HOWARD JONES IS OUT OF KILLSWITCH ENGAGE!
According to a post on the band’s Facebook page, Howard Jones is no longer the singer for Killswitch Engage:
To our family, friends and fans: We have decided to continue on without Howard Jones as the singer of Killswitch Engage. We love Howard and are thankful for the nine years that we’ve had him in the band. Out of respect for everyone involved we will not be discussing the specific reasons behind this decision. Howard is a part of our family and always will be, and we wish him well. He has left big shoes to fill, so we certainly have our work cut out for us to find the next singer of Killswitch, something we plan on making priority #1 going forward. Most importantly, thanks to all of you for all the support throughout the years and for sticking by us for all this time. We really do appreciate it and we very much look forward to having a new record for all of you in the not too distant future that we can all be proud of. Sincerely, Adam, Joel, Mike & Justin.
It’s difficult not to speculate that the rumors involving Jones impregnating porn star Allie Foster had at least a small part, if not more, in the events leading up to this decision. The band never did respond to the rumors, but Jones sat out their early 2010 tour while All That Remains’ Phil LaBonte and his rack of AutoTune gadgets filled in. Original KsE singer Jesse Leach did a few gigs with them too which of course led to plenty of rumor-mongering that Jones was out of the band for good, but again, nothing was ever said in any official capacity. Whatever’s going on behind the scenes of KsE and with Jones personally, it certainly doesn’t sound pretty. It’s worth noting that Jones DID play a set of shows with the band in May of 2010 after his hiatus. It’s also worth noting that it’s entirely possible the Allie Foster allegations are either a) completely untrue, and/or, b) had nothing to do with Jones’ eventual split from the band.
All that said, I’m greatly going to miss Howard Jones as the voice of Killswitch. He was a talented singer, an incredibly entertaining frontman, an integral part of the public personality of the band (via his priceless on-stage banter interplay with Adam D.), and he seemed like quite a rad dude to be around from all we’d heard about him and from our own personal experience of interviewing him in the flesh in 2009. It’s hard to imagine anyone who’ll be able to fill his shoes. Cue the tapes for Jesse Leach’s return to the band? He’s plenty busy with Empire Shall Fall and Times of Grace, but he seems to be on good terms with the KsE dudes and I don’t think it’d be a stretch to say he’d be willing to drop everything to return to Killswitch. I’m sure super-tr00 OG KsE fanboys who only like Alive or Just Breathing are already salivating at the possibility. A big gig at 2012’s New England Metal and Hardcore Festival is already on the docket.
Maybe a new vocalist is just what Adam D. and co. need to inspire some kind of artistic growth in their next album; Killswitch have basically been re-jiggering the same formulas and bag of riffs since The End of Heartache (my personal fave KsE album) and the results have felt more and more stagnant each time.
More news as we get it.