When Killswitch Engage first appeared in the early 2000s, they were pretty much the antithesis of nu-metal. So what do they think of the genre now?
Killswitch Engage from Massachusetts is rarely called bare metal. More often their music is called metal-core, bringing together the heaviest of hardcore with the melodic characteristics of metal. But, Killswitch appeared on the metal scene in the early 2000s, just when nu-metal was at its peak, so they know the rap-rock genre pretty well.
in a new metal hammer feature that employed Justine Jones of Employed to Serve interviewing the band, Killswitch Engage discussed lebal nu-metal. Jones mentioned the genre while recalling a promotional piece from their label for “Alive or Just Breathing”, where the band’s music was presented with a coffin filled with all the nu metal fashion of that era.
When Hones asked the band if it was on a mission to “kill nu-metal,” guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz explained, “We weren’t here to kill anything; it was just a shameless promotion of our label. It was funny, I guess.
Singer Jesse Leach added, “Yeah, I mean, I get it, you want a hook to get people excited about a new band, and we were definitely doing something different than what was going on at the time– there, but… that kind of bravado isn’t our style.
So, does that mean that Killswich Engage was really into nu-metal? Definitely not. Expanding on their thoughts further, Adam D. said, “I don’t like anything where the guitarist has six strings but they only use one.”
Leach added that he was not a fan of nu-metal but found things he liked over time. “I can take or leave some of it, but I really love Deftones, what they were doing was amazing,” Leach said. “You can’t deny some of Korn’s riffs, but some of those [nu metal] things were a little goofy. I definitely hated it back then, but in retrospect, I prefer it to some stuff I hear now. It was a commercial sound, and we were on the subway, so it was a bit hokey.
Kicking things into high gear for metal-core, Adam D. said the band was surprised it had achieved so much success over the years. “I had a day job and I was like, ‘Oh fuck, I guess I’ll give it a shot for a year, it probably won’t work, but I’ll feel bad if I don’t give it a shot. of fire.’ And here we are,” said Adam D.
Leach continued, “It still blows my mind that I could do this for a living. I remember seeing Slipknot on TV late at night and hearing them on the radio and thinking that was the first time I had heard screaming in that environment. It was like the tides had changed, it was amazing, but if you had ever told me I was going to be a part of it, I would have laughed in your face.