Adam D. Had ‘A Lot of Fun’ Writing in Different Style for New Times of Grace Album
Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist for Killswitch Engage and one of the creative forces alongside singer Jesse Leach in their side project Times of Grace, was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program.
The group's new album, Songs of Loss and Separation, is their first in a decade and second overall. For fans of Killswitch Engage, this record offers a unique insight into the musical personalities of both Dutkiewicz and Leach as they distance themselves from their mainstay group and embrace some new elements and go heavy on vibe and atmosphere rather than pulverizing riffs.
Although this deviation was intentional, it in no way painted either musicians into a box as Dutkiewicz embraced the challenge of creating something fans may not have expected.
Read the full interview below.
The new record, Songs of Loss and Separation, bridges 10 years between albums. What's the advantage to songs developing over an extended period while you grow and change as human beings?
It's a disadvantage, actually. I think when you're left with too much time to work on something, you tend to beat it up a bit — at least that's my personal experience.
When Jesse and I worked on the lyrics, it was only when we had a hot minute to actually spend time together and hash out ideas. Everything for this project had to go on the back burner because of how busy we were with our other project, Killswitch Engage.
It's just kind of the nature of having a side project when you're busy with other things.
There are moments throughout the album that are musically understated. How does that actually enhance the impact of the lyrical darkness?
It can create a mood versus playing metal all the time. It's more so about teeth and aggression — giving something space to develop, bringing the song in a musical direction and just giving it dynamics. That can really add to the impact of the song.
Times of Grace, "Burden of Belief" Music Video
You singing together with Jesse Leach creates a pretty intense dynamic. Why is the sound of your voices together so important to the overall impact of some of these songs?
We both have such drastic differences in our vocal ranges, so it definitely doesn't sound like the same person singing. My range can complement his range.
When we sit together with harmonies, they're in such different sonic places. There's more space and I have a more boomy or darker voice that kind of lends itself to a completely different atmosphere and mood than Jesse's would. It's nice to change things up.
The first Times of Grace album bore some similarity to Killswitch Engage. How has Jesse actually rejoining Killswitch ultimately distanced the two bands?
I guess you could say that had a slight impact on the way I approached this record, but I more so saw this record as a chance to explore other sounds and other vibes than just trying to straight up write metal all the time for Killswitch Engage.
It was just a lot of fun to step outside of what's expected of me to write. I got out of my wheelhouse — writing songs with vibes and dynamics more than searing riffs and blast beats and double bass. Separating the two projects was an important thing for this one.
Songs of Loss and Separation is music that could be performed in unexpected ways. What appeals to you about the idea of playing live in different contexts or settings?
When I was making the record, we wanted to make it such a different vibe than Killswitch Engage. I wouldn't be able to play a club and have it be silent and have a completely different and mellow vibe for several of the songs. That's the thing — when people listen to this record, please don't expect a Killswitch Engage record. It's definitely not a metal record all the way through there are parts that feel metal and are aggressive.
It was such a cool thing to be able to step out of that element for a bit and create some music that has a gentle character to it or a dynamic to it where it can pull back into a very, mellow and quiet section, then push forward to another loud and aggressive section.
It's fun to step outside of what is normally expected of my writing.