Metal Church drummer Stet Howland recently gave an interview to The Classic Metal Show in which he reflected on how Metal Church members got through the death of their lead singer Mike Howe.
Formed in 1980, Metal Church has released twelve studio albums, and they started to gain popularity with their first two albums, ‘Metal Church’ released in 1984, and ‘The Dark’ in 1986. The albums also gained commercial success and allowed the band to tour with many famous bands like Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, and Overkill.
Metal Church’s first vocalist featured in their first three studio albums was David Wayne, but he left the band in 1988 and was replaced by Mike Howe. Howe contributed to three albums until 1996 and then decided to retire. However, he rejoined the band in 2015 and recorded two more albums with Metal Church.
Unfortunately, the band announced on July 26, 2021, that Mike Howe passed away at his home in California from their social media accounts. The cause of his death was announced by the local police as asphyxia due to suicide by hanging. Howe’s sudden death came as a shock and heavily saddened the metal world.
During the interview, his bandmate Stet Howland said that they recently started talking again for the first time after Mike Howe’s death. Howland stated that they were devastated as Mike was more than a bandmate to him. He and other members of the band are still trying to deal with the situation.
Here is how Howland talked about the process following Howe’s death:
“I just talked to Kurdt last night; we just had an amazing conversation. And that’s where we’re at — we’re all talking again. That’s where we’re at. But we were so broken, man — I mean, all of us. When I talked to Kurdt a few weeks ago, he was, like, ‘Mike is in Barbados.’
We were trying to digest the loss of Mike because he was so much more than just our singer. He was Uncle Mike here at my house, and he was my friend. He would talk me down when I’d get heated, and I’d talk him down when he’d get heated. And he was such an amazing human.
So we’re all digesting that in our own way. I had just lost my mom — I had a couple of losses — so I was fairly fresh at facing the realities associated with death and loss. Not everybody — everybody handles it differently in our band. For some of our members, Mike’s in Barbados on vacation. And so we’re all slowly digesting.
And we just started talking again a few weeks ago, and we’re barely talking about anything except making jokes. We have our banter, and we’re starting to joke and communicate again together. And building on the future will come. But right now it’s just… We’re just hugging right now. We’re all, like, ‘I love you, man. I love you too.’ That’s kind of where we’re at. I know everybody wants to know more. When there’s more, you’ll hear about it.”
You can watch Howland’s interview below.