Adam Dutkiewicz | Times Of Grace
Recently, KUOI had an opportunity to have a conversation with Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist and vocalist for the band Times of Grace. Adam D is also know for his intense solos and technical guitar work with a little band called Killswitch Engage. Heard of them? I thought so.
Nevertheless, Adam D. is a good dude and his band Times of Grace kicks ass too.
Anthony: How’s it going man? Where you at right now?
Adam D: We are in Atlanta, Georgia now.
A: Oh you guys played your show in Baltimore last night, how did that go?
Adam D: Oh man, it went really good, considering this was our first show ever. It was quite amazing actually, so that’s cool.
A: Right on dude, so you have Joel backing on guitar, Daniel on bass, and then Dan on drums. Is that a good setup for you guys?
Adam D: Oh man, it’s working out really good actually. It was really cool because we had time to try out a bunch of people and hand select things and everyone’s just a really good dude too. So it’s like hanging out with family on the road, man.
A: Awesome, awesome. So you guys are just touring for this month of February, you’re going essentially in a big circle and ending in Boston. Was that kind of like one of those, I guess, ending in your hometown area kind of thing?
Adam D: Yeah, yeah, it just kind of made more sense logistically with all the gear as well. We always like ending things in the home town as well. Always a good feeling to have home there at last, at the last show. It’s cool.
A: Cool. So what are you expecting for the show tonight? Expecting a big turn out?
Adam D: Well hopefully, we’re just expecting people to like it. That’s pretty much all I really care about, I just want people to have a good time and enjoy themselves.
A: Do you find it a little bit different having some fans from Killswitch coming to see you guys, and it’s a little bit different style of music? It’s still heavy, but…
Adam D: I would think that people would go to this show expecting something a little bit different, but of course there would probably be some people thinking that it’s Killswitch, since there are two members from Killswitch in it. But of course, it is a different thing, it is a different sounding record at times, so we definitely go different places, but it’s cool man.
A: Right on. So your new album, from what I’ve been reading about it and what I’ve heard, you essentially wrote it from a hospital bed because you were laid up for back surgery, yeah?
Adam D: Yeah, it was a pretty strange way to make a record.
Adam D: It was more so just something to keep my mind busy during a weird time in my life, I wasn’t certain if I was going to remain in Killswitch at that point, and I didn’t really know if I was going to have a job, if I was going to be poor, yeah just wasn’t sure. So it was kind of cool, just kind of kept my mind in a different place.
A: Yeah. How was the drive down from Baltimore last night? Did they set you up with a cush bed in the bus?
Adam D: Yeah exactly, you know it’s not that really that tremendous of a tour monetarily speaking, so we’re pretty much breaking the bank to get on a tour bus, but it’s definitely kind of a necessity at this point. We’re all old, beaten up men, we don’t do a lot of tours here, it’s definitely a luxury to be able to be relaxed at night and to be able to stretch the back out.
A: That’s good. So you brought Jesse out on this project, in some of the other interviews I’ve read as well, he wasn’t a first pick for you as far as having a vocalist for this project. Was there anybody else that you were looking at to kind of do it or was it just one of those things, like you weren’t sure, or…?
Adam D: No, initially this record I was kind of writing for myself, and I came up with some lyrics and some of the melodies and I kind of came to the realization that I shouldn’t be singing this whole record because I’m not that great of a singer and I’m not that great of a lyricist. To be honest with you, Jesse’s always been a great friend of mine and somebody that I love collaborating with, even if we just meet to have a serious conversation, stuff like that, even if we just throw down and all that kind of stuff. So you know, what better person to ask to help with the lyrics you know, than my good friend who I can pretty much talk to about anything? It’s cool.
A: Oh for sure. I noticed there’s a lot of emotion on this record, at least from everything that I’ve listened to so far. Did that stem from your injury or were you collaborating with Jesse as far as lyrics go and stuff like that?
Adam D: Yeah, it was partially my injury, but partially we both had a couple of really terrible years during the making of this record, and it ended up being kind of a crutch for us, something for us to look forward to and something for us to keep our minds off of some of the stuff we were dealing with while we were making the record. So yeah, I guess you can hear some of that negative energy in there, but also the positive spirit meaning you know, you can get through anything if you just put your mind to it, you know.
A: Oh, of course. Let’s switch gears for a second. So how did you guys come up with the name for Times of Grace, are you big Neurosis fans?
Adam D: Of course, yeah we are Neurosis fans, but it’s actually a lyric in one of the songs, and we just thought “You know what, that’s it.” It kind of really sums up a lot of what the record’s about and it kind of rang a bell when we thought of it. We were thinking, “Eh, we’ll just keep that as the band name for now,” and yeah, it just kind of stuck.
A: Right on. And what do you hope fans get out of this record?
Adam D: Well I guess, we basically just want people to like it. Even if they don’t like it, that’s fine too. But you know, if people can just kind of listen to it as well and it can be an uplifting thing for them too, that would be the ultimate thing for us, since it was the positive thing in our lives during some really strange times in our lives. If it could help somebody else out through some kind of a situation you know, that’s the ultimate compliment. It’s true, music’s always there for you no matter what.
A: So with all of that, you know working on this album and you know, doing all the assloads of production work that you do for a lot of other bands, how did you guys find time to record on your own?
Adam D: Well that’s the thing, that’s why this record is being produced four years later. You know, between me producing bands and me touring with Killswitch, it was basically just finding time on whatever weekends we were both available to kind of just work on a song or two, you know?
A: Yeah man, that’s understandable. So you’ve been, are you working on the new Unearth right album now? Did I read that correctly?
Adam D: That is correct. Of course it’s on hold right now, because I’m on tour, but yeah, it’s finishing up and it’s sounding pretty good, man.
A: Good. And then you’re also working with Devil Wears Prada for their new release, is that correct?
Adam D: Yep, and right now we’re tentatively scheduled to work together in March.
A: Awesome. How does it feel to be one of the architects of the recent meta-core and evolution of thrash metal? I mean, coming from my standpoint here…
Adam D: The architect, huh?
A: Yeah, one of them man. I mean you’ve been doing this since what, ’98?
Adam D: Well I graduated college in ’99 with a Music Correction Bachelors. So pretty much, I think I started really really getting into it, maybe around 2000, so about eleven years. But you know, like I’ve said before, making music is something I love doing; I’ll never take it for granted. Even if it’s not being in a band and not writing music, it’s just producing and creating with other artists and other bands, it’s just a really rewarding thing, and I love doing it.
A: Yeah. Listening to music that you produce and you play, when you are on tour and or whatever, you’re just listening to music just to enjoy it, what do you listen to, or can you?
Adam D: If I listen to stuff it’s probably much different than whatever, you know, I’m involved with, you know, I might not be listening to a lot of metal. Like, actually last night, we were listening to a lot of reggae on the bus; it was pretty weird, man. But yeah, it’s really all over the place. I listen to all styles, man. Sometimes when I go running in the morning too, you know you get a little death metal. It all depends on what kind of mood you’re in, you know.
A: For sure. So you played drums on this new record for you guys, and then you obviously have your touring drummer, Dan. Do you plan on getting behind the kit anytime during this tour just to kind of mess around on stage?
Adam D: Oh no, probably not, just because you know, there’s a lot of songs I actually have to be near a microphone to do some vocals with Jesse. So I don’t know if I’d be able to do the Phil Collins, man. Sing and play drums at the same time, you know?
A: Yeah for sure. And how’s your voice holding up? I mean you sing a lot more on this record, versus a like Killswitch album. I mean how did you do last night?
Adam D: You know, it’s like definitely a little nerve-wracking at first, because you know like I said, I’m not used to doing that, this is all a very new experience. So yeah, it’s a bit nerve-wracking and I’m of course a little nervous to sing in front of people this much, but you know this is something, I guess a challenge I’ve decided to take on, and I’m just going to do my best and see what happens, man, yeah.
A: Yeah. What guitars are you using this tour?
Adam D: I’ve got a PRS with me.
A: Ok, cool and what did you write the record with?
Adam D: Actually a Schecter 7 string because, I actually bought the 7 string like years and years and years ago. It was sitting in my closet and you know, when I went into the making of this record, I just wrote some songs that just felt like they needed to be on a 7 string, so yeah.
A: Yeah, just different sounds and stuff like that?
Adam D: Yeah, just you know, different tunings, and just a lot of the clean songs, the mellower songs are on the 7 string. I think it just gives it more of a somber tone, you know?
A: Did you write the more somber ones on an acoustic before?
Adam D: No, I wrote a lot of the ideas in my head, and then transposed them on a 7 string, you know.
A: Awesome. So, being a guitar yourself, have you ever participated in Guitar Hero or Rock band yourself?
Adam D: Yeah! I’m really bad at them. I don’t know. It’s funny because like, my brother-in-law, he’s like a whiz, he’s like on expert mode, just like ripping it up. It’s just like “Oh man, I can’t even keep up with you.” It’s crazy, yeah.
A: But the thing is you do it professionally, so it’s just like “Oh, I don’t even need this game.”
Adam D: Well, yeah, it’s still fun though, it’s still fun.
A: Yeah, so are you planning on, with Jesse, growing out a beard?
Adam D: Oh man…Well, it’s pathetic, all the hair around my mouth really doesn’t grow that well. I can’t really grow a mustache but I can do a sick Abe Lincoln or some mutton chops connected to the same neck beard.
Adam D: Unfortunately, that’s all I got, you know. So I can’t even bother, it just kind of looks pathetic around the mouth, you know?
A: Yeah, I feel you on that one. I’m a little bit of an Italian myself, so I don’t get it out on the cheeks as much.
Adam D: Oh yeah, nice.
A: Haha, yeah, I feel you on that one. Alright, let’s talk band logo. I’ve seen an owl pop up on different press release and stuff. Does that owl hold some sort of deeper meaning? Like being wise or something?
Adam D: Actually, it means nothing at all, it was actually something that Jesse likes. He likes a lot of the images with birds, the crow, the owl and stuff, so just lots of natural images, just very understated tones and that kind of thing. It’s just to kind of match the nature of the record, it’s a very, it’s certainly more of an organic and earthy record, you know?
A: Yeah, definitely. So you guys are touring just for this month for Times of Grace. Are you planning on any later tours in the year, or just kind of feeling out what’s going on with everybody else?
Adam D: Yeah! It looking like we’re going to be doing some dates in Europe as well, so that’s something we’re always very excited about because I love good beer, and they have lots of good beer in Europe.
A: Oh, of course!
Adam D: Yes they do.
A: Are you going to out on the town in Europe and wear your cape?
Adam D: [laughing] No cape wearing in public. It’s like you know, Clark Kent, you know in Superman, he only puts on the cape when he goes to work, you know?
A: [laughing] I got you, I got you, for sure dude, cool. Alright, well you have an awesome show tonight in Atlanta. I appreciate your time, have a great tour, and a pleasure to talk to you man, thank you.
Adam D: Thanks a lot man, I appreciate your time.