Arguably one of the world’s most notorious bands, New York’s Emmure are no doubt a force to be reckoned with. Their fourth album "Speaker Of The Dead" was released in February via Victory Records, and has proved them to be as controversial as ever. With the band’s return to Australia just around the corner, we caught up with guitarist Jesse to find out what’s up in the world of Emmure.
Hi there, please start out by telling us your name, your role in Emmure and your favourite record so far this year?
My name is Jesse Ketive, and I play guitar. Deftones’ "Diamond Eyes" was the record of 2010 for me and nothing has followed it up yet this year!
Can you tell us a little bit about how the band originally came about?
The band started in Connecticut and Frank read an ad online (before myspace existed) and started taking a train from Queens, NY up to CT. After a few months of that, and a few shows I joined the band after meeting and hanging with the guys through knowing Frank for years already. Than I drove us up to Connecticut every week and weekend to practice for about two years as we started gigging hard immediately.
What bands have inspired you most in the creation of your own music?
Deftones, Fear Factory, Pantera, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Meshuggah, any Death metal circa 1996-2003.
You guys released “Speaker of the Dead” in February. How do you feel the response has been so far from critics and fans?
The response has surpassed what we thought for sure! People are jumping and bouncing and singing along more than ever. It’s definitely coming across on record, as well as live even more. The critics will "critique" and no matter what we do, people will hate and people will love. So I don’t pay any attention to what critics say. It’s what we feel, and all the fans that come out more and more.
For this album the band chose to record with Joey Sturgis. How did the writing and recording process for this release compare to that for past records?
This time we wrote a lot more on the computer pre-producing the CD and getting songs together before we went into the studio. So that approach worked out great for us. Joey also knew exactly what we wanted and needed at the time, and we did not butt heads at all and stuff flowed nice the whole recording.
You dudes were last on our shores with Machine Head, Hatebreed and Bleeding Through last year. What were the highlights of that tour for you guys?
That tour was super amazing, and the friendships and shows we had made and did were a life changing experience. The size of the venues and the very good attitudes and people from all the other bands made that whole tour a highlight. I could definitely say the last show, when Rob Flynn from Machine Head called out Frankie and the rest of Emmure on stage and the whole tour to take shots on stage in front of 3000 people. That was like something out of a Pantera home video I grew up watching [laughs].
Your tour with Sydney’s Shinto Katana is steadily approaching. What are you expecting from those run of dates?
I am expecting fun shows, sweaty hot shows, vodka, weed, friends, lots of laughing, and even more travelling .
The band previously relocated from Connecticut to New York. What was the reasoning behind that change of scenery?
More of us were from New York, and we had a nice practice place that was 24/7 and next to the best 24/7 Deli in NYC.
Some say NYHC is dead. Do you think the New York hardcore and metal scene is still alive and kicking?
I think theres a scene for anything anywhere.. you just have to look for it. Its a lot easier to just go online and decide what you do and don’t like, rather then roll with a scene like anytime before 2002-ish. The scene is still there and gets taken over by younger generations over and over. It’s like a wave.
Emmure tend to polarise audiences to say the least. What have you got to say to any haters out there?
Im not too sure what you mean by polarise? Maybe pulverise? I can say, I remember when i was narrow minded, and ignorant…
Apart from touring on the back of “Speaker Of The Dead”, what will the rest of 2011 bring for Emmure?
Just touring and videos online and interviews and shows everywhere. Lots in store as we’re setting up the rest of the year with tours!
Cheers man, appreciate your time. Any final thoughts or shout outs?
Thank you! Thanks to the fans and friends all over that keep us going and we love you guys as much as you love us!
See you very soon.