Killswitch Engage Keeping Phil Labonte as Frontman for Remainder of Tour
Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Jones will not be returning to duty anytime soon. That, according to a press release issued this week by the Massachusetts metal outfit's record label, means All That Remains' vocalist Phil Labonte will be staying on as Killswitch's fill-in frontman for the remainder of their current tour with Dark Tranquility and the Devil Wears Prada. Labonte was called on by the band to take over for Jones on Feb. 9, when Labonte performed with KsE in Orlando, Fla.
"Last week, it was announced that Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones had to unexpectedly leave the band's current headlining tour, leading to a flurry of rumors and questions about the status of the tour and the band," the statement from the label says; some rumors suggest Jones is suffering from back pain. The band has further issued the following statement addressing the matter, saying, "It became overwhelmingly obvious to all of us around Howard that he is in no condition to be on tour right now and that he needed to get off the road and get himself better. It's a personal matter and while we understand everyone's curiosity and concern for Howard and the band, we appreciate everyone respecting Howard's privacy at this time."
The band nearly called the tour off, because, according to them, "we don't want to give fans that paid good money anything less than KsE at full-strength. But after trying a few shows with Phil, and after feeling the love and support that we were getting from the crowd, it became increasingly apparent to us that the shows came across as fun and unique, and the fans seemed to be enjoying it. We quickly realized that we had to keep going and that we couldn't possibly stop."
Still, the band has offered refunds to fans who don't want to see Killswitch with Shadows Fall's original drummer. The band thanks its fans for their unrelenting support during what has been a tough time for them. "We really do feel that our fans are the best fans in the world," Killswitch says in their statement, adding "We can't thank Phil enough for helping us out when we needed it the most."
Killswitch Engage's tour continues through March 21 in Wallingford, Conn.