4/7/02: The following quotes are taken from an interview with Mike D’Antonio, and you will be able to read the interview in full here over the coming days. There has been a lot of speculation as to the departure of vocalist Jesse Leach. What appears to be the most logical story, is that he has strained his vocal chords, as many singers of this caliber do, and needs to take some time off to allow them to heal, and receive some coaching in order to stop this from happening in the future. Is this the case, or is there more to the story? í¢äåñNo, it’s not the case,í¢äå says the bass player initially. í¢äåñWell it’s half the case. He strained his voice and he did it touring, and he has done it previously. 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,í¢äå he continues. í¢äåñTowards 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.í¢äå So in other words, Killswitch Engage fans have nothing to be concerned about. It’s business as usual. í¢äåñIt’s gonna be even better,í¢äå Mike replies. í¢äåñHe 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!í¢äå And there you have it, straight from the ‘orses mouth. 18/6/02: If this sounds a bit proper, that’s because it is…the following is an official press release regarding Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach and the band’s upcoming U.S. tour with Kittie. Due to personal issues and vocal strain, Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach has announced that he is taking a break from the band’s current tour featuring Kittie, Poison the Well and Shadows Fall. The band is in the midst of vocal rehearsals in order to carry on the tour without Leach, but anticipate his return in the future. In regards to the tour, Leach issued the following statement: “Due to personal circumstances out of my control, I will not be able to hit the road with Killswitch Engage on our upcoming tour run. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to Roadrunner Records, and more importantly, to our fans. We are currently training another vocalist to do the tour and to carry the torch until I am well. My apologies to everyone, but I have to do what needs to be done.” Killswitch Engage’s Roadrunner Records debut Alive or Just Breathing was released on May 20th, sporting a #1 single, “My Last Serenade,” at US metal radio. The band recently finished up a series of tour dates with Soilwork in support of the album and will kick off the Kittie US tour on July 9th in Sauget, IL. From The Mouth Of Mike: Grabbed a few words with Mike D’Antonio early this evening, and here’s what he had to say on all the internet rumours: “Tell everyone to sit tight… things will work themselves out, the band is as commited as ever… we have tried some peeps out, we are still getting people to come down.” Anything else you wanna add? “We cant wait to get to the UK!” 17/6/02: Picked up Kerrang! lately? Make sure you check out the 8th June issue if you haven’t already… it has a rather nice 3 page feature on Killswitch Engage. 11/6/02: http://www.lambgoat.com/ Check it out… a nice feature interview with the band.