Killswitch Engage is on their way to tour RAMfest in South Africa for the first time. Justin Foley, their drummer for the past 13 years phoned us up for a little conversation…
griff: A lot of your music features in movies and games. When Darkness Falls appeared on the sound track of Freddy vs Jason. I think that is more or less the time when you joined.
Justin: Yeah we get all these movies and stuff and its pretty neat
griff: For instance the The End of Heartache became the main single for Resident Evil. As Fire Burns got some WWE attention. How does it work? You got a lot of songs that hit the gaming and movie circuit…
Justin: A lot of the times people come to us. A lot of the times it is from publishing. It is a very cool thing because there are so many different ways that people hear music and now there are million ways for people to get turned onto your band. Video games are huge. Its just a neat thing to get out there as much as you can and get as many different mediums for people to hear your band.
griff: If you had to choose any movie, present or past for one of your songs to feature, which movie would that be? In a sense I guess I am asking you what your favourite movie is.
Justin: Oh man… my favourite movie is the Princess Bride but I don't think our sound will go with that, haha!
griff: Incidentally yesterday, I saw a photo on Twitter where the cast of Princess Bride re-united for a photo or something after 25 years. Maybe you still have a shot at it. Maybe there's a remake.
Justin: That would be awesome, haha! That would be pretty amazing, haha!
griff: My Curse was also very well received and featured in a number of video games like Burnout Paradise and Guitar Hero 3. What is your score on your own song on Guitar Hero? Have you played it?
Justin: Oh yeah, but so long ago. I used to be kinda decent at Guitar Hero. I really never got into the expert stuff because I think it was easier to play actual guitar than expert level on Guitar Hero, haha! I did pretty well on hard level with the most stuff but I don't remember how well on our own songs, but hard was OK. Expert was just kinda ridiculous.
griff: Your music videos. Who's got the most input from your band members. It's kind of a dickhead question, but who would you say is more creative when it comes to your music videos?
Justin: It has kind of changed over time. We would get treatments from a bunch of different directors and decide which one we want. For instance when we did the Holy Diver video we kind of wanted a kind of spoof of the 80s kind of ridiculous rock videos so we did that and I think Adam came up with some of the plots for that, like who would be which character.
But then I think for the second most recent one when we were all just kinda hanging out together and Jesse was working pretty close with the directors for that one and he was also working pretty close with the directors for the Always video. So I think Jesse have kind of taken over the reigns for a lot of the video stuff. Always was a pretty powerful video, really and we're really proud of that video. Proud of being in any way associated with that and the response we had was really incredible. It touched a lot of people.
griff: We'll get more into the history of Howard and Jesse when I meet up with you guys but I found this video of Howard and Adam when they were taking the piss out of the release for As Daylight Dies. I don't know if you know which video I am talking about?
Justin: Oh yes, the track by track thing? Is that it?
Justin: Hahaha, yeah that was hilarious. I'm glad that it was caught on video!
griff: So how does Jesse differ from Howard, you know, the humour. Would he do that kind of thing?
Justin: I think he is a lot more likely to do that kind of thing now than when he very-very first joined. He's brought his own style, his own passion and his own convictions to our band and at the same time I don't think our band has really changed and he just kind of blended into what were doing and I think it is working out really well.
griff: in 2009 you announced your second self-titled album Killswitch Engage. What was the idea behind doing that?
Justin: I don't think there were a whole lot of ideas behind that. It just sort of happened, hahaha!
griff: Nothing to do with laziness?
Justin: Ha, no it just sort of happened that way. You know what was kinda funny about that? We never really had anyone mention that first record to us. Ever. It seems like it was a record that not many people at all knew about. And then with the second self-titled album, everybody knew about it.
griff: Maybe you should do another one with a plain yellow cover, you know, like the Metallica "black" album", so people would call it the Killswitch Engage "yellow album".
Justin: When we did this last record, Joel was joking that we should call it Alive or Just Breathing and the next one The End of Heartache and just keep re-using the names in order, hahaha!
griff: Do you guys know any South Africa music?
Justin: Not really. I'm not really sure. I mean it is possible that I do but that I just don't know that they're from South Africa.
griff: Lamb Of God was here recently but didn't really have time to do anything in terms of site seeing, visiting some interesting places? You guys have any plans?
Justin: I think so. We don't have anything specific right now but some people have been talking about some kind of shark tank thing?
griff: Shark cage diving in Cape Town? Fuck that, I'm too shit scared to do that, so good luck with that.
Justin: I'd be pretty cool with getting on the boat. I am not too sure I'll be getting into the shark cage, haha!
griff: Thanks for your time and for bringing your music to RAMfest in South Africa. We're looking forward to it.
Justin: Awesome, thanks for having me and I'll see you soon.