Killswitch Engage: Interview with Mike D’Antonio

It’s better than having “writer’s block” and not knowing what you want to do!

Exactly, and that’s why I think it sounds a lot like our most collaborative record, Alive Or Just Breathing.

What’s your favorite song on the record?

One of my favorites is the first song we wrote for the record. It was probably the most collaborative out of all the songs on the record; it’s called ‘Eye Of The Storm.’ I feel like everyone contributed at least one riff to that. Everyone had a say, and everyone was extremely excited once we were finished writing that tune, and we were looking forward to writing the rest of the album. I think that magic spilled over into the rest of the recording. The funny thing is that that song almost didn’t make the album.

Why not?

It was weird. Everyone in the band likes different songs more than other songs, and it was really hard to pick the songs that were going to go on the record. When we went into the studio, we originally said, ‘10 is the cut-off. That’s it.’ We didn’t want too many songs on the record and have people get bored. When we were finally finished, it was 11 songs, and ‘Eye Of The Storm’ was on the record.

When we flew to the UK to do some shows, at the end of that flight, Howard was like ‘No, there is another song that I think needs to be on the record. I don’t care about any other song. This one needs to be on.’ So, then it turned into a 12-song record, with his song and ‘Eye Of The Storm.’ Everyone started to get bummed that it was 12 songs, when we originally wanted 10. It was a democratic decision, and ‘Eye Of The Storm’ made it on and it was 10 songs. I spent three or four sleepless nights contemplating why on earth they took off my favorite song.

Who’s ‘they’?

My fellow band members. Everyone except me. [Laughs] We have to do what’s best for the band and the record, and I felt like I did my duty lobbying to get that song on the record.

How does it feel to go from opening for bands like Soilwork and Hypocrisy to this point in your career, where you are headlining the Saints And Sinners Fest in New Jersey?

It seems like a great lineup for that festival, so it’ll be fun, if you’re going as a fan! As for the success of this band, it’s like a dream. It makes no sense to me. Being in this business for 15 years and having something take off so, it’s a dream and I’m wondering if I am going to wake up at some point. It’s definitely not a nightmare, that’s for sure. I can’t really think about it so much. It’s just too unbelievable to fathom.

What would you say to a fan that’s going to the Saints And Sinners Fest? Any Mike D advice for them?

Definitely bring some short shorts so you can jump in the water if you get too hot in the pit. Lock your car doors. That’s my suggestion.

Bring a roll of toilet paper with you. We’ve played there quite a few times at this point. It’s always a fun time. Definitely bring your dancin’ shoes. And if you’re not into the pit, there’s a lot of places to sit and see perfectly. It’s sort of accommodating to everybody.

Killswitch Engage will be headlining Saints And Sinners on Sunday, Oct. 29 at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. As Daylight Dies will be available Nov. 21 through Roadrunner. For more info, check out and