In recent weeks, the members of New England metal quintet Killswitch Engage have been thumbing through dozens of video treatments for "My Curse," the first single from their forthcoming As Daylight Dies. The band is scheduled to shoot the clip next month, before its headlining tour. But so far, all the treatments have been real stinkers.
"They've all got that paragraph that says, 'We will then pan to the band who'll be rocking out so hard it will be destroying the camera,' " guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz said. "There's one that involves ninjas and martial arts. There's a circus-themed one, where this ugly crazy dude who's part of a traveling freak show takes his normal girlfriend to the rest of the freaks, and they disapprove of her. It's really bizarre stuff that doesn't make any sense at all."
Even the one Dutkiewicz refers to as "Piñata Man" doesn't seem to fit with "My Curse," but of all the video pitches they've perused, "it's the only one that's awesome. It involves this dude who's just a piñata and people are trying to steal his candy. I'm feeling 'Piñata Man' the most, for sure."
Due November 21, the band's fourth studio LP is an important one for Killswitch — who put the effort to bed just one week ago (see "Killswitch Engage Turn On The Heavy For Glass-Shattering As Daylight Dies"). With crushing contemporaries like Lamb of God and Mastodon landing huge Billboard albums-chart debuts with their latest outings (see "Outkast Take A Billboard Beating From Diddy's Danity Kane" and "Justin Sexes Up The Charts With First Solo #1 Debut"), Killswitch stand to generate comparable results. Of course, "we're sort of anxious to see what's going to happen," explained bassist Mike D'Antonio, but "there's no way to tell."
But the band is proud of what it's accomplished with As Daylight Dies, which was produced by Dutkiewicz and will feature 11 tracks, including "The Arms of Sorrow," "Still Beats Your Name" and "Reject Yourself."
"We just kind of fine-tuned what we do," Dutkiewicz said. "We wanted to make our sound more our sound."
While Killswitch's first two LPs (the band's 2001 self-titled debut and 2002's Alive or Just Breathing) were largely collaborative, with each member chiming in on everything from riffs to vocal approaches, 2004's The End of Heartache was composed primarily by multi-instrumentalist Dutkiewicz.
"This one is back to the collaborations again," D'Antonio said. "And I think everyone's personality kind of pops out in all of the tracks. The trick with Killswitch has always been that when we write together, it sounds like Killswitch. And with this album, we definitely tried to make it so that everyone has their stamp and say in every song."
For the first time in Killswitch's brief history, they've allowed some of their dirty, Southern-metal influences seep into the mix, and "we've injected a lot more of that sound into this thing, where we've hardly used it before," D'Antonio explained, citing New Orleans sludge specialists Crowbar and Eyehategod among the most obvious inspirational sources. "There's a riff in 'My Curse' that is very Corrosion of Conformity that I f---ing love."
While there are no concrete touring plans firmed up just yet, D'Antonio said Killswitch will tour the States in November and December. They've been talking to several possible openers for the trek, "and it was unanimous that we wanted to bring Crowbar with us, but whether Crowbar wants to come or not is a different story."
Dutkiewicz, who has become a much-sought-after producer in his genre, has also finished working with the reunited Overcast on Reborn to Kill Again, which will be in stores next year. D'Antonio helped found the band, which released two LPs before calling it quits in 1998. Overcast, which also featured Shadows Fall frontman Brian Fair, will soon sign with a label, D'Antonio said, although he would not indicate which one.
"It was tricky [producing Reborn]," which will contain revisited Overcast classics, Dutkiewicz said. "If you're going to re-record a record, it has to be better, of course. And they're all old men now, so keeping that young mentality that Overcast had — that energy, that drive — was crucial. I kept playing the old albums," 1997's Expectational Dilution and 2000's Fight Ambition to Kill, "and said, 'Guys, that has energy — you need to keep it that fast, or else you're going to sound like old men.' "
As Daylight Dies' track list, according to Killswitch Engage's publicist:
- "As Daylight Dies"
- "This Is Absolution"
- "The Arms of Sorrow"
- "My Curse"
- "For You"
- "Still Beats Your Name"
- "Eye of the Storm"
- "Break the Silence"
- "Desperate Times"
- "Reject Yourself"