A fusion of hardcore, metal, and punk influences are what make Killswitch Engage the band, that it is today, one of the leaders in the genre of metal music, and after four longs years, and Jesse Leach back in the fold, bringing his vocal and lyrical talents, is poised to dominate the world! Hailing from Massachusetts, Killswitch Engage is: Jesse Leach, vocals, Adam Dutkiewicz, guitars, Joel Stroetzel, guitars, Mike D’Antonio, bass, and Justin Foley, on drums. Killswitch Engage is ready to set forth their latest masterpiece onto the world. Disarm The Descent, a gritty, powerful album, with a little something for everyone, from the in-your-face, “The Hell In Me,” and “The New Awakening,” to the chart climbing “In Due Time,” this is an album as a whole, not an album that was put together to have a string of singles. But you also wouldn’t want or expect anything less from the guys in Killswitch Engage! Their return is welcome and needed to the rock community and we should all look forward to seeing them on the road. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jesse Leach, and ask him a few questions about himself and the world around us-so enjoy!
1. Is there any small venue that you miss playing in, as big as Killswitch Engage has become, and would you go back and play there, if given the chance?
Well, the venue no longer exists, but I was raised, and my punk rock, hardcore roots go back to a club called Club Baby Head, in Providence, Rhode Island, and that was always my favorite place to play. If I could resurrect that club again, I would. We had a lot of good times and a lot of great shows.
2. When it comes to musical influences, to whom would you attribute your influences?
Yeah, early on it was Ian McKay, from Minor Threat and Fugazi, and Mike Patton, from Faith No More. Angel Dust: that record sort of made me think about vocals in a completely different light. Lyrically, I would say Bob Marley would be in there. Some of the reggae stuff, the positive stuff-I got a lot of inspiration to write about that stuff. Believe it or not, Joe Cocker: his burly, burly voice- I always loved it, ever since I was a kid. He kind of has that growly Tom Waits-”esque” quality to him, and I’m a huge fan of Tom Waits, as well. So it’s a mixture of all those, really. I just pull from everywhere.
3. What was your most memorable show, and why?
Probably Download, last year with KILLSWITCH. It was the first time being on stage with them in the UK, and I want to say the crowd was like 80,000 people, and I have never played in front of that many people in my life. It was raining all day-just really bad mud and storms, and we came on stage and two songs in, the sun came through and it was really bright. It was actually blinding, coming through the clouds. It was just a performance in a moment I will never forget. It was amazing!
4. What was the craziest thing that a fan has done or said to you, or the band on the road, or otherwise?
Well, that varies. Probably, while playing in Prague, and I reached down to let someone sing along, (we were in a small club for that show) and a girl licked my arm from the wrist all the way up to my elbow, and sort of just stared at me-dead-panning me. I was like, “Whoa! That’s pretty weird!” I’ve been bitten by girls before: they bite me . . . I don’t know. I don’t know what it is, man. Apparently, I am a delicious dinner! I don’t know! (laughing) I’ve also had grown men, like big, burly, grown men, become teary-eyed, almost crying, telling me how much they appreciate my lyrics, which is amazing, but also strange, at the same time. It’s very surreal: a big dude in front of you, saying, “Hey, bro!”, and they start getting teary-eyed, and its like, “WHOA! That’s crazy-I didn’t like expect that!” It’s certainly better than them wanting to pick a fight with me. (laughing)
5. What is your opinion of what is going on with Randy Blythe, of LAMB OF GOD?
I think it’s terrible. I think that he should be the last person to me blamed for this. If you really read the facts and research-what really happened, the club security should be liable. The fact that the kid didn’t get medical attention for hours after the incident, speaks volumes about the emergency services there. And the fact that Randy is cited in this, is just ludicrous. it has everybody in a sort of state of chaos. i just think its terrible that he’s gotten demonized and made a scapegoat. It’s sad, man. He’s a friend of mine, personally. I got to know him last year, while being on tour together in Europe. He’s a great guy. He definitely loves his fans, and would not ever bring harm to his fans. It’s terrible that someone passed away, but to point the finger at Randy is just absolutely ludicrous, and it’s a shame. It’s also definitely going to change things, moving forward, in Prague. We have a festival lined up there, and we are all sort of nervous about it. But, you know, our thinking is that you don’t want to punish the fans for something their government has done. Randy is definitely taking one for the metal community, for sure, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for being that sort of person, to be in the public eye and do what he is doing.