"This song is a deep one for me," Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach says of "We Carry On," off 2016's Incarnate LP. "When I wrote the lyrics, it was originally based off of struggles in a tumultuous, abusive relationship. Little did I know how significant it would eventually be as it has relevance during this strange time of quarantine and uncertainty."
That relevance comes to light in the metalcore pioneers' new acoustic performance video of the song, which was recorded while the members were all in quarantine at their separate bunkers. Watch and listen above. As Killswitch guitarist-producer Adam D. says in the intro to the clip, the group had planned to perform this song during the now-postponed Spring 2020 Atonement Tour, which was paused after only a few shows in March due to the COVID-19 shutdown. The rescheduled dates will be announced soon.
Leach adds of "We Carry On," "For me, it has turned into an anthem, of sorts, about perseverance. While working on this version, it really struck me how much I felt the lyrics in a different light. As dark and difficult as things can get, we all have this inner power to persevere and pull through. I feel that the desperation and the melancholy of this song are balanced by a ray of hope that runs through it all."
The quarantine performance video is just the latest of the band's activities during the coronavirus lockdown. The group has also created Killswitch-branded face masks for fans, which are available on their web store. All profits from the sales will be donated to NIVA (National Independent Venue Association), an organization that is working to help preserve independent venues across the country that are struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We decided that it's a good opportunity to bring some awareness and support to an important non-profit organization called NIVA," Leach explained. "All of us started out in small 'Mom and Pop' venues and it would be an absolute shame to see some of these venues go away due to this crisis. I still frequent small clubs when I am home to see shows and stay in touch with the local scenes. Independent venues are the backbone of creativity, art, and music. When this is all said and done, I am certain people will be clamoring to see live music. I know I will! So where would we be if these venues go belly up due to lack of support and funding?!"
Earlier this month, Killswitch Engage dropped Atonement II B-Sides for Charity, with 100% of the proceeds donated to the COVID-19 Relief Fund for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. The B-sides have raised over $40,000 for the cause thus far. The EP features six songs from the recording sessions for the band's Grammy-nominated 2019 album, Atonement, out now via Metal Blade Records.