Vocalist Jesse Leach, who left Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in 2002, has officially rejoined the band. The news was broken via a splash image on the group's official web site, featuring Leach along with the rest of KILLSWITCH's current lineup — Mike D'Antonio (bass), Adam Dutkiewicz (lead guitar, backing vocals), Joel Stroetzel (rhythm guitar) and Justin Foley (drums).
In a recent interview with Australia's Loud magazine, Leach was asked if he has been approached to rejoin KILLSWITCH ENGAGE following the recent exit of his replacement, Howard Jones. "I'm not going to comment," he responded. "Everyone wants to know… I'd rather those guys go through what they've got to go through and whenever they make that decision… They're good friends of mine, so I'm respecting their space at the moment. It's more fun, more mystery, too; you don't have to know everything. These days everybody is on Facebook and tweeting everything that happens. What's happened to the mystery of music and not knowing everything?"
He added, "My viewpoint is to respectfully step back from the situation and support them. Whatever decision they make will be the right one for them and I look forward to what it is."
Leach spent most of the past year touring with TIMES OF GRACE, his collaborative project with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE members Adam Dutkiewicz (guitar) and Joel Stroeltzel (guitar). That band's debut album, "Hymn Of A Broken Man", came out in January 2011 via Roadrunner Records.
Jones issued a statement regarding his departure from the group, which was announced last month. Jones wrote in part, "I've had a pretty interesting couple of years, to say the least, battling with some personal issues. One of the low points being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes that went unchecked for years. The rest of the band stuck with me through it, and, to be honest, they are the ones that kept me going. The whole experience definitely put a scare in me."
He continued, "Recently we've all been in writing mode, but somehow I couldn't get excited about the new album and all the touring that would go with it. The guys saw it before I did. In hindsight, I now realize that my heart wasn't in it."
Jones thanked the rest of the band for "an amazing decade," adding, "I have so many good memories, and those are the ones that I will keep."
The band said in its statement, "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."
The 41-year-old Jones joined KILLSWITCH in 2002. He sang on the band's last three studio efforts, including 2009's self-titled set.