Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have released the following statement:
"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."
Jones, 41, replaced original KILLSWITCHE ENGAGE singer Jesse Leach in 2002, after the release of the band's "Alive Or Just Breathing" album. He also handled lead vocals in the band BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED, with whom he released three studio albums.
Jones sat out KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's North American headlining tour in early 2010, leading to a flurry of rumors and questions about the status of the band. The group subsequently issued a 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 the remainder of the tour.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is continuing to write and demo material for the follow-up to their 2009 self-titled album. Bassist Mike D'Antonio wrote in a November 2011 online posting, "As of now we have eight demos finished for the new record. Everything is coming together nicely at the moment… My demos are pretty fast. Blast beats, anyone?"
The latest, self-titled album from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE sold 58,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on June 30, 2009 via Roadrunner Records. It was produced by Brendan O'Brien (AC/DC, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) and co-produced by Adam Dutkiewicz.
Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and KILLSWITCH guitarist Joel Stroeltzel spent the last few months touring with TIMES OF GRACE, Adam's collaborative project with former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE vocalist Jesse Leach. That band's debut album, "Hymn Of A Broken Man", came out in January 2011 via Roadrunner Records.
Dutkiewicz last year revealed that he may also be involved in another group, which he described in an interview as "a death metal side project with the drummer from THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and the singer from CANNIBAL CORPSE."
D'Antonio has been busy with his DEATH RAY VISION, his new project with SHADOWS FALL frontman Brian Fair and former OVERCAST/SEEMLESS guitarist Pete Cortese.