KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Bassist: Singer HOWARD JONES 'Didn't Quit'

Bassist Mike D'Antonio of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE told BostonGlobe.com that the band's split with Howard Jones was necessitated by the singer's struggle with personal issues, including diabetes that had gone untreated for several years. "It became very apparent we had to move on without him," D'Antonio said. "Howard didn't quit."

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE earlier in the year announced the return of Jesse Leach, who sang on the band's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut "Alive Or Just Breathing". Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Jones, but his work on "Alive Or Just Breathing" has always been revered by diehard, longtime KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans.

"We heard Jesse was coming back in the band even before he said he wanted to be back in. He did eventually contact us, and said he was excited to come back," D'Antonio told BostonGlobe.com. "But there was this little management voice in the back of our heads saying, 'Make sure you make the right call on this.'"

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is hard at work on material for the follow-up to 2009's second self-titled album. The new effort is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2013 via Roadrunner Records. Basic tracks for around 16 songs have been laid down, and vocal ideas for two songs have been recorded, with one of them, "No End In Sight", having recently leaked online.

"I didn't write much for KILLSWITCH [in the last couple of years] because I didn't know what was going to happen with the band," D'Antonio said. "But I did write with my old OVERCAST bandmate (current SHADOWS FALL singer Brian Fair) in our side band DEATH RAY VISION. That got me back to my roots of playing really aggressive music, and that aggression bled all over the stuff I started writing for KILLSWITCH."

"No End In Sight" audio stream:

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