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Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach Asks: Do You Prefer Full Albums or EPs?


The “are full albums still worth it?” conversation comes up every couple of years and 2017 is proving no exception, with Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach the latest to question the long-standing practice of recording 10-12 tracks a time and releasing them as one collected work.

In a post to his Instagram account, Leach asks fans whether they’d like to see bands release EPs containing a handful of songs more frequently, or if they prefer to get a whole bunch at once on traditional albums with longer periods between releases. His argument: bands often put out sub-par tracks simply to fill out an album’s running time and the whole exercise feels like a waste, especially because so many of those tracks are never performed live:

“Just curious on your thoughts. It seems like bands putting out full length records is almost a waste of time and creative energy these days. When half of those songs are never payed live and people have much shorter attention spans. What are your thoughts on bands putting out 4-6 song EPs on a more regular basis vs bands putting out a full length record every 2 or so years?”

“Would prefer the point of view of people who actually purchase music here (a vast minority I’m sure) but I’ll take any suggestions and thoughts. I think I am becoming a believer of the power of short and sweet these days. What are your thoughts? I am just over writing songs that never make it into a set and having them fade into obscurity. Also, are there any songs you love by a band that never get played live? Do you think it’s a waste of a song or nah? Discuss….????????”

One argument in favor of full albums has always been the expense and logistics of recording music, but with recording technology today cheaper and more accessible than ever that’s much less of a problem than it used to be. From a promotion standpoint, I can see where more frequent EP releases could pose a problem, though. There is SO MUCH work that goes on behind the scenes to promote a release — management, record label, touring, etc. — and it’d be difficult to rev all that up on the same level if it needed to be done more frequently. My hunch is that promotional efforts for EPs would fall short of those for full albums because it simply isn’t practical to crank it up that high so often. Also, old habits die hard: public perception of an EP is lesser than that of an album, and I reckon labels would act the same way.

On the other hand, Leach has a point! From a fan’s perspective, I’d definitely rather get four or five KILLER NEW JAMS once a year instead of a full album stuffed with some filler every two or three years. Not only would the quality be higher, but the excitement of getting new music so often would be fun, too.

Let us know what you think.


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