July 4, 2002

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have replaced singer Jesse Leach with ex-BLOOD HAD BEEN SHED frontman Howard Jones, according to bassist Mike D'Antonio, who broke his silence on the situation in an interview with Australia's Metalshop.

"[Jesse] strained his voice and he did it touring, and he has done it previously," Mike responded to a question about the rumors that Leach's departure was caused by him straining his vocal cords. "He had sought out vocal coaches to kinda rectify the situation, but what it meant for him was no more drinking, no more smoking, no more hanging out in clubs, because he was allergic to smoke.

"Basically, his life on tour consisted of staying in the van the whole time which kind of drove him stir crazy," Mike continued. "Towards the end of the tour he was bugging out because he couldn't deal with being in the van. And he had just gotten married, and his wife was missing him, and he was missing his wife, and there were complications with his home life, and all these other things. We received an email stating that he had quit the band and that was pretty much it. After three years of hanging out with the dude, and considering him a brother, to just get an email was a little bit harsh. So immediately we just started trying out new singers, and we found a guy named Howard Jones from a band called BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED, and he's an exceptional vocalist. Really psyched to be touring, really excited about the whole thing. He has a great attitude about everything.

"[Having Howard in the band is going to make the group] even better [than it was before]. He can hit any range, and he has a voice like I've never heard. He just completely blew us away. We had about 10-12 different people trying out, and no one was really cutting it. We had a couple of people come back for a second try, and then I got the call about Howard wanting to try out. I knew about Howard from previous bands, and I always considered him one of the best singers I had ever heard in my entire life, and for him to want to do it, I almost shit my pants. I really just couldn't believe it. I got off the phone, and said, 'That's him! That's the guy!'"

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