Not My Last Serenade — An Interview With Killswitch Engage’s Joel Stroetzel And Jesse Leach

Joel, Sean, and Jesse

Mere days before June 27 of this year, I was informed that I would be, once again, blessed with the opportunity to interview more of my heroes. We here at GunShyAssassin are big boosters of Killswitch Engage and I was lucky enough to have meet them and conduct an interview. 

Here’s the crazy part. I chatted with Jesse Leach and Joel Stroetzel and it turned out to be the interview that made me laugh the most. Adam D was barely involved (as you’ll see in the following footage) and it was still gut busting. Even after it all, Jesse and Joel were non-stop hilarity. Very chill and down to Earth guys and I feel like a million bucks after having met them. It’s bands like this that make me realize that behind the cameras and fans, they’re just like you or me. 

We covered a bevy of topics but the overall sentiment of the interview was very fan-based. They obviously would not be in commission if it weren’t for the legions of us and they make that point quite clear. Whether it was crazed fans throwing shit on stage, having their prosthetic legs signed or avoiding natural disasters, the KsE camp is a devoted camp. 

As for the show, it boasted a rather lackadaisical lineup. As I Lay Dying were originally advertised but had to drop off due to the fact that Canada has some kind of problem with conspiracy to commit murder. Oh well. 

Four bands came out before Killswitch did and I can’t say I was blown away by any of them. I am a bit biased though; core bands are not exactly my forte. Darkest Hour stood out more than the rest, as some of their songs were pretty catchy. Miss May I, Affiance and The Word Alive, on the other hand, were less than impressive.

Sometimes openers have the ability to steal the show but on this given night, it was not meant to be. Let’s face it, not many bands are gonna show up KsE anytime, anywhere.

Killswitch invaded the stage just before the clock struck 11 to the blistering metal sounds of Wang Chung’s “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” Yes, I would be doing that in spades on this night. 

They covered pretty much every album in the catalog and Jesse’s ability to not only kill his songs but annihilate Howard’s songs is something to behold. He is one talented cat. Adam D is the total package, as you all well know already. By the time “Fixation On The Darkness” blared through the amps, he was lost in thought playing badminton with sparkly birdies, while wearing Canadian flag glasses. He never stopped playing his guitar during that. 

Joel came over to stage left only one time during the show, but luckily waved at me when he noticed I was on the cage screaming my head off to “In Due Time.” Justin and Mike D were in their respective elements as well, not faltering for one second. “My Curse,” “The End Of Heartache,” and “My Last Serenade” totally brought the house down.

As for myself, I could no longer speak properly as my voice was shot and it is now a few solid days since the gig and I still can’t head bang. Maybe I should see a chiropractor. 

The “Disarm The Descent tour” is still ongoing so when they come to your town make sure you’re there. You’ll regret it if you miss it, just as much as you regret getting that Slipknot tattoo in 10th grade. Both will scar you for life. 

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