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Adrenaline Shot: Killswitch Engage Alive And Flourishing

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

There are bands to define every generation. Take Black Sabbath, AC/DC or Metallica. Take Iron Maiden, Slipknot and Nirvana. These are bands that helped shape entire cultures, infiltrating the mainstream along the way.

To a lesser – yet important – extent, Killswitch Engage are one of those bands, having put metalcore on the map with 'Alive Or Just Breathing' back in 2002. During the touring sequence of that album, original vocalist Jesse Leach cut his ties with the band, allowing Howard Jones to enjoy a number of successful years at the helm, before making a triumphant return to the fold in 2012.

Prior to the band's sold out Brixton Academy gig with Trivium, drummer Justin Foley kept us up to date with all things Killswitch, including the reaction to 'Disarm The Descent', their festival plans and the possibility of new material.

Jesse's been back in the band for two years now. How cool is that?

Holy cow. Two years this winter, that's awesome. He's definitely a shot of adrenaline, that's for sure. It's pretty cool to see him get so stoked about everything – like early tour level of excited – so it was pretty cool having some new blood and a fresh perspective on everything. Apart from any of that, we just love having him around in general. He's such a super-positive guy and he's so passionate about what Killswitch Engage do, and that's never a bad thing to have around. It's been fantastic having him back in the band.

You've sold out Brixton Academy. That's a pretty big deal, right?

I don't know how we did that. None of us in the band understand why it's been going so long and why we can tour and sell out venues like this. This is probably the fourth time we've played here and it's just insane. To think that we've played this building that many times, we're back again and it's sold out. It's pretty mind-boggling.

Many critics hailed 'Disarm The Descent' as a return to form. What are your thoughts on that album?

I'm thrilled with the record. Absolutely thrilled. I think that it came out exactly the way we wanted; we were just itching to get going, and it was that adrenaline shot from Jesse that was really captured on the record. It was one of those records that just took a snapshot of the band at that moment in time. We were excited, we were anxious, we wanted to play a little faster and a little more aggressively. I love that we can play songs from 'Disarm The Descent' and have such a positive reaction from audiences.

You have such a recognisable sound, but no band is without influence. Where do yours come from?

If you go across all five of us, we probably capture everything. There's probably not one thing out there that at least one of us doesn't like. It just seems like we listen to everything. When we're writing songs, we don't think that we want to write a specific type of song; we just write stuff that we want to hear and that we enjoy.

Obviously, because we're writing for Killswitch, then it's got to be a metal song. It's got to be heavy, it's got to have the melodic guitar lines, blah blah blah. I guess they're the only sort of restrictions, because apart from that, as long as we're writing and playing stuff that we want to hear, then our personal influences pretty much run throughout. If you put that together and it makes the final product distinguishable from other stuff on the metal scene, then I guess that's the reason.

Have there been any discussions regarding a new Killswitch album?

No, not really. We still have so much touring to do, and we're so excited just thinking about writing the next record. When we did the last one, we had almost all of the demos and music written before Jesse even came back. This next one is really exciting, because it's going to be from scratch and he'll be there from the very beginning. Even though he's been back for a couple of years, we still haven't properly written music together in forever. In that way, we've been thinking about that, but we haven't really discussed when exactly it's going to happen because we've got all of this touring to do.

You're playing Download Festival in June. Are you looking forward to it?

Of course. Every time it's just great. When we played the second stage at Download 2012 with Jesse…man, that was crazy. I think we're on the first stage, but I'm not 100% sure. Don't hold me to that. But every time we've played there, we've just done it with some ridiculous bands. We did it with Iron Maiden, AC/DC, we did it when Faith No More reformed and headlining. It's just been stupid. It's been really fun.

Click here to check out the first part of our tour feature, where Trivium's Paolo Gregoletto talks revisiting 2005, indifference and shit-kicking shoes.

Killswitch Engage UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Thu February 06 2014 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri February 07 2014 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall

Click Here to Compare & Buy Killswitch Engage Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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