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Killswitch Engage new project - interview

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LoudTrax.com View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Jan 2011 at 3:26pm
Hi guys,

as you probably know, Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and original Killswitch singer Jesse Leach got together and released a new project called "TIMES OF GRACE".  I had the chance to speak to Jesse Leach prior to the album being released.  

Disclaimer.  Adam and Jesse gave LoudTrax.com an autograhed guitar and we are running a promo for the album and contest - so enter and go get yourself a guitar! :)  the link for the interview post and contest is here:  http://www.loudtrax.com/blog/post/Killswitch-Engage-members-release-new-album-giveaway-signed-guitar.aspx

below is the full interivew, hope you enjoy and please leave comments!
Antonio // LoudTrax.com

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Killswitch Engage members release new album, giveaway signed guitar

by AM 8. January 2011 00:15

Killswitch Engage's Adam Dutkiewicz teamed up with the original Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach to form "Times Of Grace".  Their debut album, The Hymn of a Broken Man, is being released Jan. 18. 

The band's inaugural presentation is as rich and diverse as life itself, holding fast to the promise of strength through adversity.

Adam Dutkiewicz started writing what would become the Times Of Grace
album, in his head, from his hospital bed.   "I had a little tape recorder I would sing into once I got home. I didn't tour with Killswitch for quite some time. I would slowly get ideas down, just hum them or sing them, on that tape recorder." 

Adam and Jesse had remained friendly, even after Jesse's exit from Killswitch following the release of the landmark
Alive or Just Breathing album, but that didn't stop the singer from being surprised when his old bandmate contacted him about making this album together.

LoudTrax.com has an exclusive pre-order and autographed guitar contest starting now!  To celebrate the new release and contest, we hooked up with Jesse Leach for an in depth conversation about the new project.  Here is the transcribed version of our phone interview.

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LoudTrax.com The HYMN OF A BROKEN MAN album is all set for release.  Tell us about the album and what fans can expect.

 

Jesse Leach  It’s definitely the work of my career.  It means a great deal to me. Lyrically it deals with stuff that’s been going on in our lives. I couldn’t be more excited for people to hear it after all these years in the making.

LoudTrax.com Can we go through some of the songs, what they’re about, and are any stories to share about any of them, etc…
 

Jesse Leach  As far as explaining songs lyrically, it’s not something I really like to do because I enjoy letting the listener walk away with his own interpretation of the song is about.
But if we’re talking about stories, one of the interesting stories is the song called “The End of Eternity”.  Adam had that song written, and he had some ideas for the chorus and some lyrical ideas in his head.  But when he sent me the instrumental version of the song, I had no idea what his concept was for the song.  I immediately had a vision of my struggles, darkness, seduction, basically a dark themed song.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Adam was writing a song about hope and not losing faith and love.

So we ended up combining both ideas, which is what makes the song unique.  It comes from deep inside both Adam and myself, writing from totally different places.  We managed to blend those 2 ideas together to make a song.  To me, that’s a really good metaphor for not only our writing process, but for the whole album where it’s very much about light and dark.

I can also touch upon “Where the Sprit Leads Me, and "Fight for Life" where I’m trying to bring a more bluesy influence into the record.  A little more diverse vocal style blending the clean and yelling type vocal.

LoudTrax.com
One of my questions and comments on the album was the blending of different styles.  For example, in some parts of the album, such as in the songs “Live In Love” and “Willing”, there are some moments there that take you back to early Maiden and Priest type riffs- and then the songs move smoothly into a more modern metal sound.

Is that something you guys paid attention to, or it just kind of flowed out like that naturally?

Jesse Leach  It’s just the way it kind of came out.  As far as the music and instrumentation goes, that’s all Adam’s stream of consciousness.  He had pretty much finished the record minus a song or 2 before I came into the picture.  We had a real synergy, and a lot of unspoken stuff happened while working on this record.

 

When I first heard the record, I was inspired by the different textures and tones he created.  Naturally, I wanted to write to make my voice fit over those things.  I didn’t want to have all screaming or all singing, so I took each section of the song and just tried to be creative with each part and think of what would work really well with that.  Of course Adam gave his comments and his opinion and vice versa about his parts.

What was interesting, we would do something and look at each other and we knew that that part was perfect or not without saying anything.

LoudTrax.com There will be comparisons to Killswitch Engage.  Seeing as you were a founding member of that band, what are your thoughts about this new band with relation to Killswitch Engage?

Jesse Leach  You can’t really escape the fact that we are both from Killswitch, there will be that sound.  But I think it pushes boundaries a little more than Killswitch Engage does.  Adam himself with what he wrote, there is a lot more quiet stuff, and loud to soft parts.  Even stylistically, we experiment more with different styles, like some indie rock and shoegaze parts with a lot of delay on the guitar.
To me, that is just the beginning of our sound and what we’re going for. If all goes well and we get to do another record, I think we’ll be pushing the boundaries even more.

Adam and I are both big fans of different styles of music and that comes across a lot. I think people who will compare it to Killswitch initially, but when you listen to the whole record, there are songs there that sound nothing like Killswitch Engage.  But the comparison is bound to happen.  I mean, I was in Killswitch and Adam is in Killswitch.

LoudTrax.com I saw there are tour dates planned. What can you tell us in terms of set list? 

Jesse Leach  We were actually just discussing that today! lol.  We wanted to make sure  what songs work best, what songs may or may not work on a live session.  We want to come out with a bang and not allow there to be any depressing parts in the set. We’ll probably cut off a couple of songs off the record.

What’ll be interesting and cool about the live show is that in between the songs, there’ll be ambient music, texture and sounds.  So it won’t be your average show where ill be talking between songs and asking the fans “Hey how you doing….?”  There won’t be any of that.  On top of that there will be the visuals that we created for the record and there will be a DVD available on the special edition and we’ll be using those visuals live as well.

So not only sonically, but visually, you will see the images that helped inspire the music.

LoudTrax.com The fans will be excited to see you and Adam back on stage together.  Any thoughts going through your head about the first song, on the first show?

Jesse Leach  Excited, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  This album means so much to me, it’s a very emotional record, very deep record.  My excitement level will overpower any anxiousness I might be feeling.  I think I will try and be very ZEN like, and calm.


LoudTrax.com Killswitch Engage is highly regarded as one of the pioneers of combing the 2 styles of vocals, that is clean and screaming.  All these years later, and having seen so many bands develop that into their music, how do you feel about being one of the founders of that?

Jesse Leach  I hear that quite a lot and I’m not sure what to think about it.  It’s an honor for people to think of me as a pioneer in any shape or form.  As far as other bands and taking that song and moving forward with it, that’s great and I am happy they are able to do that.  On a personal note, in my opinion, I enjoy creating that type of music, but I don’t really listen to it.  I can’t say I really listen to “Metalcore”.  It’s kind of a strange thing, but definitely honored.  I do strive to do that, and it is a conscience thing.  I love different types of music and when I am writing, I try and think of how to make this very interesting and how to get my point across and show people what I am trying to feel with the music.  You can’t do that with just screaming, and that’s what pushed me to add singing.  Sonically the words come out better with different sounds with my voice.

Metalcore as a whole I think is pretty stagnant nowadays and I wish bands would take it to another level, take it somewhere else, be original.  It has become over saturated and I challenge bands out there to push boundaries.  I love hearing bands that are doing something completely different.

 



Edited by UMUR - 08 Apr 2011 at 7:16am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bartosso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 8:44pm
Well, I used to like them a bit. Especially Alive or Just Breathing album. But their latest record is unremarkable. If the new one will turn out to be great post something from YT here. Thank you in advance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andyman1125 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 8:40am
I liked As Daylight Dies, but their latest was less impressive. Wonder what the new one will be like.
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