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HOWARD JONES Discusses Near-Suicide Attempt, Battle With Depression And Anxiety

Former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Howard Jones has revealed that he came close to committing suicide three years before he was fired from the band.

Jones — who is now fronting a new outfit called DEVIL YOU KNOW— had a difficult time accepting his newfound fame as a member of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE due to depression and anxiety disorders that he has battled since he was a child.

“It came to the point where I was, like, ‘I don’t know how much more of this I can take,'” Howard said during an appearance on on the latest installment of HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta‘s official podcast, “The Jasta Show“.

“It just became overwhelming for me. And I’ve had anxiety and depression since I was a young teenager, and being a singer and doing what I do did not help. And then, actually, having the blessing and luck to get known and actually have success doing it, I mean, I’ll always be grateful for it. But, yeah, it became just an absolute burden for me.”

According to Jones, his anxiety was so severe during his teenage years that “I would be walking down the street, and there would be people walking towards me, and I would walk across the street just to avoid them. As a teenager I did that. And, so, you can imagine how it became once there was people yelling my name and everything. I couldn’t go to grocery stores, I couldn’t go to the mall. I would get stared in movie theaters. And most of the time, they made it known that they knew who I was.”

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE‘s rise to fame in the first few years after Jones joined the band only triggered and fueled his anxiety disorder. He explained: “It went from, like, ‘Wow, this has turned into something.’ And then, it went from being an underground thing that… it was a small community, it was the thing that we shared together, [and then] it went to, like, this big public thing. And, so, yeah, then after a while, it just got to the point where I was, like, ‘Man, I can’t handle this.’ So [when you’re sitting there] just alone, your mind just goes crazy. I mean, at least it did for me. And there’s some people that have handled it a lot better than I did. Me, I did not handle it well.”

Jones recalled one particularly bad episode that occurred in 2009 while he was still a member of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. “I remember… [I was] still living in my old, old apartment [in Connecticut] and just… I don’t even know if I’ve ever actually really talked about this. Yeah, someone knew what I doing and called the police, ’cause 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 came and broke down my door and stopped me. So, needless to say, I ended up spending a little bit of time in one of the fabled mental institutions. I’ve never publicly talked about that.”

Howard also spoke about the circumstances that led to his exit from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE just as the band was preparing to begin work on the CD that became 2013’s “Disarm The Descent“.

“Basically, we got together, started going over ideas for the next album,” he said. “We got together at Adam‘s [Dutkiewicz, guitar] place, and everyone was, like, ‘Yeah, I wrote this stuff, wrote this stuff. I’m going through stuff.’ And then started going through, just like, all the old music and everything. And I’m, like, ‘We’ll just meet up for the next week or two. We’ll just meet up at the same time every day.’ It was, like, ‘Cool. See everybody tomorrow.’ I just never came back. Actually, I drove away and just… I didn’t call. I didn’t return. Nothing. And I spoke to ’em, like, maybe two weeks later — something like that — and they were, like, ‘So, yeah. So we figure we’re just gonna move on without you.’ And I was, like, ‘I’ll still do it. I’m just… I’m just having a hard time with this.’ And they were, like, ‘Dude, you hate this.’ I was, like, ‘It’s not that I hate it.’ And they were, like, ‘You hate this.’ [And I was, like] ‘Yeah, I do. I can’t stand this right now. This is just the worst thing in the world.’ Like, I’d wake up and it’s just… It’s, like, something that I’ve always loved doing, I hated. And I was, like, ‘You’re right. I can’t do this.’ And, yeah, that was it.”

DEVIL YOU KNOW is currently recording its sophomore album with renowned producer Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD, ALL THAT REMAINS, KILLER BE KILLED) for a late 2015 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

(via Blabbermouth)


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