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Red Deer death metal band stokes its fury for Western Canadian tour

Hooker Spit to perform July 28 at The Vat
Death metal band Hooker Spit, from Red Deer, plays The Vat on July 28. (Contributed photo by Andrew Barker/LensFlair Photos)

No surprise that a Red Deer band with the name Hooker Spit and a new album called Krötch Splitter, plays ear-piercing, dystopian death metal.

Daniel White’s screamed and garbled vocals on the single White Lighter are another good clue.

The Red Deer band has been making its name primarily in Edmonton and Calgary since forming at the tail end of the pandemic in 2021. While White insists he’s a proud Red Deerian, he says “cutting our teeth in the big centres” was a choice the musicians made as they didn’t want to be stuck in the local band loop, playing the same venue every other month.

Being away from home so often makes local shows feel extra special, adds White, who looks forward to performing with Hooker Spit at The Vat on July 28.

“Anytime we’ve played in Red Deer, we’ve been very well received. Red Deer fans have been good to us,” he says.

Hooker Spit is heading out on a Western Canadian tour this summer with four other Red Deerians — guitarists Vlad Gligor and Devin Link, bassist José Garza and drummer Scott Gooding.

The musicians, whose day jobs encompass everything from tattooing to accounting, have a mountain of cumulative experience playing in various local metal, punk and rock bands over the years.

The driving sound they produce on Krötch Splitter is a testament to their virtuosity, says White, who respects blues, rock and other genres, but believes the technical requirements for producing a tight death metal record are on a whole other level. The band self-recorded this debut album that was later mixed and mastered in the Czech Republic.

With its apocalyptic/serial killer themes, death metal falls within the horror genre. Whether horror is delivered through movies, music or comics, White believes it has a growing fan base in these troubled times. He thinks it’s the cathartic element that makes it so appealing.

“I think it’s like looking into the void and then quickly looking away…there is a certain exhilaration to it.”

There is definitely an emotional release in playing or listening to death metal, says White, who likens a typical concert to running a marathon. The singer trains hard to produce those demonic-sounding vocals without wrecking his vocal cords. “It’s like opera singing,” he says — coming up from the diaphragm.

The band’s single White Lighter is an indictment on the hypocrisy of organized religion. White objects to religions preaching peace and causing genocides. But the chaotic single is among the tamer tunes on Krötch Splitter which also contains tracks about necrophilia (the title track), cannibalism (Flesh Feast, Corpse Grinder), and generalized negative thoughts (Call of the Void).

“We are trying to paint a dark picture with our music and lyrical content while touching on the raw emotion, desperation, and depths of depravity contained within the human experience,” explains White. While death metal is based on fantasy, he believes it confronts the reality that bad things are going on in the world.

And the singer believes there’s always value in venting your anger through music, as opposed to taking it out on others.

For more information about Hooker Spit’s July 28 concert at The Vat, please contact the venue.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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