Howard Jones Talks Light the Torch, ‘The End of Heartache’ Anniversary + More


Light the Torch – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Howard Jones of Light the Torch and formerly Killswitch Engage checks in with Anne Erickson while on tour with Sevendust and In This Moment

Light the Torch is back with a fresh name, shedding The Devil You Know moniker, plus a dynamite new record, “Revival.” The album, which dropped last year, features Howard Jones’ powerful vocals and more singing than on previous records, giving Jones’ strong voice a chance to shine.

Now, Light the Torch is on the road with Sevendust and In This Moment, playing new songs off “Revival” and more. Jones — who also spent years as the lead vocalist for Killswitch Engage — checked in with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink to discuss “Revival,” the status of new Light the Torch music and the 15th anniversary of Killswitch Engage’s landmark “The End of Heartache” album. Find Light the Torch online here, and subscribe to the Audio Ink podcast to listen to this interview via Apple Podcasts here.

Congrats on your latest album, “Revival.” It’s great how this record seems to have more signing on it than past records from you guys. Was that a conscious thing?

We knew we would do something different. Once we started talking about how we wanted to change things, as The Devil You Know, it was a little heavier, and since we were changing the name and had to remove a member and just switch things up, we figured we would the same with the music. So, we consciously said, “Let’s just write a different sounding album,” and that’s what we did.

How has it felt playing the songs off “Revival” live?

It’s been a lot of fun. The songs mean something to us, so it’s more than just playing songs and enjoying the show. It is work. We love what we do, but we went through a lot to come up with all this material and to finally be back out on the road, so it’s a pleasure to play.

Has there been any talk about your next album yet?

The album has been out over a year, so we are slowly starting to do it. That’s always a long process, so it’s nothing that’s going to happen soon, because we’re still touring, but we’re slowly starting to go through music.

You’re on the road with In This Moment and Sevendust, which is a great bill. Tell me why you are excited to be touring with both bands.

It’s kind of speaks for itself. It’s two established bands that decided to give a bunch of goofballs a chance to come out and make some noise, so we’re having a good time. Everyone’s been super kind, and it’s been a lot of fun.

What should people expect from the shows with In This Moment and Sevendust?

It will be loud. I will sweat a lot. And we’re going to be very happy to be doing what we’re doing, because it took a long time for Light the Torch to manifest and actually be active, so we will leave it all on the stage.

You just played Welcome to Rockville and have Rocklahoma on the way. What’s your favorite thing about performing at summer festivals?

Probably just a large stage, since I get to move more, and I just like that. I’m probably not going to bump into anybody, because if there’s not a lot of space, I’m going to run into someone!

Your song, “The Safety of Disbelief,” is doing really well on rock radio. What was that song written about?

I think everybody has had a relationship that feels awkward. So, that’s what I wrote. (Laughs.) It’s one of those things. I write little stories, and it’s a little story.

There’s a lot of talk about rock and metal music, quote unquote, being dead. What are your thoughts on the state of rock and metal music?

I don’t think like that. I just go out and do my thing. I like this music. I go out an perform it. For me, that’s just something I don’t think about. I’m busy enjoying it. I’m not going to try to think of the negative aspects. This is what I do. So, for me, I’m enjoying it. Yeah, I just don’t think like that.

A lot of people grew to love you during your time with Killswitch Engage. It’s hard to believe that the album “The End of Heartache” turned 15 years old this year. Looking back, what’s your favorite memory from that record?

Wow. There’s a lot of memories from that. I haven’t really thought about it in a while. That’s not something I can answer right off the top of my head, because there are a lot of memories. I’m active now, so I didn’t even realize it had been 15 years! I hadn’t looked. I don’t know. Let’s say, the DVD recording. That was a lot of fun.

It doesn’t seem like 15 years since that album came out, does it?

No! It doesn’t feel like that long at all. In way it does, but for the most part, not at all. Time flies.

What’s next for Light the Torch after this current tour and through the end of the year?

We get a breather in June and then will be back out in July. There are some more announcements coming up, too. We’re not done. That’s why the demoing thing will be a slow process, because we’re still going to be pretty active.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Metal, Music, Rock