Jesse Leach, vocalist for the metalcore titans Killswitch Engage, has finally emerged from the lyrical trenches, battered but triumphant. In a recent social media post, Leach declared that the songwriting for the band's upcoming album, the follow-up to 2019's Atonement, is officially complete.
"Lyric writing for the past year and a half!” he wrote. “As of the 20th, all lyrics have been finalized and completed. I still have a few more things to take care of vocally in the coming weeks before I can say it's finalized.”
But the journey wasn't without its challenges. Leach admitted to feeling "exhausted and elated," acknowledging that the creative process was a tall order. Despite the challenges, he seems to have found growth and value in the struggle.
"This was the single most difficult and rewarding process of my career. I grew a lot as a writer and as a human during all of it. Everyone is different when it comes to their work or their art. Sometimes it's seemingly effortless and other times it is stifling and frustrating.”
"If I've learned anything it is that persistence, discipline, and passion go hand in hand with humility and transition,” Leach continued. “It's learning how to let go of an idea even after you've spent weeks on it. Working day after day hammering away, re-structuring, losing sleep having the melodies haunt your wakeful nights. Then finally accepting it isn't the correct fit. Then allowing it to be destroyed or set aside. That or… hearing a song, having to pull over on the side of the road to write a line down and hum a melody into my phone. Turning around heading home to write and demo it, track it within a 3-hour period.”
"I feel a sense of accomplishment and relief. I feel exhausted and elated. I am eager to finish tracking after the Shiprocked cruise. Until then I will be working as much as possible on the remaining 'handwritten lyric orders.'
"Thanks again for all of your patience, everyone!"
Leach’s words mirror the sentiments of an Instagram post from earlier in the month, where he confessed that working on the album had taken a toll on him: "It is by far the most difficult album I've ever worked on for various reasons. That being said as I see the distant light at the end of this long tunnel. I can truly say it has all been a much-needed growing experience. When I say that I mean it personally, lyrically and vocally. I've been able to take any criticism from my dudes and separate it from my being to push through and rise to the occasion.”