Ibanez: How did Emmure get started?
Jesse: I knew Frank for a while. I didn't know the rest of the guys. They were from Connecticut. They were looking for a singer on this internet site, and Frank decided to go for it. They jammed for about 8 or 9 months and cut a demo. I heard it, and I thought it was alright. So I decided to go hang out with the guys in Connecticut. I got drunk with them and was like, "Yeah, I'd love to jam with you guys!" [laughs]. I showed them some of the stuff I had. I had my original 7-string, which I bought in 1998. I had it tuned down to F, and I was doing all sorts of wacky stuff. So we started jamming, and I learned a bunch of their songs. Then, we started breaking those songs apart and re-writing some of them and throwing others out. That was the first couple of demos, and that's basically how it got started.
Ibanez: You were in a band called Warfix before Emmure. How is playing in Emmure different?
Jesse: That's funny that you say that, because I'm actually hanging out with two of my friends that were in that band right now. Those are my dudes that I hang out with when I'm home. Basically, it was just for fun. People would come to see us at this venue called Voodoo Lounge in Queens, New York. It was exciting, and we'd get like 100-110 kids in there. The booking guy was super happy and kept putting us on shows. We oversaturated it. We played probably 25 times in 10 months at this place [laughs]. It was fun. I was young and getting into just a little bit of trouble, not much. I'm older than all of them. I'm 25 years old now. Then, I was about 16 and they were all 13-14 and playing guitar, bass, drums, and singing. We just jammed for a few months and did some shows, but that's about it.
Ibanez: What was the recording process like for the new album, The Respect Issue?
Jesse: It was the same this time as it was the first time, because we recorded with Zeus. Sometimes it gets a little tedious, because we'd record all the guitars and then go back and do melodies and little things like that. It was fun though, and Zeus is a great guy. He makes quality recordings, and he hooked us up. We stayed there at the studio in a house that's literally 30 feet away from the studio. Yeah, so it was exciting. The first time it was REALLY exciting. This time it was like, "Okay, let's do this again." It was good though.
Ibanez: When did you start playing Ibanez guitars?
Jesse: I got a black RG with a maple neck, I think it was an RG270DX or something, when I was really young. It was probably like 1995 or 1996. Then, I got into Korn right after that, Korn and Fear Factory. So then I had to have a 7-string. I wanted one for a while, and in 1998 I finally got one. It was the pewter one, and I stripped it down and painted it all white. That was my main guitar, and I used it in Warfix and Emmure for a while.
Ibanez: You tune your 7-string kind of differently, too. What was the reasoning behind that?
Jesse: Ben had a 6-string, and he wanted to strike chords easier. He also wanted to hit that dissonate chord on the high strings. It's a lot easier to hit those and play them in different spots with this tuning. It's a little more fun, and we can move around a little more without worrying where our fingers are. I agree, it's kind of weird. I had another Ibanez 6-string that I used in Emmure, and it was strung all weird and tuned like that. I couldn't handle it.
Ibanez: What have you guys got coming up next?
Jesse: This next tour is a headlining tour with A Life Once Lost and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. After that, we're taking a few weeks off in August. We're gonna be doing a few dates with the Thrash and Burn Tour with Darkest Hour. Then, September 3rd – October 3rd we're going to be going out with Suicide Silence and Dillinger Escape Plan. We're really excited for that. We're playing right before Dillinger.
Ibanez: What are you listening to right now?
Jesse: What am I listening to right now? This is going to sound weird. When I was younger, I never really bought CDs. I always just listened to whatever my friends had. I was always hanging out at their houses and listening to music. Now with the iPod, I never owned an iPod. I finally bought one yesterday for the first time. It's really exciting. Anytime there's music on, I listen to it. I've got tons of crap on it. I listen to a lot of Hip-Hop. Lately, I've been listening to this band, For The Fallen Dreams. They're awesome. You should definitely check them out. They have a very similar sound to us and Misery Signals. I've also been listening to Circa Survive, Saosin, Fall Out Boy (I'm not gonna lie, sometimes it comes on and I listen), Meshuggah, and all sorts of other stuff. I try to take everything in as far as influences.