Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach Once Tripped So Hard on Acid He Saw the Devil
The Devil has long been associated as a metal icon, primarily because of the sinister subjects the genre often touches on in its songs. For Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach, however, it's associated with drugs — he told Loudwire Nights once tripped so hard on acid, he saw the Devil.
Leach was 17, in high school and still living at home when the trip occurred. "We were doing acid for fun, like we did a lot when I was younger," the vocalist reflected. He and his peers had been taking "blotters," which he described as "four hits in one." After taking one, he didn't experience much of an effect, so he did the "rookie mistake" — took more, rather than waiting for the effects to take place.
"So I took three more, and it ended up being 16 hits total," Leach admitted, referring to the quantity as a "Timothy Leary original recipe."
"I saw God, I saw the Devil, patterns everywhere. I thought I was gonna die," he claimed. "I knocked down the door of my parents' bedroom and told them I thought I was gonna die. And my dad, who was a child of the '60s-turned minister, decided that the best thing for him to do was to take me on Sunday morning — because it was Saturday night — to Church."
The singer had still been feeling the acid when he was in church listening to his dad preach, who had modified his sermon to direct it at his son. "It scarred me, and I didn't touch acid for like 15 years," he laughed.
Leach eventually tried acid again in smaller doses, mainly because he didn't want to treat his mental health issues with prescription pills. "If someone was on a micro-dose of acid, you'd never know it," he stated, acknowledging the controversy of the method. "What it does is it reconnects the neurons and synapses in your brain to different neuro-pathways, that lead you out of your cycle of depression and anxiety."
Killswitch Engage were just nominated for a Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" with "Unleashed." To hear about Leach's reaction to the nomination and what it's like hearing personal stories from fans regarding the song "I Am Broken Too," listen to the full interview above.
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