Former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Howard Jones recently spoke to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine about his split with the band and his brand new project.
"Finding out you're diabetic is pretty dramatic," Jones said of his surprise diagnosis last year, following dizzy spells and blackouts that led him to wake up in a hospital bed. "I just started feeling weird, and then I started getting really clumsy. I fell down some stairs and broke a finger, then fell down some other stairs and broke a toe. Then I collapsed. I was in a coma for three days. They basically told me I had the highest sugar level they'd ever seen. Afterwards, they told me I had a 50/50 chance of coming out with brain damage."
He also gave the magazine a glimpse into his brand new band, featuring Francesco Artusato, celebrated solo artist and guitarist with ALL SHALL PERISH and THE FRANCESCO ARTUSATO PROJECT; and John Sankey, drummer for the Australian band DEVOLVED, who has also worked with FEAR FACTORY and DIVINE HERESY.
"It's fun to branch out and do some different stuff," he said. "I got to write a little more deep and a little more dark. It's been fascinating so far."
Jones was among the musicians who performed at the launch event for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on February 18 at GameStop at Universal CityWalk in Universal City, California.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE was rejoined by singer Jesse Leach early last year following the departure of Jones after nine years and three successful albums.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE bassist Mike D'Antonio told BostonGlobe.com that the band's split with Jones was necessitated by the singer's struggle with personal issues, including diabetes that had gone untreated for several years. "It became very apparent we had to move on without him," D'Antonio said. "Howard didn't quit."
In a statement regarding his departure from the group, Jones wrote in part, "I've had a pretty interesting couple of years, to say the least, battling with some personal issues. One of the low points being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes that went unchecked for years. The rest of the band stuck with me through it, and, to be honest, they are the ones that kept me going. The whole experience definitely put a scare in me."
He continued, "Recently we've all been in writing mode, but somehow I couldn't get excited about the new album and all the touring that would go with it. The guys saw it before I did. In hindsight, I now realize that my heart wasn't in it."
Jones thanked the rest of the band for "an amazing decade," adding, "I have so many good memories, and those are the ones that I will keep."