Rick Florino of recently conducted an interview with vocalist Jesse Leach of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. When you got into the studio, did it feel like you were picking up where you left off or did it feel completely now?

Jesse: All of it felt completely new. To this day, we’re six tours in, and the energy is still fresh. It’s great. What moment did it come together?

Jesse: I don’t think it really hit me until we were out in Europe playing festivals together. It hit me hard like, “This is huge. This is great.” There was an excitement in the air, and everybody could feel it. I think we all knew it going through rehearsals and writing the record. It didn’t hit any of us until we were out there playing together. It felt more real. Was that partly due to the crowds?

Jesse: The audience had a lot to do with it. We didn’t what we were walking into. We knew some people would be stoked to have me back and others would probably be skeptical. The moment we started seeing positive reactions, it brought everything full circle. “Alive Or Just Breathing” was so seminal. That was the best way to re-introduce the band with you at the front.

Jesse: That was the plan. We really thought about it when I rejoined. They had some gigs booked, and they were going to cancel them so we could get in the studio and write the record. I said, “No, let’s get on the road. Let’s work on the record while we’re doing it.” I thought that was important for us, play some “Alive Or Just Breathing” material, and get my road life started. I think that helped write the record. Touring and being on the road had a lot to do with reigniting the band’s energy. Was the TIMES OF GRACE record a bridge to the album?

Jesse: I think it definitely helped get me back in the swing of things and on the road. Touring with [KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarists] Joel [Stroetzel] and Adam [Dutkiewicz] in that band definitely answered any question I had in my mind about how we would tour or how I’d feel about it. It made me want to live in the whole process of writing, recording, and touring. At the same time, I don’t think it was a direct catalyst. It wasn’t like I was sitting there on the tour bus plotting and scheming, “Now that we’re doing this, let’s move on to KILLSWITCH.” I was all about TIMES OF GRACE. The fact that I knew KILLSWITCH were going through some issues, it made me want to put all of my eggs in one basket and go with TIMES OF GRACE. I thought it was going to last longer, when it didn’t, long story short, it just sort of happened. It was natural. I wouldn’t say TIMES OF GRACE was a direct catalyst, but it warmed me up and got me road-ready and studio-ready.

Read the entire interview at