Killswitch Engage Biography
The foursome that came together and created Killswitch Engage already had strong fan followings. Mike D'Antonio (bass) was formerly the leader and principal songwriter of Overcast, the legendary underground metal group. When Overcast split in 1998, D'Antonio sought for a year to find the right combination of players to fuse hardcore and metal with melody. During the summer of 1999, D'Antonio connected with Adam Dutkiewitz, who was the drummer for Aftershock, and Joel Stroetzel, Aftershock's guitar player. Jesse Leach, vocalist for Corrin and Nothing Stays Gold, joined on and the foursome took the name Killswitch Engage.
Killswitch Engage made its debut by opening for In Flames during their tour. The Ferret label heard and liked the combination of brutality, sophistication, and breathtaking originality that the group produced, and signed them on. Ferret released Killswitch Engage's self-titled debut album in June 2000 and it immediately began capturing rave reviews.
The group lays out its heavy riffs mixed with both singing vocals and screaming vocals that cover a range from low-pitched death growls to the higher-pitched hyena screams. Stroetzel developed a guitar rhythm that gallops and the rest keep up as they combine elements of hardcore and metal, and ferret in their melody. They come on with an intensity that does not give in.
During 2001, the band recorded "Numbered Days" for the WERS' Nasty Habits live CD, a compilation with bands such as God Forbid, Haste, Unearth, and Poison the Well. Also in 2001, Killswitch Engage signed with Roadrunner Records and started recording their second full album, Alive or Just Breathing, at the Zing Studio in Westfield, MA. The album includes favorites such as "Self-Revolution," "Just Barely Breathing," and a re-recorded version of "Temple From the Within." Andy Sneap was signed on to mix and master this one in his English studio. The album aims at even more of the growling bass tone, heavier guitar crunch, and thicker/faster double bass that permeate the music of the band.
Killswitch Engage Bio from Discogs
Jesse Leach – lead vocals (1999–2002, 2012–present)
Adam Dutkiewicz – lead guitar, backing vocals (2002–present), drums (1999–2002)
Joel Stroetzel – rhythm guitar (2000–2001, 2002–present), lead guitar (1999–2000, 2001–2002)
Mike D'Antonio – bass guitar (1999–present)
Justin Foley – drums (2003–present)
Pete Cortese – lead guitar (2000–2001)
Tom Gomes – drums (2002–2003)
Howard Jones – lead vocals (2002–2012)
Patrick Lachman – guitars (2007)
Josh Mihlek – guitars (2007)
Peter Wichers – guitars (2007)
Phil Labonte – lead vocals (Feb–Mar 2010)
Jesse Leach – lead vocals (March 2010)