?
Aaron: We can tell you the whole story if you want, cause actually it’s a great story!
Sure, have at it!
Aaron: Jimi and myself actually have been good friends for a very long time, we met through one of the guys in Fatality, a Toronto band who just did The Summer Slaughter Tour, and then Jimi actually ended up living with our old singer Mark – which I’ll let Jimi go about explaining! (Laughs)
Jimi: Essentially, without going into too many details, Mark and I lived together and there was an “incident” that I don’t think really needs to go into a bunch of details, because it is just between us and what happened. With that being said, there was a falling out. Him and I are not friends anymore, but Mark remained in Killitorous for a bit and unfortunately due to the tension between him and I, we, our bands, couldn’t play together.
Aaron: Which we had planned to do tours, and to party and have great times and we couldn’t because of the animosity that was created.
Jimi: But then when we were on tour in Europe, about halfway through our tour Aaron kind of bridged the gap. He was like “Hey man, how’s it going?” and I’m like “Yo dude! How’s it going? Fancy hearing from you! What’s going on?!”
Aaron: I was actually messaging him because I had just gone to Europe with Gorgoroth, with one of my other bands. I was super stoked that they were just there, and I was trying to see how they were liking it. When you go to Europe, it’s kind of like a club you join with the guys who get to make it to Europe, or make it overseas. That’s kind of like a little insider club and we all have a good time talking about it because no one gets to see the shit we see on the road! And then of course.. I asked them to do a tour with us immediately because Mark was no longer in the band! So this tour really came about simply because of the way the fundamentals behind the band have gone in the last few months.
Jimi: I guess it’s one of those things, one of the unspoken things about bands that a lot of people don’t really understand, is that in the metal community or even just anywhere in general really, the reputation of who you are and what you do will absolutely get around.
Aaron: Your talent just opens the door, and then who you are keeps you inside of that door, and inside that community.
Jimi: Long story short, I really think that this was a thing that really needed to happen, and now the friendship is completely rekindled.
Aaron: We literally all slept in two beds last night, both bands. (laughing) We’re all close friends!
Haha, VERY close.. So, I’m curious as to where the name Killitorous comes from?
Aaron: Killitorous! It was my MSN name in grade 10 because I thought I was a witty motherfucker, and it turns out I kind of was. It is kind of a double entendre, and I did in fact want to call it “Kill It or Us” so it was like a super triple entendre, but there was another band, that now doesn’t exist, called that already so I couldn’t use it. I thought of maybe just a mythical monster called a Killitorous, that has a giant vagina that bursts evil thoughts. But then I also thought, death and vaginas man, you know?
Has there been any controversy surrounding the name?
Aaron: I’ve been asked to change the name tons of times. We’ve had some conversations with some record labels about this, and.. the name is not changing. (laughing) That’s the answer. Well, my answer is usually “Well what do you want to change it to?” Cause I’m not changing any of the thematics around the band, it’s gonna stay the same idea so you better come up with a good fuckin’ name. ..I’ve yet to get a response – so I think Killitorous is gonna stick.
Do you have any videos that you’ve been working on, or that are going to be released soon?
Aaron: We’re going to release a tour blog for this tour, so it’s going to be a video blog kind of thing. I think we’re going to do a new music video cause we’re going into the studio in a couple weeks or in a month, so I guess we’re probably going to do video for one of the songs. It will be pretty crazy, we’re doing that split album with Unhuman from Quebec, which is gonna be pretty cool trying to unify Ontario and Quebec metal a little bit!
Jimi: We released our new music video in September a couple weeks before we released our album internationally, and it’s doing pretty well with about 60,000 plays on YouTube. After that we did the Europe tour. We’ve been touring all around here, but we have to get another video out probably by the end of June because we’re really trying to hit up Mayhem Festival this year.
There are only a couple shows left after tonight, do you guys have a favourite city that you like to play?
Aaron: On this tour every single place that we booked are our favourite cities. That’s why we did this tour with these guys and we were able to put it together so quickly because they’re our favourite places to play.
Jimi: We play off the strengths of both bands too. There are some places that we do really well, and other places that they just fucking slay.
My last question for you: are there any memorable or funny moments that stand out on this tour?
Aaron: Well I talked about how we all slept together like fuckin’ puppies last night (Laughing). Every night is always so crazy. Definitely the most memorable story is that we had to get the tires changed on our van, and while we were getting them changed nobody knew that Youri [vocalist] was in the bunk in the van. So he’s up on the lift sleeping in the van and I had to go wake him up and tell him he was in the air! (laughing) And he just stayed there, you know? Couldn’t move at all! You’ll teeter the van over in the shop and probably kill yourself or break something. Also, well, you know what, there’s a lot of things I just can’t even tell you about. If the fans wanna know about this crazy shit, they can just come ask me at the show and I can tell them so that my wife won’t hear about it.
Written and Compiled by Jamie Markell