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Thursday, July 26, 2012

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's Jesse Leach Talks About TRESPASS AMERICA, The Band's Upcoming Album & Much More!

Currently, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE are on the road as part of the Trespass America Festival tour. The event is headlined by FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH with support from TRIVIUM, EMMURE, GOD FORBID and other bands. This past Friday night, July 20, they performed a NEW song, "No End in Sight". The great folks from Roadrunner Records got frontman Jesse Leach on the phone from Lubbock, Texas to talk about the tour, writing lyrics for the band's upcoming album, and more! A few excerpts of the interview follow:

You premiered a new song Friday night – are you playing it every night now?

It depends. We’re just trying to switch it up a little bit. We want to add a little bit of excitement to the shows, get a little bit of buzz going so more people come out, just having fun with it, you know?

What’s your favorite song to sing on this tour?

Probably “This is Absolution,” now, just because it’s so thrashy in the beginning, it reminds me of Carcass. It’s a really energetic song, just gets the crowd going.

Do you ever find yourself mentally measuring the crowd response to 'Alive Or Just Breathing' songs versus Howard Jones-era songs?

I don’t think consciously I do that, no, I’m just overall trying to have the crowd enjoy themselves, regardless of what style or what era of Killswitch it is. Admittedly, the Howard-era stuff, those choruses are so big, they’re so easy to sing along to, so that’s usually what gets the crowd going for sure.

How long are you playing?

45 minutes. About nine songs, give or take, depending what songs we’re doing.

Do you wish the set was longer, or is this a good way for you to get back on the horse, so to speak?

I can go either way. I can play longer or shorter. I find that 45 minutes is a sweet spot, though, because your energy level stays pretty high. Past that, when you’re running around the stage like a maniac, you tend to get more tired. But I’m good for about 45 minutes to an hour. That’s usually a really nice time for me, to keep my energy high.

For me, 45 minutes is about right as a spectator, too.

[laughs] Yeah, exactly. And then after a while, you’re like, “Yeah, all right…” You’ve gotta really love a band to stay there and watch it. I totally agree with you.

So what can you say about the next record at this point?

I’ve got a couple of songs done, I’ve got a bunch to go, but I’ve got a lot of ideas. I listen to it every once in a while out here just to keep me familiar with it, so when I get home and attempt to finish the record, it’s still fairly fresh in my mind. Sonically, this is definitely – it’s got a more urgent feeling to it. It’s a lot faster, there’s definitely huge melody going on, but the songs are a lot shorter. Not one song really goes over the three and a half, four minute mark. I just anticipate lyrically and vocally it to be a very urgent record. We’re at a state in this world right now where someone needs to talk about what’s going on. There’s a lot of apathy in this world, there’s a lot of really screwed-up stuff in our government and the world’s governments, and the whole class vs. class thing, the protests that happened all around the United States – there’s a lot of unrest, and I think it kinda needs to be touched upon. And it’s up to the metal community to have a voice, and that’s what I’m aiming to do with this next record – make it very important. Make it matter.

Are you writing all the lyrics for the new album yourself?


Given that you’ve been out of the band for 10 years – obviously they’ve welcomed you back, but is everybody on the same page regarding what the songs will be about? Are you running the lyrics past them as you go?

Oh, yeah, this band is a total democracy, which is great. Coming back into it, the guys basically said, “Do what you wanna do – we trust you,” but I like to show them my progress, so I send them demos, I’ll show them my lyrics and concepts for the songs. And so far, every single person’s been really excited about my ideas, and probably just the energy that I’m bringing to the project.

Do you write much on the road, or do you need down time?

Yeah, you kinda need down time. It’s tough out here. Being a creative person on tour’s tough, because you’re so used to a schedule, and it sounds funny, people who don’t do it wouldn’t really know, but it’s tiring. You don’t really have a lot of creative time when you’re out here. You’re trying to socialize with the other bands, doing your show, and to be creative you’ve gotta hide somewhere and get privacy, and that’s rare on tour. So I’ll go for long walks by myself outside of the show grounds and attempt to write, but it’s really tough out here. I’ve had a few days the past two weeks where I’ve had a little bit of creativity, but outside of that, the road isn’t really conducive to creative thought, for me.

You can read the read the rest of the interview HERE!

TRESPASS AMERICA Festival (remaining tour dates):

- 27: San Antonio, TX at Freeman Coliseum
- 28: Beaumont, TX at Ford Pavilion
- 30: Nashville, TN at Bridgestone Arena
- 31: Evansville, IN at Ford Center


- 3: Battle Creek, MI at Kellogg Arena
- 7: Syracuse, NY at SRC Arena and Events Center/Onondaga Community Center
- 8: Glens Falls, NY at Glens Falls Civic Center
- 10: Scarborough, ME at Scarborough Downs
- 14: Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE
- 15: Hartford, CT at Comcast Theatre
- 17: Worchester, MA at DCU Center
- 18: Newark, NJ at Prudential Center
- 19: Philadelphia, PA at Penn’s Landing – Festival Pier
- 22: Knoxville, TN at Knoxville Civic Coliseum
- 25: Rio Rancho, NM at Santa Ana Star Center
- 26: Phoenix, AZ at Comercia Theatre
- 28: Los Angeles, CA at Hollywood Palladium

Click HERE to get your FREE sampler of the Trespass America Festival!

Related links:
Official Site of Killswitch Engage

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