TIMES OF GRACE — the new project that reteams KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist and producer extraordinaire Adam Dutkiewicz with original KILLSWITCH ENGAGE vocalist Jesse Leach — made its live debut last night (Tuesday, February 1) at The Quarter in Baltimore, Maryland on the opening night of the band's U.S. headlining tour. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be viewed below.
The core of TIMES OF GRACE's touring lineup is Leach on vocals and Dutkiewicz on guitars/vocals, and they are supported by guitarist Joel Stroetzel, bassist Daniel Struble and drummer Dan Gluszak.
Stroetzel is a familiar name to TIMES OF GRACE fans, as he is also guitarist for KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, alongside Adam, and is an original member who played with Leach while he was singing in KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Stroetzel's involvement in TIMES OF GRACE was a happy accident, as he assisted his former and current bandmates when they recorded acoustic performances for iTunes and Sirius XM's Liquid Metal late last year. TIMES OF GRACE was on the hunt for a live guitarist and Stroetzel just clicked, so he decided to once again pitch in for his friends and act as their touring guitarist. Struble is the former singer of FIVE POINTE O, a long ago labelmate of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, while Gluszak is the former drummer of ENVY ON THE COAST.
"The Hymn Of A Broken Man", the debut album from TIMES OF GRACE, sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 44 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Dutkiewicz and Leach worked together on KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's benchmark album, 2002's "Alive Or Just Breathing". That record has become definitive for an entire generation of American metal, with Leach's voice and uplifting lyrics serving as one of the key elements that propelled the album to "modern classic" status. Leach, who went on to sing for the more classic-rock leaning SEEMLESS and who currently sings for the metal band THE EMPIRE SHALL FALL, was always remembered fondly by KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans, even though he left the band shortly after "Alive Or Just Breathing"'s release.
While fans will no doubt be thrilled at the concept of the duo reuniting, TIMES OF GRACE is not interested in fashioning "Alive Or Just Breathing Part II". It's an entirely new project and represents a different musical path for both Adam D. and Leach! It is an album of cleansing and catharsis for each of them, where internal demons were exorcised and set to music that's as aggressive as it is melodic.
"In all my life. I have yet to write a record that bares my soul as much as this record does," Leach said. "Adam and I had a real spiritual connection while making this and I know that it comes through in the performances and lyrics. This record has our blood, sweat and tears flowing through it. It is painfully honest at times. In short this record is our catharsis."
Adam D. also commented on what TIMES OF GRACE means for him personally, saying, "Making this record was something completely new for me. It documents some of the most difficult-yet-spirited times of my life in the past three-and-a-half years. A lot of the music and lyrics just came out of me while going through several internal struggles, and writing these songs were the only comfort I could find. I reached out to Jesse to help sing and write these songs with me because of my respect for his musical abilities, and because of our great friendship...one that seems to not change no matter what happens in our lives. In the end, I am very proud of this record, and I feel it has helped me through some of my darkest days. I'm hoping that people will enjoy it, and also that it can maybe help others to keep the most positive mindset, even through the most trying of times."