Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE spoke to AOL‘s Noisecreep about the band’s decision to reunite with its original vocalist Jesse Leach following the departure of longtime singer Howard Jones.
Leach sang on the band’s first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut “Alive Or Just Breathing”. Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Jones, but his work on “Alive Or Just Breathing” has always been revered by diehard, longtime KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans.
“Honestly, we didn’t want to jump into anything too quickly,” Adam said. “We were in a position where we could take our time and try out as many singers as we wanted. There are a lot of talented singers out there, and we didn’t want to rush everything. We ended up mulling it over a bit, and we tried out a few different people.
“When we got back in the rehearsal room with Jesse, it just felt right. He’s one of my good friends, and the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time, and all of that stuff, was gone when he jammed with us again. We also knew what Jesse is capable of, so it just took all of us getting in a room together again to remember how cool it once was. He blew us away.”
Regarding the reasons for Leach‘s original departure from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE ten years ago and whether those same issues will come into play now, Adam said, “He was feeling a lot of frustration [back in 2002]. He didn’t know how to take care of his voice, and he would blow it out every couple of shows. We had to cancel a lot of shows because of that. He was also a newlywed, and they didn’t know how tough it would be to be in a relationship when the other person is a road dog. It was a lot of pressure on him. All of those things piled up, and it put him in that bad place. But these days he’s really learned how to take care of himself on the road. His marriage is also going great, and they’ve figured out how to make it work, even though one of them is a touring musician. Jesse‘s in a much better place now, that’s for sure.”
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is hard at work on material for the follow-up to 2009’s second self-titled album.
The band will perform at the New England Metal Hardcore Festival on April 22.
Leach last performed with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in March 2010 in New York City, Clifford Park, New York and Wallingford, Connecticut (see video below).