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Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach discusses "over-saturation" of metalcore, picks the band that stands out most in 2022

Killswitch Engage
(Image credit: Press)

Killswitch Engage have discussed their enduring impact on metalcore over the last 20 years - and frontman Jesse Leach has picked out an example of a modern metalcore band that have become "incredible" in their own right. 

Speaking to Employed To Serve's Justine Jones in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, Jesse and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz debate whether the wave of metalcore bands that exploded out of the underground in the wake of Killswitch's success was a direct result of the Massachusetts heavyweights' influence.

"Nope. Not really," argues Adam. "People always say we've influenced so many bands, but each band has their own identity, I don't think think anyone ever tried to rip us off."

Jesse disagrees. "I have a different perspective," replies the singer. "I was only half paying attention to the scene because after I left Killswitch [in 2002] I got more into doom and stoner rock, but these younger bands felt derivative to me. The good ones found their sound over time, but there was an over-saturation of bands who were churning out this big riff, heavy verse, melodic chorus thing. It felt tired, like labels were looking for those bands because they sounded like a band who were becoming successful."

When Justine suggests that every scene suffers from those issues, but that the good bands "find a way to stay relevant", Jesse picked out one modern band in particular that have risen above the metalcore also-rans.

"Sure, and I look at a band like Architects," he responds. "They came up around that time and they've turned into an incredible band. The ones that had nothing else have been forgotten. It's the difference between starting a band because you're passionate and starting one because you want to look cool and get chicks."

Read more from Jesse, Adam and Justine in the latest issue of Metal Hammer, on sale now. Killswitch fans can also pick up an exclusive Killswitch Engage bundle featuring a hand-signed lyric sheet from Metal Hammer's online store (opens in new tab)

Merlin Alderslade
Merlin Alderslade

Merlin stepped into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.