Killswitch Engage Biography
Review The Artist (31)
Following the demise of his band Overcast in 1998, bassist Mike D'Antonio explored the underground Massachusetts hardcore punk and heavy metal scenes in search of members for a new band. In 1999, D'Antonio met Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, guitarists for Aftershock. Dutkiewicz took the role of playing drums, while Stroetzel remained on guitar. The trio searched for a vocalist and eventually hired Jesse Leach, formerly of Corrin and Nothing Stays Gold. The now four-member band took the name of "Killswitch Engage," a name proposed by D'Antonio after watching an episode of the FOX program The X-Files entitled "Kill Switch" (the episode's writer, William Gibson, had a chance meeting with industrial band Kill Switch...Klick).
While on tour with In Flames and Shadows Fall, Ferret Records took notice of Killswitch Engage's aggressive live show. The band signed with the record label and began recording their debut album.
The band's self-titled debut album was sufficient to earn them a deal with Roadrunner Records. Soon after signing with Roadrunner, the band decided to become a five-piece by bringing in former Overcast guitarist Pete Cortese. However, Cortese left not too long after. In 2002 they released their second album, Alive or Just Breathing. This album greatly increased the band's **exposure and placed them on the Billboard Magazine Top Heatseekers chart. The CMJ New Music Report described the record as "more addictive than crack cocaine that's been smothered in nicotine AND drenched with chocolate." To make themselves once again a five piece, and to be able to play the songs recorded with two guitars, Dutkiewicz moved to guitars, with former Aftershock drummer Tom Gomes taking the vacant spot left.
Leach left the band shortly after the release of Alive or Just Breathing. He had married his fiancée while on tour, but was separated from her due to the demanding tour schedule. Subsequently, Leach fell into a deep depression. During shows, he began screaming with more emotion than technique, and blew out his voice. After the last show of their tour in Seattle, he sent the band an email in which he explained his situation (see the World Ablaze DVD). This, coupled with the band's touring commitments, prompted Leach's departure in June 2002. Leach was replaced by Howard Jones, of Blood Has Been Shed. He remains the bands' vocalist to this day.
The new lineup played on the Road Rage tour in the UK and Netherlands in 2002 with 36 Crazyfists, and continued touring throughout the rest of the year. In 2003, the band released the song When Darkness Falls, which appeared on the soundtrack of the 2003 horror film Freddy vs. Jason. The same year they also played the Ozzfest festival, after which drummer Tom Gomes left the band to live in Los Angeles with his wife and pursue their current band, (Something Of A Silhouette). He was replaced by Jones' fellow Blood Has Been Shed band member, Justin Foley, who also played in the jazzmetal band Red Tide. Foley's first tour with the band was the MTV2 Headbangers Ball in 2003.
The band's third album, The End of Heartache, was released on May 11, 2004 and was the first release to feature Jones as vocalist. The album ultimately went on to sell more than 250,000 copies in the U.S. It also debuted on the top 40 of the Australian album charts on May 17, 2004, following a successful tour of Australia with Anthrax.
In late 2004, the band supported Slayer on their U.S. Jagermusic dates and headlined shows with From Autumn to Ashes, Eighteen Visions, and 36 Crazyfists. In addition, The End Of Heartache became the main single for the movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse. In December, 2004, the song was nominated in the Best Metal Performance category for the 47th annual Grammy Awards.
In late 2004, The End of Heartache was re-released as a special edition album, with a second disc featuring various live performances, a Japanese bonus track, and a re-recorded version of Irreversal, featuring All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte and former Killswitch vocalist Jesse Leach.
During the summer of 2005, the band returned for another spot on the Ozzfest tour.
On November 1, 2005, Alive or Just Breathing was re-released as part of Roadrunner Records' 25th anniversary. It was re-released with a second disc that contains In The Unblind, When The Balance Is Broken, Numbered Days (Demo Version), Transfiguration (Demo Version of Fixation on the Darkness), Just Barely Breathing (Demo Version), Fixation On The Darkness (With Howard Jones On Vocals), and AOJB Studio Out Takes, as well as the music videos for My Last Serenade, Fixation on the Darkness, and Life to Lifeless.
On November 22, 2005, Killswitch Engage released a live DVD titled (Set This) World Ablaze which had a live concert the band taped during their stop at the Palladium in Worcester, MA on July 25, 2005. In addition to the live performance, the DVD also features an hour long documentary about the band, and all of their music videos. As I Lay Dying and Once Beloved also performed at this sold out concert.
On the DVD, Jesse Leach states that there is no friction between him and the band, and they graciously forgave him for the way he left. The band also makes various comments on the transformation of the band, and how they're all still friends.
The band returned to Chicopee, Massachusetts on February 19, 2005, to play an unannounced show for guitarist Joel's brother's band, Once Beloved.
In the fall of 2006, Killswitch completed work on their latest album, As Daylight Dies. In the October issue of Revolver, Adam Dutkiewicz announced that the album was called Petting Zoo, but since Adam was the one who announced it, it was assumed by some as a joke. They also recorded a cover of Dio's Holy Diver for a Kerrang! compilation album entitled High Voltage.
The band played the Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds Festivals in August, having played Australian dates without Adam D, who was suffering from back problems and needed corrective surgery.
On May 23, 2006, the track This Fire Burns was released on the WWE Wreckless Intent album. This was the first new studio song to be released since The End Of Heartache. The song was intended to be the new theme for RAW Superstar Randy Orton; however, it was scrapped, and later it became the theme for the WWE Judgment Day 2006 pay-per-view. This Fire Burns is now being used as the theme for ECW wrestler CM Punk. The band's vocalist Howard Jones is a well known fan of the WWE product.
On September 21, 2006, a five track sampler for As Daylight Dies was leaked onto the internet. The sampler includes the first five tracks off the upcoming album, including the upcoming first single entitled "My Curse". The titles are not finalized for any of the tracks, due to the fact that Roadrunner officially released the song "As Daylight Dies" in which is simply called "Daylight Dies". However it is likely that the rest of the songs will remain under the same names. A CD quality version of "As Daylight Dies" leaked in its entirety onto P2P on October 10th 2006.
As Daylight Dies opened at #32 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with sales of 60,000 copies, shifting 22,000 more units than their previous best sales week of 38,000 for The End of Heartache.
Thanks to Rko78@msn.com for submitting the biography.
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kse fuckin best; RICHIE | Reviewer: richie | 2/12/12
its been three years now listening to kse.fukn love their songs.i lean to play most of their songs, galloping with my guitar, fuck men its so cool.im just 16, live in solomon islands, a black kid with so much love in metalcore. i dont have the preveledge to see their shows [kse] but all i can say is that kse is one of my favourate metal fukin core band. cant wait for new songs to release. i'll fuck them up from the internet.
KSE FCKING ROX | Reviewer: Zac | 5/23/10
KSE is the best band in the whole world and will forever be my favorite as they have been for years, as a true fan i love Jesse and Howard (Howard a bit more) and i like 99% of their songs (a few older suck) which i can't say about any other band, i love their melodic hardcore take on music and they're just the best i would go gay for them lol
Sosa? | Reviewer: Frey | 9/16/09
Actually KsE is probably my favorite band of all time but all the songs you named are not their best in my opinion, especially not Break the Silence, honestly, just saying. But you are right about my curse leaving out a few others, but in my opinion Element of One is probably their best, but "The End of Heartache" studio album is KsE's masterpiece with "Rose of Sharyn" and of course but I don't agree "The End of Heartache" but really not disagreing with you at all KsE is probably one of the best bands of all time, and JESSE SUCKS SO MUCH BALLS
Wat isnt good about killswitch? | Reviewer: Sosa | 9/11/09
Anyone who dislikes KILLSWITCK ENGAGE officially should be nominated 4 a fkn ME 4 Bing the biggest moron on earth. who can hate killswitch, honist they r crazy with talent and come on, have you even heard my curse, arms of sarrow, breaking silence, reject yourself, and these songs are on their most succesfull album other than killswitch engage 09, which is AMAZING just 2 let u kno. and if you hear their past albums, ud kno they have alway been vicious even when jesse was singn so all u haters fkU!!!!!!!!!
Killswitch forever! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/8/09
Kse are an amazing band. I've only been listening to them for a few months but they're now one of my favorite bands. I can't wait to see them at mayhem fest with all that remains and all the other bands. Kse forever!!
a paper... | Reviewer: Travis Steele | 4/27/09
Killswitch Engage has been an amazing band and I am actually writing a speech for my communications class on them... lol for my presentation I'm going to show the class the video for The Arms of Sorrow. What really rocks is that I'm going to the Music as a Weapon Tour, on May 9th. Killswitch Engage, Disturbed, Lacuna Coil, and Chimeira are all going to play... fuckin awesome...
Killswitch Engage | Reviewer: xXHaydoHorizonXx | 3/2/09
Killswitch are definately my favourite band they have all the qualities of a perfect band. I just find it a shame that Howard is what made the band known rather than Jesse. I think howard is amazing but i think I like jesse's singing and screaming better. But overall they're both fantastic!
THIS BAND IS AMAZING. | Reviewer: Laura .M. | 1/27/09
KILLSWITCH FUCKING ENGAGE.
This band is BEYOND amazing. I love them so much, and I don't think the metalcore world would be what it is now without them. Their songs are so awesome, and the fact that they have a strong faith, and they impliment it into their music makes it even better! I can't wait to see these guys when they roll through, and to all you KSE fans out there..
ROCK ON! <33
shay | Reviewer: Shairlonda | 1/28/09
I think that Killswicth Engage are really talented, i havent been listening to them very long i think that i have about 5 songs of theirs, but i am a music lover meaning that i am a musisain and love music Killswicth Engage is one of the few bands that when i 1st heard their song my curse i couldnt stop listening to them now they are my favorite band :o)
Daylight Dies!!! | Reviewer: Killseeker | 1/11/09
i jsut learned how to play daylight dies,after many long hours of practice.
i wanted to quit guitar so many times,but i just have to listen to KsE to get the inspiration i needed to go on.
i'll play on stage when them one day....(in my dreams,at least)
effing awesome | Reviewer: brittanylovesya* | 10/21/08
i just started listening to killswitch engage just about a year ago.i can still remember the first time i first heard them-fixation on the darkness at my step brother's house last christmas!now,every time i hear their music,it's like sex...but BETTER!just kiddin',but yeah i told my mom that i would marry the singer and make him sing to me every night!literally!i can't believe that they've been out as long as they have and i just now heard of them...that pisses me off.all of this time that i could have been a groupie:)...i swear,if they ever come into town and i am broke as usual,i will be at the corner!lols.i love you howard!so any of you kse fans,i'll see at the concert(when there is one)can't wait
later dudes and dudettes
KSE RULES ALL | Reviewer: Kaleb | 5/31/08
OMG KSE bloody rules man seriously one of me fave bands.i'm not black i'm tongan(islander)but Howard is truly a role model for black people that like heavy metal...it's not only for white people it's a style for all...the songs they make and sing are breathtaking and overwhelming. when i first heard one of there songs on a heavy metal radio station "The arms of sorrow" I fell in love with them straight away.they rock hard and will rock for as long as they live...my heart goes out to leach...i feel for him y he left the band...thats really sad...jst before i go "KILLSWITCH ENGAGE RULES" YYYEEEAAAHHHH...!!!!
adam d | Reviewer: Ty | 1/31/08
all the credit is going to howard....who may be one of my favorite vocalists but adam d is by far my favorite guitarist and biggest inspiration. i too play guitar with hopes of becoming half as good as Adam Dutkiewicz.
cool | Reviewer: chris | 12/24/07
I think they are a really , good band going from
heavy to melodic and so on. I love to sing my self. As a black man , I am proud to see a brother doing well in metal. It may be hard , but eventually talent came over come any thing, along with hard work and the help of GOD , and some luck.
ROCK ON DUDES
sweet | Reviewer: cody | 12/4/07
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is the best band to ever walk this earth if they wanted to they could probaly take over the world well i hope they keep sending us more cds with kick ass songs on them
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