Roadrunner Records recently conducted an interview with vocalist Jesse Leach of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Roadrunner Records: The new album is basically finished. What was your personal creative process when you were writing?
Jesse: Oh, man, it was intense. I had a loose idea of what I wanted to do with the direction of the lyrics, and the good thing is we had started the record before touring. I didn't feel satisfied, I felt a lot of pressure to get so much done in such a short amount of time, and my mindset was like, "Well, I can write this record now, and try to get it done before we tour, or we can go out on the road, and I can live with these guys and get back into the feel of things, and have sort of a better perspective on my role in the band." For me, it felt better to get back out there on the road and live, and that helped the record out a lot. 'Cause just seeing how these guys interact with the fans, hearing the stories from the road, catching me up to speed over nine years of stuff that's been going on…and reflecting on my own personal life, and thinking, wow, it's been a decade since I've been in this band. My life has changed so much. So I think that was the trigger for me, was reflecting on the past, reflecting on their past, and kinda tying it all together. And it's kind of a concept record in a way. It's really about suffering in life, and perseverance.
Roadrunner Records: When you were writing, how did you avoid the mental pressure of being too influenced by your own past, or the band's history?
Jesse: I think a lot of inspiration came from the music itself. I would listen to the instrumental tracks over and over again, and free write. I wouldn't think about writing a specific part, but just the feeling the music gave me, the notes, the general feeling you get from the music, and I would free write for hours, pages and pages of stuff, then go back and sort of do it again but try to organize those thoughts. A lot of the writing came from the music itself. And then outside of that, I would take long bike rides, cause I'm really into biking these days to stay in shape, just 20-, 30-mile bike rides, and when I'd get an idea I'd stop and speak into my phone, record stuff, whistle things…so basically just living it. Everything I did, I found a way to make it work for me as a writer. Just constantly writing, finding inspiration from different things.
Read the entire interview from Roadrunner Records.
New KILLSWITCH ENGAGE song "No End In Sight" (demo version) audio stream: