Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach says meeting and observing people while he and his bandmates are on tour helps inspire his songwriting.
He previously admitted to being “weird and antisocial” in the early days of his career with the band – spending time alone rather than speaking to other people outside.
But Leach now says it’s “fun” to get out of the tour bus and socialise with the general public.
He tells German festival Rock Am Ring: “I’m all about just going away and escaping. If I’m in a nice city or there’s a park nearby, I just go and get lost in the city. That’s one of my favourite things to do on tour.
“I really enjoy going to a pub by myself and striking up a conversation with a stranger, making a new friend. That excites me.
“It’s something that I use to help inspire me to write as well – just interacting or even just observing people in general. It’s fun, people watching – going to a place and just sitting outside and watching people walk by. I love that kind of stuff.”
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Leach, who has suffered from depression in the past, also says it’s important that artists openly discuss mental health issues in their music.
He adds: “I’m actually very vocal on social media about my mental illness. The left-side-of-the-brain, creative people usually have a lot of issues, and I’m proud to speak up about it, because I know it helps people.
“It’s important to bring that type of stuff up to make it part of the discussion that we need to keep talking about. Whether it’s mental illness, drug abuse – all that stuff. We should have a conversation about it.
“As an artist, I feel a responsibility to put that kind of stuff in my lyrics – make music that matters. It’s not just noise, there’s a message there.”
Meanwhile, Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz confirmed to TeamRock this month that he and Leach will put out a follow-up to 2011’s The Hymn Of A Broken Man from their side-project, Times Of Grace.
Killswitch Engage will head out on a run of dates starting next month in support of their latest album Incarnate. They’ll also support Bullet For My Valentine on their winter UK tour later this year.
Killswitch Engage 2016 tour dates
Jul 17: Bridgeview Chicago Open Air, IL
Aug 06: Bangor Rise Above Fest, ME
Aug 07: Montreal Heavy Montreal, QC
Nov 24: Newport Centre, UK
Nov 27: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Nov 30: Glasgow O2 Academy, UK
Dec 03: Manchester Academy, UK
Dec 06: Birmingham O2 Academy, UK
Dec 09: London O2 Academy Brixton, UK
Aug 06: Bangor Rise Above Fest, ME
Aug 07: Montreal HeavyMTL, QC
Aug 08: Coney Island Coney Island Amphitheater, NY
Aug 08: Baltimore Pier 6 Pavilion, MD
Aug 11: Pittsburgh Stage AE, PA
Aug 12: Toronto Danforth Music Hall, ON
Aug 13: Pontiac DirtFest, MI
Aug 15: Tulsa Brady Theater, OK
Aug 16: Dallas The Bomb Factory, TX
Aug 18: Springfield Illinois State Fair, IL
Aug 19: Omaha 89.7 River’s Rockfest @ Westfair Amphitheater, NE
Aug 20: Columbia The Blue Note, MO
Aug 21: Madison Allianz Energy Center Exhibition Hall, WI
Aug 23: Clive 7 Flags Event Center, IA
Aug 24: Brookings Swifter Center, SD
Aug 25: Fargo Schools Arena, ND
Aug 27: Regina Evraz Place, SK
Aug 28: Edmonton Recall Place, AB
Aug 29: Calgary Eagle Event Center, AB
Aug 30: Epenticton Okanagan Events Centre, BC
Sep 01: San Francisco Regency Music Hall, CA
Sep 02: Los Angeles Novo, CA
Sep 03: Las Vegas Brooklyn Bowl, NV
Sep 05: Seattle WaMu Theater, WA
Sep 06: Spokane Star Theater at Spokane Arena, WA
Sep 07: Boise Taco Bell Arena, ID
Sep 10: Denver High Elevation Fest, CO
Sep 17: Mashantucket Revolution Rock Festival, CT
Sep 18: Chester Rock Allegiance Fest, PA