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Killswitch Engage is stoked to bring Dirt Fest to Pontiac
Killswitch Engage is no stranger to Michigan's Dirt Fest.
And the Massachusetts heavy rock troupe is plenty happy to be headlining the event's move to Pontiac after 18 years up in Birch Run.
"That was a really fun (festival). We had a good time," bassist Mike D'Antonio recalls by phone from Philadelphia. It's run very well. Everyone in the back seems to know what they're doing. We hung with our good friends Battlecross, who are from that area. I remember the crowd being awesome, so we're super-excited to play it again."
The Dirt Fest show also comes at an exciting time for D'Antonio and his bandmates.
The quintet has been stoked by the showing of its sixth studio album, "Incarnate," which came out in March and notched the best-ever chart showing for any Killswitch album. "It's always fun to be going up. You never know when you're gonna start going down," the D'Antonio, 43, says. He adds that the group was "just stoked to get it out," not only because of a long creative gestation but also waiting for it's record company to set up the campaign helped it score the Top 10 debut.
"That record had the longest roll-in we've had in awhile," D'Antonio explains. "We weren't sure we were gonna get it done, and then it was finished and there was a five-month roll-in while Roadrunner just kind of plotted and got everything ready and was ready for the jump as soon as it was go time.
"I attribute (the success) to that. It just feels awesome."
Killswitch is also enjoying some bonhomie after a rancorous split with frontman Howard Jones in 2012. Original singer Jesse Leach returned for 2013's already-in-progress "Disarm The Descent," but his presence -- and his more complete contribution to "Incarnate" -- brought Killswitch back from a dark brink, according to D'Antonio.
"The band couldn't continue the way it was, and Jesse stepped in and kind of revitalized us," D'Antonio acknowledges. "I'm not sure if the band was about over at that point, but it didn't feel too good right then. Jesse came in seeing things through new eyes, and it was very refreshing. It's quite fun to be on the road wtih somebody who finds his passion every day like he does.
"The morale in Killswitch has never been better. It's pretty exciting right now."
Dirt Fest, featuring Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria, Hatebreed, Detroit's own Wilson and more
Noon on Saturday, Aug. 13.
Downtown Pontiac near the Crofoot Ballroom and public parking lot at Saginaw and Pike streets.
Tickets are $37 in advance, $45 at the gate with VIP packages available.
Visit dirtfest.com for more details.
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