Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach recently revealed in an interview with The Pit that one of his biggest influences vocally, if not the biggest influence, is the legendary Dan Swanö. Swanö's extensive résumé includes Nightingale, Witherscape, Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, and much more.
"I'd say number one [is] Dan Swanö from Edge Of Sanity and a plethora of other bands. To me, he's the first guy that really blended the growling and the yelling and the screaming with beautiful melodic vocals, which you know, led to bands like Opeth. I mean, he was there at the beginning of that whole scene and very much influenced Killswitch Engage. I would say European metal in general – whether it be Swedish, Scandinavian – you know, that music really inspired me and everyone in Killswitch to do the style that we did. We were coming from more of a hardcore scene, but hearing those styles mixed… that was everything.
"To me, Dan Swanö… you look at the early Edge Of Sanity stuff, it's just mindblowing. I think Crimson was really the first – it's an album, but it's also just one song, one forty-five minute song that to me, just blew my mind that you could do that. It worked. It was coherent. It told a story and his vocals are just incredible on it. So Dan Swanö would be if not number one, very high on the list as far as influences."
Leach also named Mike Patton (Faith No More, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle, etc.), Lars-Göran Petrov (ex-Entombed, ex-Firespawn), George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher (Cannibal Corpse), and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) as influential on his approach and style.