A couple of months ago we found out that newly-recorded Killswitch Engage material was going to feature both current vocalist Jesse Leach and former vocalist Howard Jones (now of Light The Torch) on the same track, and then the two recently appeared together on stage to belt out a massive version of 'The End Of Heartache'.
"The cool thing about is Howard sort of made the first move; he wanted to come out to a show we played in Canada. The guys had their own differences to sort out, but between him and I, we've never really been friends. We know each other, we've been part of the same scene, but it was such a different thing this time around. And the fact that I was able to sit with him, one on one, backstage and on the bus, without anyone else around, and just kind of figure out who he is and talk to him. And we totally hit it off within 10, 15 minutes and realised how much we had in common. And thankfully, since then, we text each other once every couple of weeks here and there, we're really good friends, and he sings on the new record and we had him come out and sing with us in London. So we were able to move on from that awkward thing that happens when bands lose a member; we just decided we weren't gonna be that band."
"It's a terrible thing that happens with bands, especially bands that split up and they're legendary and they need to come back together. I could name a few right now off the top of my head I'd love to see reunite. But it's ego. Just put your ego aside; who cares? And the press can definitely twist it up, the fans can twist it up, and you can believe the hype — you can feed into the nonsense. Which happens, and everybody's human; I get it. But I've never had any bad blood, 'cause I didn't really know Howard, so I couldn't really speak on that. So, for me, it was, number one, good to see the band bury the hatchet, move on, and just let time heal the wounds. Why would I hold on to anything if those guys weren't? And the nice surprise out of it is I gained a new friend — somebody that I really enjoy talking to and hanging out with and having in my life. So it's a win-win situation."
Talking about the new song which features both of them, he said:
"His new band being called Light The Torch, the analogy of the song is lighting a signal fire — like a distress call — and I wrote it about coming together and finding unity. It's kind of about our friendship now — it happened so strangely. That's kind of all I'm gonna say about it. It's a song about unity. And he does a verse, I do a verse, we sing the chorus together, and it's a real heavy shit-kicker."
Killswitch Engage's new album was meant to be released this year, but has been pushed back due to some urgent surgery on Jesse Leach's vocal cords. Is 2019 going to be one of the biggest years for metal in recent history? It could certainly be a contender...
Listen to Killswitch Engage now.