Howard Jones says that "it was cool" to "hang out" with his former bandmates in KILLSWITCH ENGAGE last weekend.
Jones made appearances during KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's two concerts at the O2 Arena in London, England on August 10 and August 11, dueting with current KILLSWITCH frontman Jesse Leach on the group's classic song "The End Of Heartache".
Asked by Antihero Magazine how the onstage reunion happened, Jones said (see video below): "Adam [Dutkiewicz, guitar] hit me up and said, 'Hey, you wanna be my girlfriend for the London shows?' And I said, 'Okay.' That is literally how it happened. So I came, showed up, hugged everybody, Jesse was, like, 'Dude, you remember the lyrics to 'The End Of Heartache'?' I'm, like, 'Hell no!' But I remembered them.
"That's honestly what it was," he continued. "We're family. The band — Jesse, Mike [D'Antonio, bass], Adam, Joel [Stroetzel, guitar], Justin [Foley, drums] — we're family. So it was cool getting to hang out with my boys again. And I just love 'em."
According to Howard, there is no awkwardness between him and Jesse when they hang out. "He's a great guy," Jones said. "Seriously, he's just a nice dude. There's no other way to explain it — he's so nice. But, yeah, it's been great, man. We've got a lot of similarities, so it's just… That guy, it's cool to call him a friend."
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE has just finished touring Europe as the support act for IRON MAIDEN.
Leach appeared on KILLSWITCH's self-titled debut and sophomore album, "Alive Or Just Breathing", before exiting the band. Jones took over on vocals for "The End of Heartache", "As Daylight Dies" and the 2009 self-titled set before being dismissed from the group six years ago.
Jones is currently the frontman of LIGHT THE TORCH, which recently released its debut album, "Revival", after issuing two efforts under its previous name, DEVIL YOU KNOW.
Howard recently recorded a guest appearance on a new KILLSWITCH track, to be included on the band's next album. Leach revealed that he wrote the lyrics to the track several months ago "with Howard in mind and our connection through our similar mental illnesses." He explained: "I mean, now that I've hung with this guy a few times, it's 'crazy' (pun intended) how similar we are. We are brothers in metal, anxiety, hardcore music, love of medicinal marijuana and fighting depression.
"We may be very different-sounding voices, but, in truth, we are similar in many ways in our minds," he added.
Jesse went on to say that the song's lyrics are "about keeping hope in dark times and helping out those in need."
Leach, who has previously blamed his exit from KILLSWITCH in 2002 on his battle with depression, said that he planned "on using this song to help continue to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. Both Howard and I have a very strong outspoken stance on the subject and I will use this to help with the cause," he said.