"I really didn't think I was going to be doing music again…" - ex-Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Jones opens up
When Killswitch Engage parted ways with Howard Jones in late 2012, it came as a shock to the band's legions of fans. Jones, who himself had been forced to step into the breach when Killswitch's founding singer Jesse Leach quit unexpectedly after the band's debut album, had been struggling with personal problems and health issues, but his departure still came as quite the shock.
Now, with Leach back in the fold as Killswitch frontman, Jones is moving on with his life and is back with a new project, DEVIL YOU KNOW, which sees him team up with Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish) and John Sankey (Devolved, Fear Factory).
The band's debut album is out on Monday and we called him up to find out all about it…
Your first album with your new band DEVIL YOU KNOW is out on Monday, how are you feeling ahead of release?
"I'm really looking forward to this, I really didn't think I was going to be doing music again, but here I am."
What changed your mind?
"Once I got the demos from Fran and John, I thought 'Yeah, maybe this will just be a studio thing' and then things snowballed and took a life of its own."
Can you talk through how the project came together?
"Probably a year and a half ago, that's when the first demos came my way. They came to me with the demos, they were heavy and they told me they wanted to do something different. It was outline of what it is now, it was really catchy and I wanted to help."
What was the writing process like?
"They were constantly sending me songs, they wrote about 35 songs and kept sending them to me. I had to email them and say 'Stop writing, I think we've got enough'. We then narrowed down what we had and went from there."
What kind of album is it lyrically?
"It's a blueprint of the last five years of my life. It's the most personal stuff I've ever written, you want to know how I am? Read the lyrics."
How did writing with Devil You Know compare to writing with Killswitch Engage?
"It was similar and different. A little more collaboration, Killswitch's writing style is 'Hey Adam (Dutkiewicz, Killswitch Engage's guitarist and songwriter), do everything'. I was a bit more involved, it was a lot more fun this way, I should have done this a long time ago."
You worked with former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader on the album, what kind of producer was he?
"He was great. He helped shape the album, gave it a real good feel, I had a blast with him, plus when we were finished, we went fishing, it was awesome."
Does this feel like starting over?
"It does. We're building from the roots up, it's excited, I'm enjoying it all. We're going out with other bands and we've got to win people over again, I'm stoked for the rest of the year."
Devil You Know's debut album The Beauty of Destruction will be released on Monday in hmv stores and in our download store.