Jesse Leach’s voice sounds profoundly calm. It’s hard to imagine that Leach, the lead vocalist for metalcore heavyweight Killswitch Engage, is only hours away from unleashing his guttural vocals to the tune of thousands of screaming headbangers in Pittsburgh.
“That is my therapy session,” Leach says of performing live. “That’s my way of releasing the demons.”
For Leach, the original vocalist for Killswitch Engage, the path has not been without its trials. In 2002, he left the band, following the release of Alive or Just Breathing, the album that put Killswitch Engage on the map.
“I was dealing with depression, just being newly
married in my life and not knowing how to handle myself on the road,” Leach admits. “I had to get away.”
In February, Killswitch Engage announced on Facebook that Leach would return.
Although he has been involved in other musical projects since 2002, the time away from Killswitch relieved Leach of the pressures of fame and allowed him to mature. He cites strained vocal chords as part of his downward spiral. Now he proudly refers to his voice as his “instrument” and says because of his care, he has been able to sing through sickness twice on a recent tour.
Since rejoining Killswitch Engage, Leach has sung for the band’s homecoming in Massachusetts and has played shows from France to Austria to here in Canada.
“I’m not second-guessing myself anymore,” Leach says.