Killswitch Engage Featured on the Cover of Next Issue of Revolver — Read an Excerpt from the Cover Story
Killswitch Engage appear on the cover of the next issue of Revolver, which will hit newsstands on December 22 and is available for purchase online right now. You can view the cover below, which was photographed by Jimmy Hubbard.
You also can read an excerpt from the issue’s cover story, written by Richard Bienstock. In this section, frontman Jesse Leach talks about rejoining Killswitch Engage, their upcoming album, guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz talks 'Phantom Menace' moments, and more!
"I was just young and stupid and didn’t really have a sense of who I was. I didn’t have confidence in myself as a person and as a singer,” says Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach about his departure from the band over 10 years ago.
“Now my confidence is intact but I think there’s a humility now that I didn’t have before. I’m willing to grow. I think back when I was younger, I had this punk rock guilt about me, where I thought I knew what I had to do and I didn’t want to take lessons from anybody.”
It’s a mature reflection from Leach, who helped to found the western Massachusetts-based act back in the late ’90s, and appeared on their first two albums, 2000’s self-titled debut and 2002’s classic 'Alive or Just Breathing.' But just as Killswitch were picking up steam and leading the charge for what would eventually be a flood of 21st century metalcore acts, the vocalist, plagued by bouts of crippling depression that were exacerbated by long stretches of being on the road, abruptly quit the group.
In the ensuing years, Killswitch climbed to even greater heights with replacement singer Howard Jones at the helm—until he split as well, citing, among other things, his own battles with anxiety and depression, as well as complications from a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. And while Leach’s 2012 re-entry was cautious at first, coming back “has been better than I ever thought it could be. It feels really good.”
Which is partly why the band chose to title their highly-anticipated seventh album, 'Incarnate.' “The definition of incarnate is ‘in the flesh,’” Leach explains. “And this record is who we are right now. Whereas [2013’s] 'Disarm the Descent' was sort of my ‘comeback’ album, and was about us feeling out the new vibe. But now, after spending a few years traveling the world together, I think we’re all in a really comfortable place. We definitely have a strong sense of self as to who we are as a band.”
That strong sense of self (and the cinematic story of Killswitch Engage itself) likely came in handy, in a much different way, when the members gathered in New York City to shoot the cover for this issue of Revolver—with each of them dressed as a different 'Star Wars' character. “We’re all huge 'Star Wars' nerds, so it was awesome,” Leach says, recalling the shoot.
As for which character each member impersonated? “I took Han Solo, because he’s the most serious one, and that’s kind of how I am in the band,” Leach says. “Mikey [bassist Mike D’Antonio] was Darth Vader, Justin [Foley, drummer] was Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Joel [Stroetzel, guitarist] was Chewbacca. And of course, Adam [Dutkiewicz, guitarist/producer] was Princess Leia—everyone knew that was gonna happen!”
There was little doubt that Dutkiewicz—a man who has gone onstage in front of thousands of rabid metal fans wearing everything from daisy dukes to a ballerina’s tutu—would step up to the plate at the shoot. “I just went with the traditional white dress,” Dutkiewicz says of his fashion choice.
And when asked if there is anything in Killswitch Engage’s long and varied career that he would consider a misstep similar to, say, the introduction of Jar Jar Binks (undoubtedly the franchise’s most universally reviled character in 'Episode I: The Phantom Menace'), Dutkiewicz lets out a laugh. “Oh man! There’s a few, I think! We’ve definitely had our 'Phantom Menace' moments. Not every record can be 'The Empire Strikes Back,' you know what I’m saying?”
For the rest of the story, pick up the January issue.