Killswitch Engage were involved in a harrowing incident when their tour bus collided with an elk. Luckily, the band members are all okay, but sadly the elk didn’t make it.
The unfortunate accident happened while the metal band was on its way to In Flames’ Dalhalla Brinner festival in Rättvik, Sweden. As detailed by Killswitch frontman Jesse Leach, the band’s bus driver “sustained some torn ligaments.”
In a reflective post on Instagram, Leach wrote about how he was driven to tears thinking about “what could have been,” and expressed empathy for other bands who’ve dealt with more tragic results of similar incidents. While he didn’t mention any acts by name, most famously Metallica’s bus crashed in Sweden in 1986, killing bassist Cliff Burton.
Along with a video clip of the aftermath, Leach’s full Instagram post reads as follows:
“You never know what tomorrow holds take nothing for granted.
This is the scene I woke up to yesterday morning around 6am. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. Our driver Tom sustained some torn ligaments and was shaken up for sure but he is ok. The majestic Moose (*correction an ELK) that collided with our bus however did not fair so well sadly. I don’t carry fear with me when I travel as it would do me no good. However seeing this definitely put some fear in me, not so much for my safety but thought of losing someone I love (or someone being injured seriously). It washed over me as we pulled away in a passenger bus. I felt the tears fall on my face as I thought about the ‘what could’ve been.’ I think of all the bands that have had to deal with loss or injury because of these types of accidents. I think of my friends out here who do this and the hardworking crews who are out here away from family and loved ones. Sleeping in a vehicle on highways of the world.
The cost can be high when living this life. The moments of beauty and triumph can be suddenly interrupted by suffering and loss. We miss moments, first times, birthdays, anniversaries the list goes on. The ones we leave at home carry the weight as well wondering at times if the ones they love are safe. It’s a constant balance of trust, hope and keeping anxieties at bay. What a way to live, some will never know what that’s like. We carry on somehow, someway and we count our losses with our gains and we make it all make sense so we can do what we do out here on the road. Grateful for my friends and chosen family out here. Grateful we are all ok and able to continue on. Next time you meet a band member or crew member of a band remember this, we live a different life and it isn’t always easy. Rock n Roll can take its toll and often times it comes to collect when you least expect it. My deepest sympathies to anyone who’s lost a loved one or had to suffer because the road came to collect.
I prayed and sat with my fear yesterday. Just so grateful it wasn’t worse than it could’ve been. Don’t take life for granted you never know what tomorrow holds for you. Last show tonight in Dalhalla!”
Friday night’s show (August 25th) at the Dalhalla Brinner festival marks the last date on Killswitch Engage’s summer European tour. After that, the band will play the Alaska State Fair on September 1st and the Mexico Metal Fest in November.
See Jesse Leach’s Instagram post below.