TIMES OF GRACE // Jesse Leach explains how the new record captured him rebuilding himself from scratch
When Grace time first appeared on the scene in 2011 with their acclaimed Hymn for a broken man LP, the metal world was caught up in the emotional nostalgia of the formerKillswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach reunites with former bandmate and Metal Guardian Adam Dutkiewicz (Adam D.).
AFTER: HALLOWEEN HYSTERIA: The creature returns from the living dead // COMMENTS: AFI: Body // STAND AGAINST: Generation nowhere // KENNYHOOPLA: Guilt of Survivors: The Mixtape // DZ DEAD: Positive rise: part 2 // ON LAUNCH: Slow motion // TO OCTAVIA: Somewhere in a world, not a dream // GRACE TIME: Songs of loss and separation
Fast forward a decade and with Leach returning to helm Killswitch, and Times of Grace’s second LP Songs of loss and separation finally in the box, what started out as a seemingly new reunion turned into a raw, cathartic and wonderfully deep project for the two musicians, generally labeled as metalcore specialists.
“With Killswitch Engage we don’t have a lot of space to spread our wings – when we were young and full of piss and vinegar that’s one thing – but I like the idea of injecting more poetic and artistic stuff into my creative production – we can’t really do that with this band, ”Leach tells us when we have a zoom call to kick off her press program for release week. Songs of loss and separation.
“I like that the record is a bit of a whirlwind and the listener might not know what’s coming next – I think that’s what makes it really exciting.
“We could do an acoustic record, we could do a blues record, we could do a post-metal record and it would all make sense right now – it’s a great place. “
What is evident when listening Songs of loss and separation it’s how urgent and real each piece is. This is not a record made by fans of sad music – it is a collection of songs from people who have lived through grief and capture that experience in musical form
“I was going through a pretty painful divorce, wondering where I stood on my beliefs in the face of loss… it was all in my consciousness years ago, and it all came to a head when I realized that someone was one that I had been with half my life, I couldn’t relate to anymore, ”Leach recalls.
“If this thing that you think is solid isn’t – where is your brain going?” I re-evaluated everything – a total re-evaluation of existence. It was the context of the writing of this record.
I had a relationship with the shadow self – my dark side – I drank a lot, medicated and numbed myself
[ Jesse Leach ]
“I would highly recommend it to anyone, instead of just staying in your comfort zone and resting in your routines… I did it during this pandemic, staying at home – but I’m so thankful for it. having experienced this and I was able to document it in this record.
Most notable on the record is the sharing of primary vocal tasks, with Adam D. taking on the lead roles on several songs, most notably during the epic closing. Always. It’s a move that gives the album a tremendous extra layer of interest – and something Leach reveals happened almost by accident.
“Some of these songs were conceived and written when I wasn’t able to function,” he admits.
“I had a relationship with the shadow self – my dark side – I drank a lot, medicated myself and numbed – and the last song Always, Adam sent me this song and I said ‘you got really dark in here’, and he was like ‘dude, you wrote these lyrics.’ I didn’t remember it at all.
“It was a song, I just couldn’t record it, so he would demonstrate it and send it to me… he was really driving on a lot of these songs, and I told him how good his voice sounded – c was soul and blues.
There’s no denying that Killswitch will always define Leach and Adam D. as two of alternative music’s most talented individuals, but one can’t help but think that this new Times of Grace record allows them to truly shine.
Leach agrees, noting that while Killswitch will always be the priority, the artistic release offered in Times of Grace will always make the most of it.
“There’s always triumph and positivity injected into what we do – I’ll start with a dark subject but then I’ll ask myself ‘how do I turn this around and make it triumphant’,” he says. .
“There’s a lot more freedom with Times of Grace to be darker and more sentimental, and that really fits with what this group is becoming.”
Songs of loss and separation is available now.