Interview with Jesse Ketive of Emmure


Music Notes Reviews’ Caitlin Walsh had to chance to sit down and speak with Jesse Ketive, guitarist for Emmure, before their show in Poughkeepsie NY on Wednesday. Check out what he had to say about the Stronger Than Faith Tour, musical influences, and adventures in Europe.

How is the tour going? I know you guys lost Frankie from him tearing his vocal chords. Do you think that has effected the tour at all?
I mean fortunately in the best ways it hasn’t I mean in the worst ways it has because we don’t have Frankie up there with us. So it’s weird every single time. Ya know? We play a few less songs but I mean overall… the fans are so supportive so we’re up there still trying to make it happen. And look we’ve been here a bunch and then we will come back again so that’s kinda cool they are really stoked about it. I guess it affected it positively because the fans are positive about it they aren’t “boooo” up there without him.


How are the fans reacting to Frankie not being there?
They are defiantly perceiving it well, which is good which is cool.


How did you get into music?
I guess I was always into music. I always grew up listening to music from different bands. My mom got me into Gun’s and Roses, and all types of 80’s metal when I was real real young, and she took me to concerts. I just always played the guitar since I really really young so I guess where it spawned from. Just jamming with friends.


How did you find Emmure?
Long story short I grew up with Frank. I’ve known him since middle school. So he linked up with Emmure online like before MySpace like on a messaging board. He was taking trains up there back and forth. And I was hearing what he was doing. Then throughout the stuff I was doing in my life while he was doing that it all lined up so I guess I’ll join. I’d like to join a band now and try to make it happen again. That was it. And we really busted our humps and made it happen.


You said Guns and Roses you started listening to them and going to concerts. Were they one of your influences for getting into music or were their others as well?
In the beginning it was one of the bands but metallic, then Pantera, Nirvana. So I would say the old Pantera things. They had a few home videos. You saw the whole behind the scenes and that was the most amazing thing. Then the concert and it felt like you know them. And now-a-days it tough because the mystique is gone because its so easy to see all of that. People will ask what the set list is for tonight so I’m going to keep it mystique because you literally go online and it’s brutal.


Is there anyone you do a collab with? Rock, country passed away?
I mean I will always say the Deftones. That would be pretty cool to do a song with them. One of my favorite bands. To collab with one of the guys in Musuga. Wow, dead or alive that’s tough. There’s so many to choose. Damn, maybe a collab with Biggie Smalls would be sick no one would have done that yet.


What’s your favorite song to play live?
I really like playing “Children of Cybertron.” We use to open with it. It opens one of our CDs so it was a cool way to open the set. Now we like tucked it all the way at the end of our set to have people kinda “asking when are they going to play it then bang all of a sudden we hit it and its just fun. Had quite a few drinks by then so we’re goin’. It’s a lot of fun playing “Children of Cybertron.”


How did you come up with the set list for the tour?
I guess it’s more of a Mark Davis and Frank kinda thing. Him and frank will go back and forth. And make decisions on stuff. We get together on the computer and fix the tracks and all the stuff to make it cohesive so it’s a full set. Just press play on an iPod and gives you samples, effects, and a metronome for our drummer so we play tight every night things like that. Its just the two of them really. Then sometimes one of us will be like “eehhh ya know I don’t really like that song.” But it’s pretty easy. It’s the same thing. Once in awhile put a song in or out.


Where is your favorite place to perform?
I think my favorite place to perform was … right now it’s all over Europe. ‘Cause we are doing really well there fortunately. A lot of friends over there. The food is good. The weed is good. Just a lot of good situations over there, so I like going and playing in Europe. I had a lot of fun when we were over in Asia and doing Bangkok. Small shows 200 – 300 kids but there were people waiting for us at the airport, people waiting for us at the hotel. Like I was saying earlier in the Pantera videos got people, 2,000 people shaking trying to get into their hotel like wow what it was.


Did you have crazy groupies in Asia?
Ya know it’s a funny thing you say that umm I missed out on all of that I broke my toe and didn’t get to go to Japan. They had some sort of massage thing I missed out on but I heard about the whole thing. Its more or less like you have to get out of the van so fast and get in the venue. You are moving so much its really no time to hang out like that I guess you could say. You would be surprised of how much of a grind grind go. 5 in the morning go to the airport, land, do sound check, quickly eat, eat quickly, people are coming in, gotta start the show, alright to the hotel nobody could go. Even if you wanted people to go so more of a grind than a party believe it or not.


Is it better in the States?
Yeah I mean there’s a lot more time. You can drive three hours to the next show. You don’t have to take a 5 hour flight that’s 1,000/1,200 miles away. So there’s more time. Then you go crazy which I was (talking about earlier) Hurry up and wait, which is what we do. Hurry up hurry up rush to get to the next venue, to wait. To hurry up and load in, do it fast and don’t be late. To wait to hurry to play the show don’t be late to get off the stage. To wait. It’s fun the way I feel it goes.


How do you kill time on the tour bus?
There’s gaming, there’s smoking. We got the computer. We do a lot of writing. We will write anything. We’ll write funny stuff, we’ll write super fast death metal things, we’ll write Emmure riffs. We’ll do all types of thing just to keep busy. Some of us workout and go to the gym. That’s really it keep in touch with our loved ones, dogs, cats.


Any plans for the summer?
No I don’t think we are doing anything in the States. I think what we are doing were gonna go to Europe in May and then be home June and July and then in August we have more festivals. Sometimes when that happens its brutal but sometimes its cool. But hopefully the way it pans out. We had a real successful headliner at the end of last year and this tour is going very well for us in support and then we can get something in the fall really juicy I guess because we aren’t going back out in the summer bidding our names bidding our names so umm that’s being said for so many bands to stay relevant and not over tour. And that line is so fine. So hopefully we can give that a shot. And hang out at home during the summer. Stay out in Europe and get the United States jealous like “come on” then announce something for the fall..anything will be cool.


Anything you would like to say to your fans of Emmure?
I guess like every interview I just thank the fans because we would be here without them. For people ages 7 and 8 all the way up to 70 and 80 I met a lot of wild people, I met a lot of cool people so I guess thank you fans. As long as you guys like what we are doing we will try not to write the same record over and over again but change to much so we try to keep everyone a little happy. Thank you

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