A Conversation with Adam of Killswitch Engage

Another interview I did for Cool Try. Another conducted in early 2017.

I know that by this point I was trying to capture a conversation but still not doing all too well with that aim. Perhaps a little bit better on this one than the prior-two, but I asking my questions too much as questions. I also think I could’ve asked harder questions.

Probably could’ve phrased a few things better.

I think the flow of this interview is good. It’s an easy read.

Other than adding a full stop and some slight spelling mistakes, this interview is as it was.

Words in bold are mine.

Along with most of my review and interview work, this review is also on Culture Eater.
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I hope you enjoy.

Killswitch Engage are in Australia to do a few concerts playing Alive or Just Breathing in its entirety as a celebration of its anniversary.

I had the opportunity to talk to Adam Dutkiewicz about the tour, so the opportunity I did take.

____ from Cool try, how you goin’?

Adam: I’m good, how you doin’ man?

I’m not bad. Well, first of all, welcome to Australia.

Adam: Thank you man.

As I understand it, you’re doing a fifteenth anniversary tour for an album that you obviously released fifteen years ago.

Adam: We’re doing the Alive or Just Breathing fifteenth anniversary tour right now. Just thought it was a good idea to just play it for everybody.

Fair enough. What made you decide that you wanted to celebrate this album’s release?

Adam: Well, we did that tour in the states and people were really stoked that we did it, but there were actually a lot of requests come over here and do it as well, so we decided that it would be a good idea to come on over and play it and there was a lot of excitement and people were stoked on it. We just want to give the people what they want man *laughs*.

So you like playing for the fans, which makes sense. Is there anything you’re doing different with the songs, or are you just playing them faithfully?

Adam: We’re playing the record the way it’s intended to be. I think we only had to switch around a couple of songs because of a tuning issue, but I think it a cool thing for us to get out there and play the record and have the fans have that experience where it’s almost like they’re jamming an old record that they love but having the band play it in front of their face, you know what I mean? That kind of thing.

So essentially playing the record as faithfully as possible, but using stage presence more to present it in a different way.

Adam: Whenever you see any band live, stage presence lets the song take on a bit more of a personality, you know?

Yeah, that’s true. Neurosis actually played recently on the shores of Australia for the second time ever, which was nice. As everyone knows, they pretty much record only live. In a live setting, even though it’s still as hearing the recording, because they’ve got the stage presence there, it becomes a lot more lively and a lot more feel-based.

Adam: Absolutely. Stage presence can make a show feel show much different [as] you’re watching somebody play something instead of just listening to a record.

So, with going back to these songs, have there been any that you haven’t played for a while? Have there been any that you haven’t played live at all? Was there a bit of a trepidation with revisiting the past?

Adam: Of course we had done this record before in the States for the anniversary, but when we came out to do this tour, we definitely were not prepared to play some of the songs that we haven’t played since that tour. There’s some songs that we rarely play that we’re doing.

We definitely had to shake off some rust and dive way back into the memory banks to get some of the songs back up, but it feels good to play the old stuff. It kind of brings us on a walk down memory lane. It’s pretty cool.

I think a lot of the kids in the crowd are really stoked and happy to hear the record, you know?

Yeah, I know what you mean. What is it that you think that makes people resonate with this record in particular?

Adam: I don’t really know why. Maybe it was when the record was released. At that time, that’s when nu metal was still kind of hanging on. This record had such a different sound than when all of that mainstream nu metal that was happening – all of the bands that sounded like Korn and Limp Bizkit were getting all of the attention.

I think maybe that’s why a lot of people held onto it; with that memory that it was something fresh, something new.

Of course, we look back on the record as a very fond memory because that’s when we went from being a garage band to a band that people cared about, so it was a big moment in our career for sure.

When you initially made the record, were there any troubles with it, or was it a fairly smooth process?

Adam: It was a bit problematic actually, because of an A&R guy we had at that moment. He was a neurotic mess and he was calling the recording studio every day, checking up on us and telling us that we needed to sound more like other bands and all this other kinds of stuff. That was probably the biggest pain in my ass the entire recording and production. He was *laughing* really hard to be with at times.

Other than that it was the usual hard work. Trying to get the guitars lined up.

I think Jesse was really, really pressured. Probably I think it had to do with that A&R guy. Lots of phone calls, “you need to sound like this you need to sound like that”.

He was also still struggling to learn how to project his voice and he was still a relatively inexperienced singer.

I think we’ve grown so much since then too, so now we look back on it and be like “man, we were just kids back then – we didn’t know what they hell we were doing”.

Fair enough, but that kind of inexperience would leave the record having some sort of youthful energy to it.

Adam: Exactly.

Even though you would have been unsure of what you were doing, that could have come through in a sort of admirable way on the record.

Adam: Yeah. I think that there are a lot of bands that have a magic in some of the records that they do when they’re young and starting out and don’t really know what the hell they’re doing. They’re just going for it.

I think that attitude can come off as a true rock ‘n roll spirit, you know?

Yeah, I know what you mean. Obviously that gets refined over time. More records come out. More experience as you add more kilometres on the road.

Do you think that can be lost along the way?

Adam: You mean like losing the young drive and the passion?

Yeah, losing the passion, then you end up having touring become some sort of a cynical process.

Adam: You know, it’s up to the band. You definitely have to stay passionate and stay motivated and feel like you want it ’cause it’s a thing. It’s an art form, so if you don’t do it with passion and drive, then it’s going to be shit art, you know? It’s that simple.

If you have something to say and you care about what you’re doing and you through your heart and soul into it, people can notice that and I think that’s when people gravitate towards it.

Do you think the other problem might be that why some people lose it along the way might have to do with them not being fully aware of the downsides of touring?

Adam: Oh yeah. Touring can beat you up for sure. It’s not everybody. You really have to enjoy being away from home a real lot. It’s a tough thing to do, but some people like it, some people don’t. It’s just the way you can hack it.

Do you think that maybe in knowing that you have to love being away from home you also have to know that you’ve got somewhere to return to when you get tired of it?

Adam: Yeah, of course. It’s always extremely nice to come home after a long tour. You just feel like a wandering vagrant after being on the road for two months. When you’re finally back with people you’ve missed and you love and all familiarity, it kind of makes you feel like a human again.

True. Obviously you’d probably have a few days, maybe a week of readjusting but then you’d get back into the routine of doing things whilst you weren’t on tour.

Adam: Yeah. Exactly.

Now that you guys are performing this record, what’s going to happen after it? Plans for hitting the studio again, or another tour?

Adam: We’ve got another tour in the states with Anthrax coming up about two weeks after this tour. After that we’re probably going to be doing some shows here and there. Not sure how extensive we’re going to be touring because I know that me and the other guys are starting to get antsy about writing some new material and thinking about doing another record.

We’re just excited about making some more music. We’ve got it in our blood. We’re ready. It’s boiling man. We’re ready to make some tunes again.

[We did] a lot of shows last year and we’ve got a bunch this year as well.
Like we were saying, it’s a tough thing to do, being on the road all the time so we’re all looking forward to cooling down a little bit and making some more music for sure.

Well, I’ve got one last question for you. Do have any concerns about what you’re doing for this tour unintentionally shaping the sound the next record, or is that something you guys can bypass?

Adam: I don’t think it’s going to shape the sound of the next record. We’re all really driven song writers so we all get home and let the vibe pull out. I don’t necessarily think playing shows really affects the way we write our material – at least for me. I get inspiration from everything. Not just tours and shows we’re playing.

Whatever is around me. Whatever I’m experiencing in life. Being depressed or being anxious or being happy; it’s really what dictates where I pull ideas from.

Yeah. It’s a weird thing to say, but yeah *laughs*.

Fair enough. Well, you’ve been a pleasure. I hope the rest of the tour goes well and you don’t get caught in the storm. Have a good one.

Adam: It’s been raining nonstop in Sydney since we got here *laughs*. Thanks man. Thanks for your time.

No worries. Thanks for the opportunity.

Adam: Take care man.


Killswitch Engage are touring from Friday the third of March to Wednesday the eighth of March.

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Sunset Over Lidcombe

This was taken a few weeks ago whilst at Sydney Olympic Park.

The sunset was rather large in scope. My vantage point allowed me to capture a fair bit of it so I was able to capture both its vibrant and “Delicate Colours“.

This photo shows the sunset’s delicate colours, which in this case was a lot of orange that blended in with and enhanced the urban feel of its the surroundings quite well, I think.

I feel as though this is an image that holds both soft and hard features that seem both separate and together.

This is my submission into the ninety-eighth Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

The challenge is hosted by four people and cycles weekly:

Week 1 – Patti

Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya

Week 3 – Amy

Week 4 – Tina

This one is hosted by Leya. Next week it will be hosted by Amy.

I recommend giving the challenges a go and seeing how you interpret each theme. I also recommend checking out what other people are doing to meet the challenges.

I hope you enjoy.

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I think it’s clear as to what this bit of poetry is about, but perhaps it is more open to interpretation than I think it appears.

It’s not great, but it gets something across and for that I’m happy.

I hope you enjoy.

Drops fall down and all around
Though from a safe, close distance
I only get to hear them fall
And reach a surface
At the end of their journey
I listen as shapes change the scene
Rendering most of the drops
An impression formed from sound
Rather than something
With visible form to my sight
It almost seems as though
It creates a mass of sound
Designed to lull listeners
Into a feeling of calmness
It almost seems to never end
Even into the night
When all drops are rendered
An impression formed from sound
Rather than something physical
At the end of their journey

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One Thousand Word Challenge 49: Saturday Evening Waffling

It’s the evening and it is dark outside. I should have started working on reviews a couple of hours ago, but that was at the tail end of work and now I’m here trying to write about other things so that, in a way, I get brought into the warming up in order to be able to write a review, or something. That’s what I’m telling myself, but at the end of this I’ll probably go and read for a while instead as… well, I don’t know, if I am to be honest.

With that being said I probably should write about something interesting. I know that right now I don’t feel like writing about trying to find something to write or not being able to write so I’m going to steer away from those subjects. I also know that I don’t want to write about current events as I don’t quite feel like going on a lengthy rant about the current state of things. At least at the moment I feel there are more productive uses of my time and indulging in a polemic is not one of them. Maybe later that will change. We’ll see.

I think that I need to think of something sooner rather than alter as I still have quite a way to go before I can say that I am at the end of this, and thinking about how much there is to go is a bit daunting. I don’t want to just fill this all up with words; I want to fill this with meaning. I want to search for meaning and have it here and fill this with meaning so that it is meaningful in some way. Perhaps it would be nice if it was touching. Whether it gets there is another story, of course, but I can still hope. Still, there needs to be action of the affirmative variety and as such, hoping will only get me so far. It won’t go far at all if there is no action taken, so hopefully I find the action that I need to take in order to bring that hope into something a bit more realised than what I am allowing to happen right now, which might just be very little, depending on your point of view of course.

Perhaps I am filling this with more meaning than I could ever intend and I don’t even know as that meaning is to be discovered by whomever reads this short length of text. If there is meaning in here and I don’t realise it but others do, then I am happy, but perhaps I need to stop dwelling on this subject and find something else. I still have time and I’m sure that I can find something to make this about that does not relate to the act of writing or the act of trying to find things to write about, but of course the longer I go on the less words I have to make this about something, so at some point I am doing to have to be proactive about the whole things as now I think I’m just trying to buy some idea of time… I think. Really not sure, to be honest.

Perhaps the idea of buying time is something that should be discussed and explored as thoroughly as possible, so really that means that someone who is not me should explore that idea. Maybe I could try, but I really don’t have the kind of amount of remaining words to be able to explore it as efficiently and deeply as I would want to explore said idea. Instead I must think of something else that could be worth the time and hassle of getting right into, but of course there isn’t enough time and space remaining. There are other things that I need to take care of. There is another review that I need to finish, though that one is more about editing and adding a bit extra than it is anything else at this stage, so I’m feeling pretty confident about getting it done in a small amount of time.

I think I just need to think. Maybe I should have a hat and have a few subjects thrown in and draw them out and then write about that. Just go all in and let the subconscious take over. Thinking too much about what I’m doing right now and of course that means that instead of avoiding one of the things I wanted to avoid, I have inevitably played right into its hands and been led along to a path almost as though I had no control or say in the matter, but of course I did and instead of doing anything about it I just carried on as though doing absolutely nothing other than continuing to let it take over my thoughts and writing was the way to avoid letting it take over my thoughts and writing. I have bamboozled myself and have done so far more willingly than I would ever dare admit. Of course this is an issue compounding on another issue, but at this point there is little room to turn back and do anything about it as this is all too far along so I need to get on with it, admit to my mistake and then try and wrap this all up in a way that makes the whole thing so utterly conclusive that it all seems like this was the intent all along and thus the meaning comes forward in a way that is far easier to digest than initially thought, therefore bringing people to some sort of realisation so that they then know whatever it is that they should or should not know and can then get on with the thing that they need to get on with, or something.

I guess that now that that is out of the way, this bit of writing will be about ignited tyres.

The time it took to write one thousand words: 13:06:62

Well, this certainly is a waffling.

Written at home.

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Peter Holmström

Late last year I covered The Dandy Warhols’ performance at The Enmore for Culture Eater. It was a fun gig to cover.

I thought I shared some of the photos I took here but apparently I did not, so here’s one of those photos.

I have some photos that would be more befitting of titling them after Peter Holmström, but I feel as though this one still captures the image that seemed to be getting put forward: cool, aloof and hip, though somehow also inviting.

There’s a certain stillness and slowness in Peter’s form that works well with the light and colour contrast.

This is my submission into Leanne Cole‘s TPM photo challenge for this week.

The theme for this challenge is “From the Archives”.

I suggest checking out Leanne’s photography, as well as checking out what other people submit into the challenge.

You can find the challenges here.

I hope you enjoy.

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Five-Hundred Word Challenge 678: Falling Eternally

Slipping, sliding and falling eternally, as that seems to be the way to go these days. Better to fall endlessly into a void of one’s own creating than anything else. Totally in vogue and of course it only is as there is a strong sense of detachment when you’ve been doing it for years on end and thus have not seen another soul on your way down. Just keeps on going and it gets rather tiresome, but it’s the fashionable thing as far as you’re concerned. On the plus side, it gives a lot of time for thought, but if only the walls would change in design and materials, as that way there would be something else to appreciate… if the walls could be seen, that is.

It’s been a while since anything was able to be seen, so on the plus side the sound of the rushing past and through the body of air can be more focused upon and dissected when it’s noticeable, as eventually it became background sound and something that you’d have blend into the background blur that you eventually stop paying attention to it until it decides that it wants to suddenly pop into your mind for a brief period before fading back, just like everything else on the way down that decides it feels starved for attention on the odd occasion.

It didn’t take too long (relatively speaking) before this all became something you were tired of, then it wasn’t too much longer before it became stressful in another way. The sheer terror had worn off a while ago, as did the period of thinking about how this was a thing that was happening. Then of course the stress, annoyance and frustration came as a desire to have it stop became apparent, which led to the sense of hopelessness which of course ended up coming to a point of disappearing inward as there was no stopping this. There was no getting off this train as it continued on its traversal. It was only when it would decide you could get off before you could get off, but being surrounded by oppressive darkness for a constant period of time was interesting to some point. It was also interesting that it lasted for as long as it had, for it felt like an eternity. It was definitely much shorter than an eternity, but of course there wasn’t much in the way of telling as to how long it had been.

But eventually the eyes you’d had closed for so long had to be opened and, as coincidence would have it, shapes became apparent and form took on a physical manifestation just as the awareness of the sound of motion also came into a form of rebirth. Objects and images blurred on as they passed on by, though eventually there was the slowing down and it wasn’t much longer before form became clearer.

The train stopped and you got off, heading to where you needed to go.

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 09:03:87

Bit of a mess and a bit dragging in places, but I really like the way this ended. I think I might try doing the same thing over a longer form some time.

Written at home.

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Mountainous Cumulus

A cloud mass looming over trees and some cables.

I do like the perceived massiveness of this cloud, as well as its shape.

I also like that due to a bit of the other cloud coverage it almost seems as though the Cumulus is being unveiled.

I hope you enjoy.

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