Band part with singer Howard after nine years but won’t discuss reasons as speculation increases former frontman Leach will rejoin

Split: Jones, centre, joined Killswitch after Leach left

Killswitch Engage have split with singer Howard Jones after nine years – but they won’t discuss the reasons behind the move.

It’s led to speculation former frontman Jesse Leach, who last year release an album with Killswitch guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, could return to the position he left in 2002.

In a brief statement the metalcore band say: “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 number one going forward. 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.”

Leach left the band without explaining his reasons to his bandmates after suffering from depression and becoming disillusioned with music. He explained later: “I didn’t have the mental energy to face them, or even call them on the phone. I wrote them a long email explaining, ‘I’m just done. Done with music, period.’”

He formed blues-rock outfit Seemless the following year and later fronted The Empire Shall Fall. He reunited with Killswitch for a guest duet with Jones in 2005. In 2009 he and Dutkiewicz formed Times of Grace and released an acclaimed album the following year – although many reviewers described it as a variant of Killswitch’s sound.

Jones fronted Blood Has Been Shed before replacing Leach. He appeared on three albums between 2004 and 2009. Neither frontmen have commented, but Phil Labonte of All That Remains, who stood in for Jones while he was sidelined for personal reasons in 2010, has said: “No, I’m not going to be singing for KSE.”

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