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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Vocalist JESSE LEACH Names His Favorite Nü-Metal Bands

"It was a commercial sound, and we were into the underground, so it was a little hokey."

2019-05-18-Sonic-Killswitch Engage-4

In a recent conversation with Metal Hammer, Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach shared his thoughts on the topic of nu metal. Killswitch’s self-titled first album was released in 2000, effectively at the end of the nu-metal trend that dominated the latter half of the 90s.

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“I can take or leave some of it,” Leach said, “but I really love Deftones, what they were doing was incredible… you can’t deny some of the riffs of Korn, but some of that stuff was a little goofy. I definitely hated on it at the time, but in retrospect I actually prefer it to some stuff I hear now. It was a commercial sound, and we were into the underground, so it was a little hokey.”

I can see where he's coming from. Nü-metal is more than a little polarizing, with the bands themselves not being hip to the tag, likely because they were were primarily used as pinatas by anyone with high-brow taste (like this lowly discourse peddler). That said, Leach has been sounding off on a wide range of topics of late. Aside from his nu-metal hot take, Leach recently shared his thoughts on the evolution and current state of metalcore.

"I was only half paying attention to the scene because after I left Killswitch, I got more into doom and stoner rock, but these younger bands felt derivative to me." Leach said. "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."

Killswitch Engage played a massive livestream event in August 2021 at The Palladium in Worcester, MA and is releasing that performance as a live album called Live At The Palladium. The album is available for pre-order here.

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