KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Bassist: JESSE LEACH ‘Blew Us Away’ While Auditioning To Return To Band

Metal Blast conducted an interview with bassist Mike D’Antonio of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE backstage at the Heavy T.O. festival on August 12 at Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow.

Metal Blast: You have a segregation; the new fans, the old fans. Have you found any division between their acceptance of [returning lead singer] Jesse [Leach]… rather re-acceptance?

Mike: Not yet, not really. Which is great and phenomenal. That was one of our main concerns; can Jesse do the Howard [Jones] songs? That was one of the things we really had to figure out for ourselves before were like, “Cool, let’s go on the road,” and he proved to us that he wanted to do it. And we were, like, “Okay, I guess he knows those songs.” ‘Cause…he actually auditioned for the part and did an amazing job… he just blew us away. We had an entire day of auditions starting at 11:30 a.m., probably 15 or so characters come in through the door, by about 4:30 [or] 5 o’clock, we were all kinda beat, ready to go home. That was enough of playing the same three songs over and over again, ’till Jesse walked in the room. We proceeded to rock out 15 songs in a row; the spirit was back, the energy was back, all the smiles were there. That’s what you need.

Metal Blast: There’s been rumors that you guys have been touring then writing and recording on the side. I’ve heard something about maybe half an album being done… I’m just wondering, is there any truth to that rumour?

Mike: We have a good amount recorded. After this tour we’re on the Trespass [America] tour with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, TRIVIUM, GOD FORBID, BATTLECROSS and a bunch of other bands and we specifically said, “Let’s go out and do some shows. Let’s have Jesse really get into the fold, really meld with us in the live thing again, really become a strong entity once more,” and this is the best way to get a crash course in hate and life by being on tour. But yeah, just to get him in the mindset, so we’re gonna go back and do some more vocals. So… the next 2 ½ – 3 months is just vocals, finishing up the record and being ready to go for the New Year.

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