Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage Talks New Album, Fan Reactions, and More!
The Trespass America Festival featured Five Finger Death Punch, Trivium, Pop Evil, Emmure, Battlecross, and a little known band named KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Recently lead vocalist Howard Jones departed from the group with complications of Diabetes. Left without a vocalist, Killswitch Engage welcomed back original singer Jesse Leach to the group. I was able to catch up with him while on tour!
How has the tour been going for you?
“It’s been great man, the crowds have been awesome. Every band has been really cool and easy to work with, and I like that it’s diverse you know? Not every band is the same, so when you come you getting different styles of music. It’s not just metal, so you get some metal, some rock and roll. It’s been great, a good experience.”
You recently rejoined the band, how does it feel today as opposed to when you were originally in the band?
“I think, the initial excitement is defiantly still there. My focus now, is getting through this tour and I mean that in a positive way. I am really trying to focus on the new record.”
You guys recently had a song leak out onto YouTube named “No End In Sight,” will you be performing it live on the tour?
“We have been playing every night, just to get it warmed up and give people a little taste. It’s not a reflection of what the record is going to sound like but for us, it’s the first song I tackled and got finished. For the fact that is was leaked we just said, ya know, let’s play it.
When are you expecting the new album to be released?
“Early next year. I still have about 14 songs to record, so we are working on that.”
Right when you were about to rejoin and did your audition for Killswitch Engage, did you feel intimidated or did it feel like old times again?
“Neither, I felt like it was a challenge for sure but I wouldn’t say that it was intimidating. I went in with the mindset of either I get it or I don’t. I really wanted the best for my friends and for this band to carry on if it was with someone else besides me. I was like if I didn’t get it, that was the fate, that was the way it was supposed to be and I am just supporting these guys. They are really good friends of mine, and I want them to be happy. But since I got the gig, yea it’s been great man. I can make sure they are happy, cause I am here to make them happy. What I am really looking forward to now is to push forward, which is a more realistic point of view cause there is a lot of work for us ahead with a new record and touring for that, so next couple years are going to be really busy.”
What was the moment in time that you said to yourself, “Hey I could do this again.”?
“I don’t know man, honestly. It’s hard to put a finger on that. I think when I read the press release that they had parted way with Howard (Former Lead Vocalist), in my mind I was thinking are they going to go get somebody who doesn’t have ties to Killswitch? Or would it be in my best interest and their best interest for me come back? It was a trick decision for me cause’ I knew if I took this on, there would be so much back lash, whether it be positive or negative, and I have just been doing my best to stay clear of any of that. I don’t want to hear if people love, or if people hate it. I just wanna go out there and do what we do, and bring it back to the music. Really at the end of the day, that is what it is all about. I wouldn’t be out here doing this if I didn’t love the music, and I fell in love with Howard’s material. I don’t think it really hit me until I listened to them with the thought in mind of I gotta make this my own somehow. I can’t just stand up on stage, go through the motions and be a cover singer. I had to really live in these songs and find my own meanings within his lyrics, and I was able to do that. From that moment I was like, okay, I think I got this.”
How have you been taking the fan reactions with the Howard fans, how do you respond to it?
“I don’t respond to it. People are gonna think what they want to think. I think its a matter of if you are wondering if it’s going to be the same. I’ll tell you right now, it’s not the same. That could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing. Come out and check it out, you be the judge. That’s your call, you don’t like what I do, so be it. Go listen to somebody else.”
Check out the full interview below!