Former Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Jones has revealed he came close to shooting himself dead before his departure from the band.
And he’s recalled how he ran out on the band just as they started work on 2013 album Disarm The Descent, which saw the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach.
Jones – who’s now fronting his own outfit Devil You Know – began losing control of his situation as a result of depression, which he’s fought since childhood.
He tells The Jasta Show: “The blessing of luck to get known and have success, I’ll always be grateful for it. But it became an absolute burden for me.
“I remember being a teenager, walking down the street, and there would be people walking towards me and I’d cross the street just to avoid them. As a teenager I did that – so you can imagine how it became once there’s people yelling my name and everything.”
Jones recalls how his attempts to hide from the attention led him to realise: “Man, I can’t handle this.” He adds: “Just alone, your mind goes crazy. I remember still living at my old apartment. Someone knew what I was doing and called the police because I almost blew my head off.
“I pulled out my .44. I loaded it. I was done. If they hadn’t knocked on the door I was gone. The cops broke down my door and stopped me. Needless to say, I ended up spending a little time in one of the fabled mental institutions.”
Things came to a head with KSE when the band gathered to start work on what would be Disarm The Descent. Jones says: “We got together and we’re like, ‘We’ll just meet up for the next week or two, at the same time every day.’ It was like, ‘Alright, see everybody tomorrow.’
“I just never came back. I drove away and I didn’t call, I didn’t return, nothing.”
That resulted in a conversation with his colleagues two weeks later, when they suggested that they should move on without him. “They were like, ‘Dude, you hate this,’” the vocalist reports. “I was like, ‘It’s not that I hate it,’ but they were like, ‘You hate this.’”
He finally admitted: “Yeah, I do. I can’t stand this right now. I wake up and something I always loved doing, I hate it. I was like, ‘You’re right, I can’t do this.’”
KSE are currently working on the follow-up to Disarm The Descent, with Leach having said the band have taken “a little liberty” in their approach to songwriting. Jones and Devil You Know aim to release their second album via Nuclear Blast this year.