Getting "Wreckless" with the Killswitch
The official theme song for the recent Judgment Day pay-per-view, “This Fire Burns” by New England-based metal/hardcore band Killswitch Engage, is just one of 15 tracks on the new WWE Wreckless Intent album. But for Killswitch’s lead vocalist, Howard Jones, it’s somewhat of a dream come true, and it was his influence that made sure it came to fruition.
“When Jim (Johnston, WWE’s Music Director) approached us, some of the guys were a little hesitant because we were finally getting some time off after touring,” Jones told WWE.com in a phone interview. “I basically stood up and told them that one of my true loves in life is sports-entertainment, so we must do this.” Killswitch has played with other musical acts ranging from My Chemical Romance to Slayer, even touring with Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzfest in 2003 and 2005; but for Jones, recording for Wreckless Intent was one of the highlights of his career. “It’s like an unexpected surprise, like the little trinket in your box of cereal,” he laughed. “When WWE used “This Fire Burns” as the theme song for Judgment Day, that was absolutely amazing.”
So how did they come up with the track? “Jim sort of gave us a theme, and we just cranked out the track; I thought it came out really well,” said Jones. “We’re just five guys who really try to enjoy what we’re doing when we perform, and we want everybody to enjoy our music as much as we do. I think “This Fire Burns” fits that well.”
With its five members all hailing from Connecticut or Massachusetts, Killswitch Engage was formed in WWE’s own backyard. Both Jones and bassist Mike D’Antonio are long-time fans, but their tastes are a little different. “Mike was more of an ECW guy, but I was pretty much raised on WWE. I’ve been to several shows when WWE has stopped in Hartford,” said Jones. “When we go away on tour, I come home to hours of RAW and SmackDown in my TiVo.” So who is his favorite Superstar? “You know, it’s hard to really narrow it down. I’ve been a fan for so long, so I’ve loved guys from Bruno Sammartino to Stone Cold to Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle. At this point, I’m beyond having favorites and I’m just a fan of the product overall.”
Since “This Fire Burns” didn’t become a Superstar’s theme, I asked Jones if there was anyone in particular that he’d enjoy making a track for. “Wow, that’s tough,” he said, “because certain music matches certain Superstars. Look at Motorhead and Triple H; everything they’ve written for him has been perfect for who he is. Our music has a lot of energy with a little screaming and a little singing. Maybe one of the cruiserweights would be great, but I’m open to anything.”
As far as Wreckless Intent goes, Killswitch Engage has quite a bit in common with some of the other artists on the album. “We’re on the same label (Roadrunner Records) as Theory of a Deadman and we’re from the same area as the guys in Shadows Fall (who perform Rob Van Dam’s new theme “Fury of the Storm”), so we know all those guys pretty well.” He then laughed, adding that “Motorhead beat us out for a Grammy in 2004, so it’s cool that we’re on the same album as them.”
All things considered, Jones hopes this is just the first of many collaborations with WWE. “Like I said, I’m open to anything, so we’ll see what happens.”