Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach Lists His Top 5 Favorite Metal Vocalists
Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach listed his Top 5 favorite metal vocalists in a video this month, the rocker expounding on the attributes that influenced him and contributed to his craft in the Massachusetts-based metalcore band that he leads.
The musician shared his picks as part of Rhino Records' "Metal March" music celebration. The resulting interview clip, while only three minutes in length, informatively unpacks Leach's longtime love for brutal but honed metal vocals.
See his list down toward the bottom of this post.
Leach told The Pit, "I'd say No. 1 [is] Dan Swano from Edge of Sanity and a plethora of other bands. To me, he's the first guy that really blended the growling and the yelling and the screaming with beautiful melodic vocals, which led to bands like Opeth. He was there at the beginning of that whole scene and very much influenced Killswitch Engage."
The rocker continued, "I would say European metal in general — whether it be Swedish, Scandinavian — that music really inspired me and everyone in Killswitch to do the style that we did. We were coming from more of a hardcore scene but hearing those styles mixed, that was everything. And to me, Dan Swano — you look at the early Edge of Sanity stuff, it's just mindblowing."
Leach's second place pick was the equally prolific Mike Patton, the singer of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle who's played with many other acts.
The Killswitch Engage singer raved, "Who doesn't love Mike Patton? The guy is just a pure artist. He doesn't give a shit what you think about him; he does what he wants. And he can sing his face off — and scream. Great vocalist, a true artist and a badass."
In third place, Leach offered, "I'd say Lars Petrov from Entombed, rest in peace. One of the best, most brutal, harsh — even just angsty punk rock — death metal. His voice was just everything. His attitude, the way he carried himself. True metal."
In a separate video from March, Leach explained which Metallica albums he considers the band's "classic" era while going over his current metal listening choices. Bring Me the Horizon's Oli Sykes recently said Killswitch Engage was the group that first got him into metal. Killswitch are scheduled to play California's Aftershock Festival 2022 this October.
Who are Leach's No. 4 and 5 fave metal singers? See the full list underneath the video.