Musicianstop magazine's Sarah Joel recently conducted an interview with guitarist Joel Stroetzel of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Watch the chat below.Last month, it was announced that KILLSWITCH ENGAGE vocalist Howard Jones had to unexpectedly leave the band's current headlining tour, leading to a flurry of rumors and questions about the status of the tour and the band. The band has further issued the following statement addressing the matter, saying, "It became overwhelmingly obvious to all of us around Howard that he is in no condition to be on tour right now and that he needed to get off the road and get himself better. It's a personal matter and while we understand everyone's curiosity and concern for Howard and the band, we appreciate everyone respecting Howard's privacy at this time." Longtime friend Phil Labonte of ALL THAT REMAINS was able to fill in and help out the band for a few shows and he will now be filling in for the remainder of the tour, which runs through March 21. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE endured and survived a similar situation in the past, where guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was forced to sit out a tour due to a back injury. The band said, "We seriously considered cancelling the tour since we don't want to give fans that paid good money anything less than KILLSWITCH ENGAGE at full strength. But after trying a few shows with Phil, and after feeling the love and support that we were getting from the crowd, it became increasingly apparent to us that the shows came across as fun and unique, and the fans seemed to be enjoying it. We quickly realized that we had to keep going and that we couldn't possibly stop." Refunds are available for any fans that have already purchased tickets, but as the band said, this tour will offer a chance to experience KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in a unique way that you won't be able to witness again. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE would like to thank all fans who came out to support them during this difficult stretch, exclaiming, "We really do feel that our fans are the best fans in the world." The band also thanked Labonte for pitching in, saying, "We can't thank Phil enough for helping us out when we needed it the most."
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