Former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Howard Jones has set DEVIL YOU KNOW as the name of his new band, also 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.
In late 2011, after a three-year hiatus from recording, the KILLSWITCH ENGAGE bandmembers — including Howard — got together to discuss what would eventually become the Jones-less “Disarm The Descent” album.
“lt was cool seeing everyone all together again.” Howard told Metal Hammer magazine. “We shared some ideas, and I said. ‘OK, see you guys tomorrow.’ And I just never went back. Eventually, the guys were just, like, ‘Dude, we’re gonna have to move on.’ Because more and more with me, it had just been a struggle. It too me a while, but I realized I just didn’t want to do it anymore. And they said, ‘Listen, it’ll be fine.’ And it was. They put out a great album.”
Early this year, Artusato and Sankey began writing songs together and needed a vocalist to bring them to life.
“I knew the guys, but didn’t really know them,” Howard said. “They got in touch and asked if I wanted to throw down some vocals on this stuff, and I said, ‘OK, let me take a listen to it,’ and I was, like, ‘Hmm, this is interesting. Why not? I didn’t really expect it to even go this far, because, in all honesty, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to do music again. But it seemed right, so I jumped right into it.”
He added: “It’s fun to branch out and do some different stuff. I got to write a little more deep and a little more dark. It’s been fascinating so far.”
DEVIL YOU KNOW is currently writing material for its debut album, which is expected out before the end of the year via an as-yet-undetermined record label.
The first photo of Artusato and Sankey at a Los Angeles studio rehearsing for the upcoming CD can be seen below.
As for the band’s future plans, Howard said: “We’re gonna put some clothes in a bag and head out on the road. It’s been fun, so why not?”
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.”
“Finding out you’re diabetic is pretty dramatic,” Jones told Metal Hammer 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.”