Jesse Leach

Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach Says The Metal Community Was Quiet Following The Killing Of George Floyd: “It Was Just Crickets”


Killswitch Engage, etc. frontman Jesse Leach recently expressed his concerns over what he perceived as a lack of response from the metal community in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. Leach and Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn teamed up for a protest track titled “Stop The Bleeding“, which they penned the lyrics for shortly after Floyd‘s murder.

Speaking in a recent roundtable discussion on HardDrive Radio with Lou Brutus, Flynn commented of their collaborative track:

“This is a powerful time in history. It’s not gonna be the same after this. This is a moment of change. We’re going on five weeks of protests here. This stuff usually dies down after five days. We’re on the fifth week of worldwide, nationwide protests. And I just felt that everything that needed to be said, and then just Jesse coming back with the vocals that he did was just amazing — it just added this whole incredible layer to the song.

And I was, like, ‘We’ve gotta film a video for this and put this out right now. We don’t need to worry about setting it up for this or getting the press ready or whatever. This is about the streets; the streets needs to hear this right now.'”

Leach added:

“[It was important] having us represent the metal community. And not everyone may agree with it for whatever reason, ’cause there’s always discussion about it. But to me, it was, like, ‘Where’s the voice coming from the metal community? There’s no one speaking out about it. This is a really fucked up thing that happened.’ And it was just all quiet. So when I saw Robb, I was, like, ‘Yo, this is what we need to do’ — hopefully spark people to start discussing it, ’cause it was just crickets.”

When asked why he thought the metal community remained silence, Leach replied:

“My personal opinion is there’s a weird sort of split with people where the moment you start to criticize the police or you criticize something that someone firmly believes in, a.k.a. Trump. Some people, when you start to criticize Trump, they get on this crazy tirade, this crazy defensiveness that is ingrained in them, I believe, from whether the way they were raised or what they’re reading in the media.

My whole take on it is this: I’m not left; I’m not right. don’t care about that stuff. I care about what’s right and what’s wrong. And to me, what I’m seeing is happening is wrong. I don’t care how you wanna paint it. You wanna talk about, ‘Well, white people are being killed too.’ Black people are saying, ‘Leave that alone.’ Right now, we need to give black people [an opportunity] to speak. ‘Cause it’s not just this one thing.

We’re talking about decades, we’re talking about centuries of oppression. This is a huge, large, deep issue, and this just sparked it off. I mean, look, the rioting, the protesting is still happening. This is a deep-rooted wound that needs to be addressed. And if it’s not gonna be addressed and people are gonna continue to try and silence it and change the subject, you’re gonna make it worse — you’re just gonna make it worse. And we need to figure out a common ground to stand on to discuss these things and hopefully create some kind of a change that can help with this situation. It’s not just gonna go away.”

One may have to wonder which aspects of the metal community Leach was following however, as countless heavy bands and labels were shown to have taken to social media to express their outrage in the immediate aftermath of Floyd‘s killing, later raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for various Black Lives Matter-related charities and organizations via unique  benefit merch items and auctions, etc..


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