Jesse Leach calls for end to 'racial' Howard Jones comparisons

Jesse Leach says he hates seeing older fans refer to Killswitch Engage’s former frontman Howard Jones as “the black guy” when comparing the two singers.

While he admits he is no longer upset by comparisons between the two, he says that he often sees older fans “make it a race thing” in online discussions.

He tells TeamRock Radio presenter Pete Bailey’s The Playlist podcast: “There will always be comparisons. I’m not upset by it anymore and I understand it.

“Howard is a hell of vocalist and he’s a force to be reckoned with on the mic. But older fans refer to him as the black guy online. I hate seeing that. If you’re going to talk about him, at least say his name. I see that more often than I’d like to admit.

“I’m considered the white guy too. It almost becomes a race thing, which is terrible. But I think for the most part we’re getting past it. People need to go to listen to Devil You Know and support Howard.”

Leach previously admitted he initially turned down the chance to rejoin Killswitch Engage because he worried he’d ‘feel like a fraud’ singing Jones’ tracks.”

The band recently shared a video of their New York mini-tour to promote their latest album, Incarnate. They’re currently touring North America with Memphis May Fire and 37 Crazyfists.

Meanwhile, Devil You Know are setting off on their first headline tour of North America next month.

Killswitch Engage tour dates 2016

Mar 18: Dallas House of Blues, TX
Mar 19: Kansas City Uptown Theater, MO
Mar 21: Nashville Marathon Music Works, TN
Mar 23: Indianapolis Egyptian Room @ Old National Centre, IN
Mar 24: Clive 7 Flags, IA
Mar 25: Minneapolis Skyway Theatre, MN
Mar 26: Milwaukee The Rave, WI
Mar 28: Lincoln Bourbon Theatre, NE
Mar 30: Salt Lake City The Complex, UT
Apr 01: Seattle Showbox SODO, WA
Apr 02: Spokane Knitting Factory Concert House, WA
Apr 03: Vancouver Vogue Theatre, BC
Apr 04: Portland Roseland Theater, OR
Apr 06: Boise Knitting Factory Concert House, ID
Apr 07: Sacramento Ace of Spades, CA
Apr 08: Pomona Fox Theater Pomona, CA
Apr 09: Tempe The Marquee, AZ
Apr 11: Oklahoma City Diamond Ballroom, OK
Apr 12: Sauget Pop’s Nightclub, IL
Apr 14: Cleveland House Of Blues, OH
Apr 15: Binghamton Magic City Music Hall, NY
Apr 17: Buffalo Town Ballroom, NY
Apr 19: London Music Hall, ON
Apr 20: Grand Rapids The Intersection, MI
Apr 21: Cincinnati Bogart’s, OH
Apr 22: Asheville The Orange Peel, NC
Apr 24: Ladson Exchange Park WYBB Rockfest, SC
Jun 03: Mendig Rock Am Ring, Germany
Jun 07: Hamburg Docks, Germany

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.