By: Matt Warnock
There are few silver linings when an artist needs to have emergency back surgery in the midst of a U.K. tour, but for guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, it was just such an occasion that gave him time to write new material, which would lead to the formation of his latest project, Times of Grace. The material that came out of this difficult time in Dutkiewicz’s life was later recorded, after a collaborative writing effort with vocalist Jesse Leach, and released in January 2011 on the album The Hymn Of A Broken Man, which seem like an apt title considering how and when the songs on the album were conceived.
With the album being very well received, it has already sold more than 10,000 copies, Dutkiewicz and Leach are currently on the road, touring across the U.S. in support of the new record. Joined by Killswitch Engage guitarist Joel Stroetzel, former Five Pointe O vocalist Daniel Struble on bass and former Envy on the Coast drummer Dan Gluszak, Times of Grace is taking their music to the fans and so far the tour has been a complete success, minus the bad weather that is.
We caught up with Times of Grace guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz in Dallas as they were getting ready for a show and right after they had finished a 12 hour drive that, because of the snow in Texas, should have taken 6 hours to complete. Though the weather was not in their favor, Adam was in good spirits as we talked about the tour, PRS guitars and the status of the new Killswitch Engage album.
Matt Warnock: I heard you guys had a crazy drive from Shreveport over to Dallas today.
Adam Dutkiewicz: Yeah, it was freakin’ nuts. It’s insane to see how Southerners don’t know how to deal with snow storms, it’s crazy. I just don’t think they’re equipped to deal with snow, like totally untreated highways that were giant sheets of ice.
Matt: Besides the bad weather, how’s the rest of the tour been going so far?
Adam Dutkiewicz: We’re only on gig three, but things are going pretty darn good so far considering. We just played our second gig the other night, and it was only our fourth gig together as a band. [Laughs] Given that, I think things are going really well so far.
Matt: You’ve got Joel Stroetzel, Daniel Struble and Dan Gluszak out on the road with you, filling out the band. When you were putting together the tour, did you have a long list of guys that you wanted to choose from, or were these the only three names on your list right from the start?
Adam Dutkiewicz: There were several people that I had in mind that I wanted to try out. When building this band, I not only wanted to have the chance to hand select good musicians, but some really good friends as well. It’s always better to have somebody on the road that you’re familiar with. To be able to hang out with friends on the road everyday makes a tour like this that much cooler to do.
Matt: Are you happy with how the band is gelling so for, even this early in the tour?
Adam Dutkiewicz: Yeah, absolutely. Everything’s working itself out and it’s very cool so far.
Matt: Are you thinking ahead about maybe keeping this lineup for your next album or another tour, or is your focus on what’s happening now and you’ll deal with that later when it comes up?
Adam Dutkiewicz: To be honest, not really. It’s just one step at a time right now. We’re not going into this with any expectations other than playing some good tunes for people each night and hopefully they’ll like it, just having a good time with the tour right now.
Matt: With everything that’s going on right now, the different projects you’re working on, do you like to juggle multiple things at once, is that where you work best?
Adam Dutkiewicz: I’m always pretty much a juggler, especially with my production career going on. This is a record that we made for the love of making music. Then people started bugging us to bring it out on the road, we’re like, “Heck, why not, let’s do it.”
Matt: You’ve been known for playing Parker guitars, and more lately PRS guitars. What did you bring out on the road with you for this tour guitar wise?
Adam Dutkiewicz: I’ve got that PRS with me, a Custom 22, I’m playing that for now. I stopped playing Parkers but I still bring one on the road with me. The PRS is the main guitar, and the Parker is the backup. I’ve also got a Schecter 7-string with me for the heavier songs, the songs that are down-tuned.
Matt: What is it about the PRS that made you switch over from using a Parker to that model?
Adam Dutkiewicz: It was just the quality of work. They’re fantastic guitars man. You don’t even have to plug them in to hear them resonating, that’s how great they are.
Matt: Have you had a chance to try out any of the new PRS amps yet?
Adam Dutkiewicz: I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, but we heard them at the plant, we took a factory tour. Really cool stuff, but I haven’t had a chance to play one yet.
Matt: Do you prefer to get your crunch sound by overdriving the amp or do you bring along foot pedals as well?
Adam Dutkiewicz: It’s mostly the amp. What I like to do is the old trick with an Ibanez Tube Screamer, it’s not that much distortion. I have the gain all the way down on the actual pedal, just a little bit to make the pickup hotter.
Matt: Can you give us a status update on where the new Killswitch Engage album is in the writing-recording process?
Adam Dutkiewicz: What we usually do is everyone comes up with ideas on their own, then we get together and give everything either a thumbs up or a thumbs down and go from there. Right now we’re at the point where we’re writing on our own, but hopefully once we get the chance to sit down together it’ll just be a faucet of riffs pouring out.