I recently had the pleasure to speak with one of my all-time favorite frontmen, Jesse Leach. You can currently hear Jesse on the latest SEEMLESS record, What Have We Become. Jesse is no stranger to the scene, previously being a part of such bands as Killswitch Engage, Corrin and Nothing Stays Gold. Here is our interview:
deadspout: Hello, Jesse, how goes it? Seemless seems to be doing very well! You worked with Jason Suecof of Audiohammer Studios on "What We Have Become." How was that? Did you work with Mark too?
Jesse Leach: Yeah Jason is crazy and a brilliant mind at the same time. He helped tie in some vocal melodies and had me experiment with different stuff, some of it was great & others a bit too over the top. That guy should be producing prog-rock or something. He has crazy harmony ideas. It was an experience, to say the least. Mark is great he helped behind the sound board with technical stuff on the whole album actually.
deadspout: "What Have We Become" is similar instrumentally to the previous release "Seemless"; however, the vocals are different in structure as well as your range. Who inspired you for your lyrics as well as vocally on "What Have We Become"?
Jesse: I just wanted to push myself for this album and I plan on continuing to do so. I have even reworked old stuff with new melodies and bit parts to make it interesting live. I don't look to anyone to inspire my style. Although I am a fan of blues and (old) R&B singers in general. My goal is to bring passion and dynamics into Seemless.
deadspout: What are the plans with Seemless in the near future? On your next release I would love to hear you get either Dave Grohl or Chris Cornell as a guest, can you do that?
Jesse: Not real interested in guests, I really dig standing on our own as far as recording Seemless stuff. I got to tell you though, I get the whole "you sound like Chris Cornell" all the time. First of all, I don't hear it. Second, that guy has a better range than I do. I think we are completely different singers. Dave Grohl is my hero though, I really dig everything he has done!
deadspout: This time around, has being on the road been a little more comfortable and the right time for you? I saw pictures of you on your Myspace enjoying the desert cactus.
Jesse: I love touring with Seemless and I LOVE the west coast. My only set back is missing my wife, other than that it is great!
deadspout: Being a religious man, do you incorporate a lot of your beliefs into your lyrics? You are one of the many few in the metal and rock world that has positive lyrics about believing in yourself.
Jesse: All of my lyrics are written from my perspective and I am a Christian. However, Seemless is not a Christian band.
deadspout: I am personally a fan boy of your work, I have followed you from Corrin, Nothing Stays Gold, Killswitch Engage, and now Seemless. You have grown so much as a vocalist since your earlier work. Your melodic singing impresses the hell out of me, however hearing your gut wrenching screams still gives me the chills. Will we ever hear you dedicating yourself to a band with such a demand?
Jesse: Thanks for the love. However, no, I don't think so. I am quite comfortable with where I am. I feel like I am moving forward as a singer, I feel if anything I will continue to expand my voice and style. I love to scream but I would have a hard time doing a band where that is all I do. To me for the most part screamed vocals get boring after a while.
deadspout: Did you get a chance to hear my one hour dedication to your work in our METAL Injection Radio Archive, the Dead Zone (you can hear that here)?
Jesse: Yes, again thanks for the love, bro.
deadspout: In my opinion, your song "Blood and Flames" on Roadrunner United is the best track on the whole release. Do you think you'd collaborate with them as a band, for a whole album?
Jesse: Not unless I get an offer and it helps pay some bills [laughs]. I am quite sure that was a one time thing though.
Jesse: I wrote that song for my wife. It has a deep meaning though and really it is all about what you as the listener gets out of it.
deadspout: Simon, from Hesperia, CA wanted to know if you have ever considered going into the management or the talent seeking part of the business, helping talented bands get noticed.
Jesse: I would Love to be an A&R or get into the whole "helping out bands etc." Music is such a HUGE part of my life I know I would be good at helping bands and recognizing talent, the directions music moves, and flows. I don't think I could handle managing a band though, too much stuff to deal with.
deadspout: I read somewhere that you did some hip/hop and reggae. Where can I hear that?
Jesse: It is more like trip hop ambient reggae dub stuff. Real mellow stuff. I have been doing this kind of music on the side for 7 years. I am actually recording tracks with my new project while I am off tour with my good friend Nick who is the other half of the project. We should have a track up on myspace in the next few weeks. I will link it to the Seemless page.
deadspout: What metal bands do you listen to now, for instance, are you a fan of Abigail Williams, Gojira, He Is Legend, etc.
Jesse: Uh, well, Metal is not the first kind of music I would listen to these days but if I were to pop in a metal CD, it would be Entombed, At the Gates, Iron Maiden, God Forbid, Carcass etc. I am a bit old school with my metal.
deadspout: Jesse, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. It means a lot to me personally. Is there anything you would like to add that I haven't brought up in this?
Jesse: Sounds good thanks bro. Everyone out there open your mind, look out side of the box. Step out of you music routine, step out of the trends. Be a leader not a follower. Do what you love in life no matter what anyone says! and dig Seemless' new album we are bring music back to the roots: Soul & Blues with heavy metal rock n roll all mixed in. Peace & Blessings.
Make sure you check out Seemless "What Have We Become" out through Equal Vision Records now! To hear songs off that release go to the bands official Myspace Page.