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Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach on New Album, the Bastardization of “Metalcore”, and more

"When I think of Killswitch, I don't think metalcore, I think metal"

Killswitch Engage at 2019 Sonic Temple Festival
Killswitch Engage at 2019 Sonic Temple Festival, photo by Amy Harris
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Earlier this week, Killswitch Engage revealed that they will release their eighth album, Atonement, in August, while unveiling the new single “Unleashed”.

Prior to that announcement, we sat down with singer Jesse Leach at the Sonic Temple Festival in Ohio to discuss the band’s new record deal with Metal Blade, as well as some themes on the new album.

“There’s a song, in particular, that means the world to me, a heavy-subject-matter song about mental illness and suicide,” Leach told us in the video interview above. “Of course, I have to address that stuff. It’s my world, it’s a part of who I am.”

He continued, “Also, there’s some real good thrashers in there, some piss-and-vinegar, angry-ish, f*ck-the-system type stuff, and then you get your emotional ‘everything’s gonna be OK’ kind of songs. It’s Killswitch, man!”

We also asked the singer about the current state of metalcore, a genre for which Killswitch have been called pioneers, but Leach instead wondered aloud what that term really meant. “You know how genres go. That term has been so bastardized, I don’t even know what it means,” he began. “When I think of Killswitch, I don’t think metalcore, I think metal, in general. I get people gotta categorize it, I get that, but you ask me, I don’t know, because I don’t even listen to metalcore.”

Leach when on to explain that the band never called themselves metalcore. “We came from the hardcore scene. We were hardcore kids who were into metal. That’s where the ‘metalcore’ came.”

The vocalist also discussed KsE’s upcoming summer tour with Clutch, as well as KIllswitch Engage’s 20th anniversary. See the full video interview above.

Killswitch Engage’s new album, Atonement, arrives on August 16th, and can be pre-ordered at this location.

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