“Australian audiences pay attention to bands that don’t necessarily make it over too much and I feel like they pour their heart and soul into that dancefloor when you do finally make it over. We’ve been fortunate enough to be over a few times and every time feels like the first time…”
From Release: KILLSWITCH ENGAGE re-defined heavy metal with the release of their landmark debut, Alive or Just Breathing, defining ‘metalcore’ single handedly and influencing a legion of bands to follow. Fast forward to 2016, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE continue to reign the metal world with the release of their seventh full length album, Incarnate, featuring some of their most crushing and influential work gaining praise from fans and critics alike.
At home, Mike gave us a call to talk about the upcoming Australian tour, new music, future plans, and more…
We last spoke around this time last year so how has the last year or so been for the band since the release of Incarnate?
Gosh it’s just been non-stop touring we haven’t really been home much at all which is really good and I suppose a little wearing, we’d love to be able to relax every once in a while and unwind but this record’s been doing so well that they want us to keep going, and going, and going, and going so why not.
Of course you’re heading back to Australia, what can we expect on the incarnate tour?
Well we’ve been playing a lot of newer stuff, I usually did not like playing a lot of newer stuff I didn’t want to bore older fans but the record’s been catching on so well that we’ve been adding more and more into the set and people have been calling for it, so I feel like that’s a really good thing and we’re stoked to be playing some new tunes for you guys and making up for not being there for Soundwave festival that got cancelled, we really wanted to play that and we’re glad that we can come back and rock for you guys. It’s gonna be a lot of chugga chugga, a lot of laughs and a lot of head banging for sure.
So the new material is becoming a staple part of the set you could say…
Absolutely, yeah, comfortable to play which I can’t say for every song we used to play but everything feels like it’s been around for a little while, so it’s really easy to do.
It must give you a buzz when you get out there and the audience reacts to it in a way that you had when you were making it rather than the ‘oh no a new song’, does that help feed the band?
Yeah I mean you kind of turn to each band member and say ‘OK, this is one that works better than others’, Adam pays particular attention to that and likes to kick songs out of the set if he doesn’t get a good reaction and at any particular show *laughs*, I mean we have to talk him off a ledge and say ‘NO MAN! That’s a good song, don’t worry about it’ *laughs* but yeah he likes immediate reaction and we’ve been getting that from the new songs, so we’ve been doing ‘em.
Now when you were heading over in 2016 you were going to be playing ‘Alive or Just Breathing’ in full. That’s not happening now, how are you going to be shaping the sets for this tour?
Geez, I really don’t know what we’re gonna be doing just yet, it is too bad we’re not doing more ‘Alive or Just Breathing’ stuff but maybe I’ll bring that up with the guys and see what they say.
You’ve been here more than a few times, what’s your favourite thing about Australian audiences?
Australian audiences pay attention to bands that don’t necessarily make it over too much and I feel like they pour their heart and soul into that dancefloor when you do finally make it over. We’ve been fortunate enough to be over a few times and every time feels like the first time, people are just getting their aggression out and are just stoked that we actually made it, and not many bands can afford to do it and it’s great when we actually can do it and you guys show us every single time when we go over there that we need to keep coming back.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do being in Killswitch you haven’t yet been able to?
Gosh I would love and this is just a pipe dream but to tour with Metallica would be the ultimate Metal thing to do, ever. The biggest metal band on the face of the planet, the one that got me into metal to begin with and if we ever did something with them that would be sick, I mean we did the Soundwave with them on it so you could sort of say we toured with them but that’s a weird way around touring with them. That would be pretty awesome… we’ve gotta keep on ‘em, bug them, send them packages and flowers.*laughs*
Lastly let’s look ahead, finish this sentence for me, in 2017 Killswitch Engage wants to?
In 2017 Killswitch Engage wants to rent a space shuttle and play the moon, but that probably won’t happen and people might not show up. Maybe they can telescope us from the Hubble and watch us while we’re up there *laughs*. I think actually now that all this attention has switched to Mars maybe I should switch my answer to Mara, seems like the place to go these days.
Killswitch Engage / Fallujah 2017 Tour Dates
WEDNESDAY MARCH 1ST – POWER STATION, AUCKLAND (18+)
FRIDAY MARCH 3RD – ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY (LIC/AA)
SATURDAY MARCH 4TH – EATONS HILL, BRISBANE (LIC/AA)
SUNDAY MARCH 5th – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE (18+)
TUESDAY MARCH 7TH – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE (18+)
WEDNESDAY MARCH 8TH – METRO CITY, PERTH (18+)
PRESENTED BY SELECT TOURING AND BLUE MURDER
From: Boston, MA, USA
Band Members: Adam Dutkiewicz – guitar, Joel Stroetzel – guitar, Mike D’Antonio – bass, Jesse Leach – vocals, Justin Foley – drums
Latest Release: Incarnate (Out Now – Roadrunner Records / Warner Music Australia)