Wednesday, September 23, 2020
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Interview: Justin Foley (Killswitch Engage)

As the band rampaged across the UK, we manage to get Killswitch sticksmith Justin Foley to stop hitting things for a few minutes and answer some of our questions…

Now that Atonement has been out for a while, what was the reaction to it?

I guess pretty good. I can only base it on crowd reactions to new songs, and so far it seems to be going well. People seem to be stoked to hear the new material.

Did you have any pre-conceptions of what you wanted the album to be when you decided it was time to start the ball rolling on it?

Nope, not really. We just got together with all of our ideas and started sorting through them. We usually never have anything specific in mind when we start. The one time we came closest was writing Disarm, when we all wanted to go fast.

With it being self-produced again (and Andy Sneap mixing), can you envision yourselves continuing on that path for future releases?

Definitely. If we didn’t all drive Adam crazy this time and he’s down to do it again, I’d love it. I think it’s a real advantage having someone that’s not only in the band but as talented as him handling our music.

Given it was recorded over such a stretch of time, how did you manage to keep it so succinct as a record?

Well, all the music was written in a short amount of time. It was the lyrics that took time, as well as touring opportunities and Jesse’s throat issues that really slowed it down. But the actual original demo period was relatively short.

Other than the circumstances around this one, has the recording process gotten easier?

I don’t think so. I actually dread recording, it’s my least favourite part of this job, by far. It’s become more of a challenge for me every time. Maybe the band should look into faking the drums on the next one…

“The Signal Fire” isn’t the first vocal duet between Jesse and Howard. How did it come about this time?

Jesse and Howard hung out one night after a show a couple years ago and totally hit it off. It just seemed like a no brainer. Their parts sound much more cohesive than last time too, I’m really happy with how that whole thing worked out. I think it added a lot to the song.

How does it feel to be back touring the UK in a headline capacity after some time?

The UK really has shown us a lot of love over the years, and these shows were no exception. It’s consistently one of the places where we can rely on great shows, because the crowds are always so noisy and energetic. It’s one of my favourite places to tour for sure because of that.

You’ve also recently toured the US with Clutch. What was the experience like, given stylistically, you’re very different?

It was quite different. It was okay. They’re a great band and super nice guys, but I don’t think the mix worked as well as people thought it would from a crowd standpoint. I sure enjoyed watching Jean-Paul play, however!

As a band, how do you all manage to get along with one another after all these years, especially when you’re in close quarters on tour etc?

Beats me. This includes our crew too, which usually runs about 7 people, many of whom have been with us for years. 12 people on a bus for extended periods of time is a bad formula, but we all like each other. And none of us are very confrontational, so I guess we just let things simmer and they haven’t blown up yet. That must be it.

How does it feel having eight albums and a couple of decades to the band’s history?

It hurts. ‘Cause we’re old. And our bodies are giving out. And I have pain when I get up off the couch. I make that old man sound now every time I stand up.

Will you ever take a more retrospective look on your history or is the focus always going to be fixed on the present and future?

Maybe someday? But right now I’m just grateful for every day that I still get to do this. And it’s all because of the people that have supported this band over the many, many, many, too many years.

What’s 2020 got in store for the band?

Well, we need to support the record, right? We’re only a few shows into the touring cycle so that means lots of touring to do and lots of places to see!

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About The Author


Father of three. Teacher of Computing. PADI divemaster. Krav Maga Assistant Instructor. Geordie. Geek. Nerd. Metal nut. I also own and run a website - you may have heard of it.

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