New album in-stores this summer!
Killswitch Engage is:
On tour now
In the late 1990's, New England had a massive surge of metal-core bands coming onto the scene and quickly became a hotbed for the re-invented genre. One band that stood out more then any other, and that did not fit the mold, was Westfeild's Massachusetts own Killswitch Engage. Bringing a very unique style and distinctive sound, Killswitch Engage has risen to become one of the premier acts within the metal-core genre and left a nice little dent since forming in 1998.
In 2006, Killswitch Engage released their most successful album to date, "As Daylight Dies". (selling over 60,000 copies in its first week of release) It's been nearly three years since their last release, and they have just come out of the studio to hit the road once again. Rumors have been flying rampantly about Killswitch's 5th studio album. So we sat down with Joel Stroetzel (guitar) to set the record straight.
SE: So I want to ask you about your new album. There are a lot of rumors floating around on the internet, and I could not get anything straight from what I was reading.
JOEL: Neither can we. (laughs)
SE: Is it fully recorded yet?
JOEL: Pretty much.
SE: Do you have a release date?
JOEL: There is no release date that we know of.
SE: Are you thinking about a release date for the summer?
JOEL: Sometime in the summer. We are hoping June or July. We are not exactly sure what the dates are going to be.
SE: So there are so many details not confirmed and you cannot commit to saying much?
JOEL: Exactly, I think the record label really wants us to have a date.We are trying to figure all that stuff out and want to get it done as soon as possible.
SE: Did Killswitch do anything different during the recording process?
JOEL: We had a different producer for the first time.
SE: Really? Who?
JOEL: Brendon O� Brian. It was a different experience for us, first time (recording )away from home�dragging stuff. It was kind of weird, but it should be ok.
SE: Where did Killswitch record?
JOEL: We did a lot of the recording at �Southern Tracks� in Atlanta. We did most of the guitars, actually all the guitars, at home, me and Adam. Then we would go back down to Atlanta, �Southern Tracks� again, to do some more guitars. Like overdub stuff, little last minute things. the vocals where recorded down there also.
SE: So everybody�s kind of running back and forth doing one thing or another.
JOEL: A lot of jumping around. Brendon was in Atlanta for a while and also in L.A.
SE: Now, is that how Killswitch has always recorded, separate and then you combine everything together?
JOEL: Doing drums, it was the first time we were all actually there playing with Justin for every take. So that was new for us. I usually drink beer, lay stuff down, and say here �ya go, play drums to that. So it�s a little bit different, but it should work out ok.
SE: With the success of �As Daylight Dies� and �End of Heartaches�, has Killswitch raised the bar, and do you have much higher expectations for Killswitche's new album, success wise?
JOEL: We are not really sure man.
SE: Any pressure?
JOEL: There has definitely been pressure, People are hoping for it to do well. From our perspective, all we can do is write a record what we like. So, let it kind of happen naturally we did what we always do in that regard. I guess musically and all that. We just put our stuff together. Ya know, things kind of progress naturally. They always have in this band. From record to record, things get a little heavier and more melodic. More of that, more extremes.
SE: So Killswitch is going to stay with your same format, just with a couple different things thrown in?
JOEL: It's going to be a little bit more of a natural sounding record, just having worked with Brendon . He is more of a rock-n-roll guy. I am used to doing stuff without him,��ya know keep it metal, everything tight and precise. So, this time it�s a little bigger and thumpy.
SE: So has Killswitch had this much freedom before, as far as in the studio?
JOEL: The studio, it was ok. Brendon is a very nice guy. Pretty chill and positive about stuff and cool about listening to our ideas. Obviously, for me personally, we did most of the guitar stuff back at home, like we would normally have done anyway. So it did not effect me that much.
SE: Just everybody else.
JOEL: Yeah.(Laughs) Well Mike did his bass recording at home too.
SE: Now, Killswitch Engge is going to the Golden Gods Awards(A heavy music award ceremony), which is a first time appearance in America. Is Killswitch presenting, accepting an award, or are you performing?
JOEL: As far as I know, we are just performing.
SE: Really? How many songs are you going to play?
JOEL: Seems like two or three songs. I am not sure exactly which ones yet.
SE: You guys have to be pretty stoked for that, huh?
JOEL: Should be fun, yeah. Nice trip.
SE: Hopefully, it�s going to be an annual occurrence here in the United States. They have it in England every year, why not here?
JOEL: We did it one year in England. It was a good time.
SE: Speaking of England, Killswitch Engage will be going back to the Download Festival this year, your second appearance. Is that the summer show you are most looking foreword to?
JOEL: That is a pretty awesome show. Lots and lots of people. Always a good time, super rowdy and a lot of fun.
SE: Now, are you one of the bands that hangs out for the entire weekend, if your schedule permits, or do you fly in ten minutes before your set and take the chopper right out as you get off stage?
JOEL: No man. We usually park-up early in the day. We will be there all day, and then we will play. I am not sure if we will stay the whole weekend. We will probably have other shows booked and stuff, so we will just pop in the day of the show and get out that night, or the next morning.
SE: That is pretty cool. Catch-up with some old friends, see some other bands sets.
JOEL: Yeah, it�s always a good time�. I run into many friends out there.
SE: Killswitch Engage is also doing the �RockStar Energy Mayhem Tour� this summer in the states. I know you guys are doing some off dates on this tour. Will you be doing the same thing on the Mayhem tour?
JOEL: With the Mayhem thing, I am really not sure yet. I have not looked at the routing. I am not sure if anybody has got to that point yet, but I imagine if there are big breaks in between shows we would probably do some club dates here and there. Not sure who they would be with. I have a lot of friends on that tour too. Lot of awesome metal happening, especially on the 2nd stage. So it�s going to be a fun tour.
SE: You did an �Aftershock� reunion in 2001. Can we expect anything like that again?
JOEL: Wow, that was a long time ago.
SE: What about for a couple dates?
JOEL: I am not too sure. We shall see what happens. Probably more of an Adam question because it�s his, and his brothers thing. I just played guitar. That was where we met, playing in �Aftershock� together. I would definitely do it.
SE: That would be something else.
JOEL: Not sure anyone would know who the hell we are.(laughs)
SE: Come on, you could bill both bands. It would be easy on everybody.
SE: Do you have any last words, anything you want to say about the new record, or anything to your fans?
JOEL: I guess everybody has been waiting so long for this record, sorry it�s taken so long. I hope you, guys will like it. We worked hard on it.
Live photos and interview by: Brandon Marshall
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