Glaswegian rockers are rejoicing as the city’s 2014 heavy metal line up looks meatier by the day.
And after two successful album releases, Roadrunner Records label mates Killswitch Engage and Trivium are joining forces to raise the roof of the O2 Academy tonight for their Scottish fans.
The Eglinton Street band stand are giving Glasgow's metal scene an incredible boost already having booked acts like A Day To Remember, Five Finger Death Punch and the Kerrang! Tour 2014.
Now two US heavy metal giants will shortly take to the Academy stage with a feast of killer tunes to satisfy the appetites of metal heads.
Killswitch Engage and Trivium – supported by Miss May I and Battlecross – unite in what promises to be a smash hit event performing their latest albums Disarm The Descent and Vengeance Falls. Both releases have been incredibly well received across the board with plaudits from Kerrang! and Total Guitar.
Both are also booked to play the infamous Donnington rockers festival Download in June this year – for Killswitch Engage this will be a European Festival exclusive.
Riding non-stop on the new wave of American metal Killswitch Engage bagged a Grammy nomination in 2005. Now reunited with original front man Jesse Leach following the departure of Howard Jones, the quintet are ready to take Glasgow by storm.
We caught up with Killswitch's Jessie and Trivium bassist Paolo Gregoletto to find out just what we can expect from the pairing tonight.
So how has the tour been treating you both so far?
J: It’s been amazing – we started off in Ireland, then on to Brixton Academy in London. We actually filmed it so we might release that. Every show has pretty much sold out so it’s been fantastic.
P: It’s the first tour in a while that’s been almost completely sold out for us. We’ve always had a great relationship with the UK, people seemed to really take to us from the beginning and every time we come over it’s something to look forward to.
Paolo, what’s it been like working with Killswitch Engage?
P: When I got Alive Or Just Breathing it was a revolutionary album that changed the course of metal. Before that album every metal band I was listening to were older, so when the first group of bands started coming out like Killswitch and Lamb of God it just signaled the change.
I got to know them touring on Ozzfest ’05 and we’ve done so many tours together. They’re great guys and excellent musicians, people we share a bond with. We’re different enough so that when we play together that you’re not going to get the same show but similar enough that we fit well together.
And Jesse, what about Trvium?
J: Trivium are great – they’re professionals, very easy going, nice guys. We all get along really well so it’s easy. We’ve toured with them a couple of times before and I’ve known Matt the lead singer since he was a kid. We had same manager back then when I was in a rock and roll band and we’ve become fast friends since then.
And what’s it been like reuniting with Killswitch Engage after over ten years apart?
J: Life changing. Prior to rejoining I was working in a local bar learning how to be a mixologist. I've had so many odd jobs and ups and downs that this has become the biggest high I’ve ever had in my life.
Paolo what was the December 2011 Glasgow gig like for Trivium?
P: I definitely think it was one of the crazier shows – maybe with the weather being so much more intense up here. People come out and they just want to have a good time. Some of the best gigs have been when we played in other Scottish cities like Dundee and Inverness – that one was cool when we went out on Loch Ness. Getting to see the scenery and going to local pubs was great for us.
Jesse, what was your last gig in Glasgow like in May 2013?
J: Amazing. It was one of the better shows on that tour and the crowd was absolutely mental – even at the after party the people were so nice.
Any fond memories of the city?
J: I do actually. The morning we got here last time I got up really early – my family is from Scotland somewhere down the line. So I took our old clan name to a kilt maker and traced my name back to find out our tartan, took a bunch of photos and showed my father who had no idea.
It turned out the Gunn tartan was our original tribal tartan. I actually got pretty emotional when I found out about it and the kilt maker just took 20 minutes out of his day with his wife to help me research it. It was a couple of streets down from the O2 ABC where we played.
Are you into Scottish music yourself?
J: Sure, from what I know – off the top of my head I’m actually a big fan of Biffy Clyro. They’ve got that great Scottish accent and I love their new record. Much respect to them – they’re great songwriters.
What was your approach to writing this time round on Disarm The Descent?
J: Initially just hearing the demos since the album wasn’t written musically before. It’s very aggressive and fast, probably the fastest Killswitch record we’ve ever written. So for me I felt that aggression, that these guys wanted to push into something completely different from the last record.
Mike and I discussed where I was coming from lyrically – he had this concept about disarming the descent, like the band was in a downward spiral and this was the way to find redemption. That’s very much what I’ve done in my life so it was perfect timing for me. Being back on the road with the boys a lot of lyrics started coming – the struggles of life on the road, being away from your loved ones, the temptations around you like alcohol. It’s a constant battle to maintain your integrity and be a real person.
Paolo can you tell us about the sound on Vengeance Falls?
P: We started writing shortly after In Waves came out. We solidified the vision for what we wanted – a really big sound, thump and low end to it. We wanted to take what we did on In Waves and push it further.
David really pushed Matt as a vocalist – he really got him to think about the lines, not just signing one note but using his voice in ways he hadn’t done before. David really pulled that out of him. Nick really grew on this album as well, coming from a lot more extreme stuff – he wasn’t necessarily in the mind set of how we write but now he’s totally in sync with us.
Any advice you would give to bands starting out in Glasgow?
J: Yes, perseverance. If it’s something you truly love then you won’t give up on it. If you’re in it for the money then find another career – I’ve spent 22 years on it and I’ve just recently started to make something of a living.
P: I guess the main thing is wrapping your head around the amount of time it takes to get where you’d like to be. It’s not going to happen the way you expect so you’ve got to be ready for change and for the long haul.
Surround yourself with people that are going to push you to that next level. Have people who have a vision for you and aren’t just there to take a percentage.
Jesse, we know you’re set to play Download this summer - what are your hopes for the next busy year?
Stay sane [laughs] – we’re doing Russia, Africa, Japan and Australia. Looks like there’s plans for Mexico and South America. This year we’ll have toured for two years straight and covered the world pretty much. It’s been a crazy ride.
Are you heading to the gig tonight? Let us know by Tweeting @STVGlasgow