Howard Jones Leaves Killswitch Engage - Tommy Vext Talks About the New Vacancy

Killswitch Engage vocalist, Howard Jones, has officially separated from the band he has spent the last 9 years performing with. If ever there were an amicable division, this is it. There is still a bond between the remaining band members and Jones. The band posted on their website on January 4th:

“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. Sincerely, Adam, Joel, Mike & Justin.”

While it is never easy for fans to see changes within their favorite bands, it is important for us to remember that whatever we may be feeling about this split, the band must be feeling much more.In times like these we should continue to show support and respect the privacy of the band which is embarking on the new challenging of replacing a very visible fixture in their group.

As to who will be replacing Howard Jones in Killswitch Engage, that is still to be determined. Early on there were rumors of Phil Labonte from All That Remains jumping ship, but those rumors have since been squashed. The most current information shows a fan push for Tommy Vext, who I think would be a beautiful fit. Regardless of who they chose to fill Howard’s place, the search is sure to be fast and furious, as there are tour dates booked as soon as April of this year.

Tommy VextI had the pleasure of speaking with Tommy Vext today and touched base about his possible involvement with KSE in the future as well as other projects he is currently working on. See the interview below:

Sam: If the opportunity was given for you to join Killswitch Engage, would you take it? Why or why not?

Tommy: Well this is a very tough question to answer. Over the past 5 months I've been writing and recording a new "VEXT" album with Andrew Jacobs & Bill Fore from Mutiny Within As well as Guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi. 

We have some label interest already and haven't even begun to shop the material. 

On the other hand as a fan & former tour mate of Killswitch I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be honored to be a part of anything with ANY of those guys musically.  

VEXT was actually looking to hire Adam D. to mix 5 songs for us and Wednesday morning he unfortunately was "forced to decline". Then we all read the news of Howard's departure.

Sam: Are you working on any current projects that would keep you from being able to commit to a new opportunity like this and if so, would you be willing to change your immediate plans?

Tommy: My decision to sing for KSE would be incumbent upon a unanimous band decision from not only my own band members but obviously the KSE guys.

I've spoke with Vaughn Lewis at Strong Management (KSE's manager) today concerning auditions but that is all I can say for now.

Andrew, Bill, Angel & I have all  discussed these matters and In the meantime We are continuing to record & rehearse as planned.  If the opportunity presents itself We will have to face that when it happens.         

Sam: I saw you perform with In This Moment in 2011 as a part of the Music as a Weapon tour.  What else have you been up to and what do you have planned so far for 2012?

Tommy: That was truly an amazing tour. It gave Me a chance to learn so much from ITM, SevenDust, Korn and especially Disturbed.

I've known David Draiman since I was in Divine Heresy and he's always been a great guy but on that tour I really got to see all the sides of him. I learned from him what it takes to be a REAL Professional Rock Star. He currently has a big hand in helping cultivate VEXT, which is all I've had considered  for 2012 until yesterday.

David and I spoke at length last night about the KSE situation. He really thinks I would be perfect for it, endorses me and has encouraged me to pursue it. Which for me is a huge deal to hear.

Sam: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me.  I briefly met you in Mankato, Minnesota last year and you were so kind and gracious then as well.  I hope that all is well with you and to hear much more of your music in 2012. 

Tommy: Thank you Sam it was my pleasure, in addition I would like to express my truest & sincerest appreciation for all the fans, facebook friends, twitter followers etc. for there encouragement and continued support. 

One way or another you will be hearing new material from me in 2012.

For updates on all things VEXT check out www.twitter.com/TVEXT

I sincerely appreciate the time Mr. Vext took to speak with me today.  In addition I wish luck and good vibes to Killswitch Engage in their search for a new front man and Tommy Vext in pursuit of his continues success.

By Sam Dei Lune