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Killswitch Engage

About Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage is a melodic metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, United States.
Formed in 1999 after the disbandment of Overcast and Aftershock. Killswitch Engage’s current lineup consists of vocalist Jesse Leach, bassist Mike D'Antonio, guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz, and drummer Justin Foley. The band’s membership has changed in the decade since its founding as illness, changes in life-situation, and new interests have drawn the men in different directions. The band has released seven studio albums (the latest one being Incarnate (2016) ) and one DVD.
Killswitch Engage rose to fame with its 2004 release The End of Heartache, which peaked at number 21 on the Billboard 200, and was certified gold in December 2007 for over 500,000 shipments in the United States. The title track, “The End of Heartache”, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005, and a live DVD titled (Set This) World Ablaze was released in 2005. Killswitch Engage has performed at festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Ozzfest, Download Festival, Rock on the Range, Rock Am Ring, Mayhem Festival, and the Australian Soundwave Festival. The band has sold over one-million records in the United States alone and have been widely reffered to as “one of the founders of metalcore.”
Killswitch Engage formed when the two metalcore bands, Overcast and Aftershock disbanded during the late 1990s. Following the disbandment of Overcast in 1998, bassist Mike D'Antonio jammed with Aftershock guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz. Dutkiewicz recruited guitarist Joel Stroetzel from Aftershock, and vocalist Jesse Leach of the band Nothing Stays Gold (who were signed to a record label owned by Dutkiewicz’s brother Tobias Dutkiewicz, who was also the vocalist in Aftershock), to form a new band, Killswitch Engage. The band’s name is derived from an episode of the television series The X Files entitled “Kill Switch”, written by William Gibson. Gibson named his episode after a chance meeting with industrial band Kill Switch…Klick.
In 1999, Killswitch Engage recorded a demo tape containing four tracks, including “Soilborn,” Killswitch Engage’s first song. The demo tape was first released at the band’s first show, opening for melodic death metal act In Flames, in November 1999.
The band released their self-titled debut album in 2000. Although initially the album was not a financial success and did not land on any charts, it attracted the interest of Carl Severson, who worked at Roadrunner Records at the time. Severson handed Killswitch Engage to several Roadrunner representatives. Mike Gitter, a talent agent of the company, contacted D'Antonio, attended several of the band’s shows, and offered the band a recording contract with Roadrunner. Realizing Roadrunner had the resources to promote and distribute Killswitch Engage releases, the band accepted his offer, declining several offers from smaller labels. For a brief time in 2000 and 2001, ex-Overcast guitarist Pete Cortese joined Killlswitch Engage, but left in 2001 when he became a father. Killswitch Engage began writing new material for their second album in November 2001. Mixed in January at Backstage Studios by producer Andy Sneap, the album was titled Alive or Just Breathing for lyrics in the song “Just Barely Breathing”. A music video for the single “My Last Serenade” increased the band’s exposure, and the album peaked at number 37 on the Top Heatseekers chart.

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