Home Interviews Sheri Bicheno from MPM chats to Killswitch Engage Guitarist Joel Stroetzel at Bloodstock 2023

Sheri Bicheno from MPM chats to Killswitch Engage Guitarist Joel Stroetzel at Bloodstock 2023

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In 20 years, metal titans Killswitch Engage headline their first UK festival… and here at Bloodstock, is the place to be. 

I caught up for a chat with Guitarist Joel Stroetzel.

Sheri: Hello Joel! How are you?

Joel: Hey Sheri, im really good! How’s it going?

Sheri: I’m really good! Thank you so much for joining me! So… Bloodstock! It’s your first time headlining!

Joel: Appreciate it. Hmm hmm, yeah! Everybody is really excited, it’s so overwhelming for us too. It’s gonna be crazy but we’re really excited about it.

Sheri: it’s one of those festivals that has such a warm vibe and it’s such a good fit for you guys…

Joel: The vibe is good!

Sheri: Have you guys been doing anything prior to this or are you specifically here for Bloodstock?

Joel: Just for this yeah, we’ve been here for about a week, week and a half and then back over there for two more weeks!

Sheri: I bet that takes some prepping!

Joel: Yeah, it gets mad but that’s pretty much the month of August for us.

Sheri: You guys have always had such a wonderful aura about you as a band and out there at the moment amongst everyone waiting to see you is pretty nostalgic… there’s lots of excitement! Are you planning anything special for your set?

Joel: We have some stuff going on stage, it should be fun and visually entertaining. It’s a long set with a lot of stuff from all different records and I think we’ll cover everything we need to haha. So we don’t get “why didnt you play that one?” haha.

Sheri: I guess this is the thing though – you guys have been going for a good 20 years or so, you’re sure to have a huge catalogue to get on stage with.

Joel: Yeah we have a lot to choose from and we hope that many people will be happy with what we’re about to do.

Sheri: It’s going to be killer. Did you guys not have some Art work in the gallery for this year’s Bloodstock?

Joel: Yeah, Mike has a gallery here! Might have to go check it out in a little bit…

Sheri: Every year, it’s pretty cool, if you get a chance, definitely go and see it. There’s normally the huge chair that looks like something from HR Giger. It’s a tradition to go take a look haha.

Joel: Nice! That sound’s so cool.

Sheri: As you guys have had quite a lot of evolvement over the years, your last full length album was Atonement… are you planning on coming back to the UK in the shape of new materia?

Joel: We’re currently working on a new record. We’ve pretty much written most of it, September we’re in the studio non stop to try to get it all done, or at least most of it.. But yeah, hopefully sometime sooner than later next year, we’ll get started on the whole thing again haha. It’s been too long since we’ve been over here. 

Sheri: I was gonna say it’s been at least 4 years since you’ve been back. Do you look forward to touring whilst you’re making new music? 

Joel: I think as long as there’s a good balance instead of being stuck in the studio, hunched over a guitar haha. But it’s exciting when it’s finished, you know. Same when we tour actually, everyone has a great time and when it goes beyond a few weeks, everyone starts getting tired. As long as there’s a good balance, everyone stays happy. 

Sheri: I mean, I was at one of the tours for Cannibal Corpse recently and they did like a month over here, then a month back in America so I can imagine it gets quite chaotic…

Joel: Oh yeah, I mean if it’s back to back then it’s all systems go! Haha.

Sheri: Well we’re all excited to see your set tonight. I think you guys are generally one of the bands that kicked off the metalcore genres back then so it’s going to be really awesome to see you guys show the newer upcoming bands the roots of it all.

Joel: Well we’ve always been treated really well here and this is just the beginning of the next chapter…

Sheri: Thank you so much for talking to me today!

Joel: It’s been great to meet you Sheri. Thanks for having me and keep well!

Photography by Artur Tarczewski for MPM

Read my review for Bloodstock 2023 here:

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