And now for something lighter. The last few weeks, I’ve been discussing some pretty heavy topics, so I thought for Family Day, I’d share something a little on the lighter side that makes me happy.
Killswitch Engage (KSE) is a band that I really like. I think since 2012 I’ve seen them play every time they’ve swung through Ontario on tour with the exception of once, tallying around 7 or 8 shows. A friend who accompanies me to the shows joked that it’s getting to the point where we buy tickets to KSE shows for an excuse to see the other bands they are touring with.
Six years ago this month, they released their lead track and video from 2013’s Disarm the Descent, In Due Time.
The video kicks off with some behind the scenes footage of the band and crew, interspersed with footage of the band playing their instruments. While this is going on, the camera follows behind the band’s vocalist, Jesse, as he enters the space, walks up to grab the microphone, and launches into the song’s vocals.
If you know nothing about the band, you might not connect the visuals with the band’s history, but let me show you why this is such a cool visual metaphor. I’m not entirely sure that it was intentional (I haven’t read anything to support my idea), but even if it was deliberate it’s a really cool way of visualizing the band’s history up until that moment.
The band, while going through a few member changes in its early days since forming in 1999, was made up of guitarists Adam and Joel, bassist Mike, drummer Justin (who joined in 2003), and vocalist Jesse. In 2002, just as they released their sophmore album Alive or Just Breathing, Jesse announced abruptly that he had to quit the band for personal reasons. It was a sudden departure that left the band hanging. The band added Howard Jones to the lineup, and they broke it big with 2004’s The End of Heartache, which launched them into the charts and cemented them as one of the biggest bands in the genre.
Fastforward to 2012, and Howard announces his departure for the band. There was some uncertainty at the time as to whether the band would continue and under what conditions, but it was quickly announced that Jesse would return to the mic. Jesse was not a stranger to making music at the time, having worked on a side project with some of the members of KSE called Times of Grace in 2011. KSE toured and completed their album through the end of the year and released Disarm the Descent in early 2013.
Now, if you take the history of the band into account, go back and watch the video from the start through around the 34 second mark, and what you see is a visual representation of the band up until that point. You see the band playing, making music but without a vocalist to sing their lyrics. Then, from outside, you watch Jesse walk up to the group, rejoining them in time to begin the first verse. The band was an entity that was already out there, working hard, and Jesse gets welcomed back, fitting in naturally with the group. The group had continued on without him, and Jesse returned to help give voice to their music.
It’s a beautiful representation, and something of an easter egg for the fans.