Jesse David Leach (born July 3, 1978) is an American musician from Providence, Rhode Island, and is best known as being the current lead vocalist of the metalcore band Killswitch Engage and also for being the vocalist for the blues rock band Seemless. He is also the current singer for the hardcore metal band The Empire Shall Fall and Times of Grace. In February 2012 he rejoined Killswitch Engage following the departure of vocalist Howard Jones in January 2012.
Leach's first band, Corrin, was formed in the early 1990s. Corrin recorded four songs in 1996 which were eventually released as a CD by Propaganda Machine in 1998 after the band's breakup.
Leach's second band, Nothing Stays Gold, formed in the mid-90s. They put out a single ep before splitting in 97/98.
Some remaining members of Overcast and Aftershock were forming a new band in the Massachusetts area and were seeking a vocalist. In 1999, Leach along with bassist Mike D'Antonio, guitarist Joel Stroetzel, and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz formed Killswitch Engage. Their self-titled debut was released on July 11, 2000.
Killswitch Engage's next effort, Alive or Just Breathing, was released on May 21, 2002, putting Killswitch Engage at the forefront of the metalcore scene. Two weeks prior to going on tour, however, Leach married his fiancee. When he was not contacting his wife, Leach would sit alone in the tour bus for hours after shows and simply wait for the remaining band members to return. Leach's passion for his music combined with his emotional struggles of the time made him unable to exercise control over his screaming. He would blow his voice out after a few shows and struggled with the rest of the tour. Leach also began suffering from a mild depression which grew worse as the tour continued. According to Mike D'Antonio in an interview for Killswitch's "(Set This) World Ablaze" DVD, "It seemed like there was always this dark cloud over Jesse's head." His depression led him to resign from the band & drop out of the public eye for some time. Leach wrote an email to the band explaining why he left. Quoting Leach from his interview in the DVD, "I didn't have the mental energy to face them, or even call them on the phone rather. I was at a point in my life where I just didn't want to face any of them so I wrote them a long email explaining, like, I'm just done. Explaining what every song meant to me, explaining what the whole experience was to me, and I said 'Bye. Ya know? You're not going to be able to find me, I'm going on my honeymoon finally. And, uh, don't try and call me don't try and contact me, I'm done. Done with music, period.'"
Leach reconciled with his former bandmates at the Roadrunner United 25th anniversary concert, performing a duet with then singer Howard Jones. The entire band played on stage (minus Adam D who had been out with an injury and was replaced by Andreas Kisser of Sepultura) with both Howard and Jesse singing "My Last Serenade". The song ended with the two embracing, and Leach thanking the crowd for their support through his difficult times.
On February 6, 2012, Killswitch Engage uploaded a photo of Leach and the rest of the band to the website, indicating Leach's return to Killswitch Engage. Killswitch Engage later released a statement via its Facebook, confirming Leach's permanent return to the band. In several interviews since he has given much credit to Howard Jones for his work with the band while Leach has been gone.
Killswitch Engage's sixth studio album Disarm the Descent was released on April 2, 2013. It was announced in December 2013 that "In Due Time" was nominated for "Best Metal Performance" at the 2014 Grammy Awards, bands first Grammy nomination for Killswitch Engage with Jesse Leach.
In 2003 Jesse joined a blues rock band called Seemless. Seemless toured the US many times with bands like Fu-Manchu, The Sword, Trivium, and In Flames. Seemless is known for explosive, emotive live shows and showcases Leach's new-found soulful blues-y vocals. Touring with Seemless also showed the music world Jesse was back and able to complete tours. Seemless has released two albums so far and has had multiple videos featured on MTV's Headbangers ball. In 2006 their video for the single "Cast No Shadow" made MTV's Top Ten new videos. Seemless is currently writing new songs and playing out occasionally. Due to drummer Derek Kerswill's involvement with the MA metal band Unearth, among other projects, Seemless has taken a hiatus from the touring life.
Times of Grace:
Leach worked on another album with Killswitch Engage bandmate, Adam Dutkiewicz. Leach has stated that the working title for the project with Adam D. is Times of Grace. Dutkiewicz also takes lead vocals on several tracks, and was released on January 18, 2011. The album's first single, "Strength in Numbers", was released October 15 via Roadrunner Records as a free digital download for 72 hours for those who signed up for the band's mailing list. The song is now available for purchase on iTunes. The album was made with the support of Killswitch Engage.