Interview: Killswitch Engage's Adam D returns to the kit with Times Of Grace

Times of grace

Times of grace

Adam Dutkiewicz may have found his musical home as guitarist with metalcore flag bearers Killswitch Engage, but long before the band hit their current heights, Dutkiewicz was more likely to be found laying down face-shredding beats than bustin' out paint-stripping riffs.

With new band Times Of Grace, he's gone back to his roots. In more ways than one. Not only has he picked the sticks back up and jumped behind the kit, he's also recruited former Killswitch vocalist Jesse Leach to help out with the making of an incredibly personal album.

As the band release their first single, 'Strength In Numbers' (available here), we sat down with the multi-talented mainman to get the word on the record.

How did the album come together?

"It's a strange story actually. I was going through a pretty tough time. It started when I was on tour with Killswitch in the UK and I ended up having emergency surgery on my back because I couldn't walk on my own. I ended up writing a lot of the record from my hospital bed.

"I wrote it in my head and once I got home and was able to get out of bed and get in motion I started demoing material and felt like I wanted to make a record. It was very personal to me and I ended up getting in contact with Jeese because I don't think I'm the greatest vocalist and lyricist so I wanted a little help in that department."

Was it always the plan that you'd play drums on the album?

"I just felt motivated to do so as the record was so personal to me. It was just this forward motion thing I felt completely inspired to make a record."

How did laying down the drum tracks progress?

"I had an assistant in the studio that would help me. It was pretty much a standard situation for drum tracks. I'm pretty much a minimalist when it comes to the way I play drums. I think about the emphasis on grooves and drum parts that accentuate the music."

Had you carried on drumming after switching to guitar with Killswitch?

"Not at all actually. I hadn't played drums in quite some time. After I got motivated to do so I tried to just get behind the kit and crank through the parts."

Was it a difficult transition?

"It was extremely difficult, especially with all the kick parts. I had a bunch of nerve damage in my foot so a lot of my pedal technique was gone. That was the toughest part about it."

Did you have to re-learn how to play in some respects?

"A little bit, yeah. I'm not going to lie it was pretty tough to get my feet back. Slowly but surely a little bit came back, enough to get by!"

Were any tracks particularly difficult to nail?

"Pretty much all of the double bass pedal stuff. But it felt really natural to play the parts because they're all drum parts I'd written so it just felt good to do. I really, really, really enjoyed playing drums. During the last Killswitch tour I got the chance to play drums on three songs and it was really refreshing for me to get on stage and get behind the drumset and lay into it."

Which kit were you using on the record?

"It was a studio kit, a company called Nobel and Cooley. It was fantastic with killer maple shells."

Are there plans to tour the album?

"We're talking about getting a band together. We're going to get the record released and then concentrate on building the band one person at a time."

Will you switch back to guitar for the tour?

"I'll probably end up playing guitar as I do a lot of vocals as well and I've never tried doing the Phil Collins thing!"

Do you have anyone in mind to fill the drum position?

"Not anyone in particular right now. We have several friends that are fairly good drummers. One thing we want to do is pay attention to the personalities and how everyone interacts together."

Can you see yourself getting back behind the kit again?

"I really couldn't tell you. I just know I really am thankful that I got the chance to record this record. The drums feel the way I wanted them to feel and I'm really thankful I got the opportunity to do it."

To download the brand new Times Of Grace single, 'Strength In Numbers, visit the Roadrunner website.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).