6/6/02: 11am in London… 3am somewhere in California… Mike D’Antonio logs onto AOL Instant Messenger and says hi. The band have just checked into a hotel for the remainder of the night, on the road touring the US with Soilwork, Scar Culture, and Hypocrisy. Mike is in mourning. “Everything is going great except I broke my beloved bass in Texas, I smashed it on a pole that was in the middle of the stage… I was depressed… but the bar tenders in Austin took care of me.. fed me beer cause I was so sad.. they were good to me.” Now playing with a new Ibanez, Mike says he’s doing ok: “took some getting used too, not having my “baby”, but I am better. I had it 7 years… it was like my wife!” What else? I break the good news to Mike that the video for My Last Serenade has gone into the Kerrang! TV chart at #8: “wow… killer!” If you haven’t caught it yet you can request it on K! TV as selection #834. Call 09067 533433. Last night (June 4), Killswitch Engage played their first LA show ever, and due to massive bus troubles in the Hypocrisy and Soilwork camps, KsE ended up headlining the night. The crowd, “a pretty diverse mix,” tells Roadrunner’s US street team leader Ro Kohli. “There were straight up gutter punks with huge spiked mohawks, crazed Mexican death metal heads, the usual crop of metal kids that go to every metal show in LA, as well as a fair amount of scenesters.” Outside of fuckin’ rockin’, vocalist Jesse spent the time between songs recounting his celebrity citings from the day leading up to the show…#1 on the list, Motorhead’s Lemmy walking towards the Rainbow during lunchtime… Word from our LA peeps is that KsE’s show of metal received a huge reception. Tonight, the band hits Corona, CA. “I’m hoping it’s gonna be an off the wall metal blitzkrieg!” exclaims Ro. “The metal heads there are way more insane than the LA variety.” Rock. For pictures from last night’s show, check out Killswitch Engage’s PHOTO GALLERY. Where to start…hmmm, as this is being written, the Killswitch Engage tour machine is driving down Interstate 10 in Arizona, en route to Los Angeles for a show at the Key Club tomorrow night (June 4). “Nothing out here,” tells guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz. “Kinda like Star Wars. Some big cacti.” However, we can tell you where there is something, Birmingham, AL. After a show last week at The Boiler Room, the band walked out to the parking lot to find a barn yard animal. Tells Adam, “weirdest fuckin’ thing in the world, we walk out of the club, and there is a pig’s head with a cigarette in its mouth.” Don’t believe us? We have picture to prove. What else has the band encountered amongst their road travels? At a rest stop, somewhere on the edge of (don’t mess with) Texas, an ostrich. “I was ready to ride that son of a bitch,” enthuses Adam. Now that would have been a picture. note: to all you kids out there, ostriches are mean, nasty bastards. Keep away. Speaking of (don’t mess with) Texas, Soilwork’s drummer got Tom (KsE drummer) to drink a 1/4 bottle of hot sauce. Apparently it was some hot shit, too. Tom did win $10 by accomplishing this feat. Rock. And last, recently the most esteemed Andy Sneap, the man whom mixed KsE’s Alive Or Just Breathing, told the following: “The KILLSWITCH ENGAGE album went well, both myself and Adam managed to destroy the nerves of Roadrunner A&R guy Mike Gitter in the process. A daily wager was held on how many times (Mike) would call, this saw [KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist] Adam [Dutkiewicz] winning the princely sum of í£15 by the time Mike actually arrived at the studio. Still, he got the curries so everyone was happy. Everyone seems to love the album, with Kerrang! giving it 5 Ks.” Mike, however, downplays the scenario, claiming to have only called once a day, every day. “Mr. Sneap received one phone call a day,” affirms Mike. “Anyone interested in contesting my character versus his need only look at publicity pictures from his old band of forest dwelling metallers, Sabbat. Men in tights, indeed!” Yes, all is true, and all is in good humour too. And I do believe that everyone is very happy with how the album turned out. Fuckin’ killer, indeed. Adam, Andy, Mike, cheers.