Songs of Loss and Separation

Songs of Loss and Separation

It’s been a decade since vocalist Jesse Leach and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, of Massachusetts metalcore stars Killswitch Engage, released the debut album from their emotional side project Times of Grace. “The conception of this album has been going on for the past five, even six years,” Leach tells Apple Music. “It’s one of those slow-burn projects, because we’ve been busy with Killswitch and touring. But it’s a passion project. We needed to make sure everything is exactly the way we want it to be.” In that time, both musicians suffered personal hardships that they wrote about on their second full-length album, Songs of Loss and Separation. “It was a really rough time for both of us,” Leach says. “Especially me going through a divorce and a bunch of life-altering events. But as we were finishing the record, both of us were in a much better place—which is really interesting for me to look back on.” Below, he comments on each track. “The Burden of Belief” “This is basically struggling with faith—whether it’s faith in God, faith in a person, belief in a situation, or relying on something shaky that you see as your foundation. It’s about not wanting to care or believe as much as you do because it’s causing you pain. I have this faith that I can’t shake, and I wish I didn’t care as much as I do. You just wish you didn’t put so much energy into this one thing.” “Mend You” “It’s about bloodletting a toxic behavior—being around somebody who’s toxic and realizing that you can’t fix the situation. You’re unable to repair what’s been broken and you’re confused about that, and you don’t know how to let go. At the same time, it’s a conversation, because towards the end I switch up the lyrics and I say, ‘I’ll never turn away from you.’ So, you could see it as not giving up on somebody. But for me, it’s realizing a situation is out of my hands, moving forward, and somehow healing myself.” “Rescue” “This was the last song written for the record, and it’s truly a love song. I was having writer’s block and looking for inspiration, and I realized it was right in front of me—a new relationship I was developing with this woman that I’m still with and extremely happy with. I was already on the path to mending myself, but she gave me this whole other level of strength and perception.” “Far From Heavenless” “That’s a heavy one. It’s a critique of organized religion and the hypocrisy that can go with it when you’ve got somebody in a position where they feel holier than thou and they’re teaching other people this message of how you’re supposed to live in morality, but that person is corrupt. My father is a minister—a good minister, by the way—and a professor of biblical teaching. But I’ve seen the darker side of religion, so I wanted to tell that story.” “Bleed Me” “This one was penned by Adam, but we work on everything together, so we have these long discussions about the songs before we even work on them. It’s definitely a long-distance relationship type of song, or just being separated from someone physically when you’re going through something and you need to connect with them. It’s just that helplessness and weariness and desperation all rolled into one—and not knowing how to fix the situation.” “Medusa” “Everybody knows the story about Medusa being this dark mistress that turns people to stone. I took that poetic idea as a metaphor for making eye contact with someone, being deceived, being seduced, and then having your heart turned to stone because of it. And then the song is also about finding the strength to sever the ties.” “Currents” “‘Currents’ is about longing for a change, longing for salvation, wanting to break the cycle of insanity—a dark fantasy of almost idealizing suicide as an answer to the situation. Your mind and emotions are pulling you in different directions, and you don’t know how to get a hold of yourself.” “To Carry the Weight” “This is the flipside of ‘Currents.’ It’s about being the person who’s trying to help somebody out of a dark, suicidal place and losing that battle. You’re wishing that you could’ve helped more, wishing you had the right words. You wish you could’ve helped carry the weight through the situation.” “Cold” “This song and the last two all fall in line purposely, because ‘Cold’ is, again, dealing with loss and learning how to cope—learning how to carry on and realizing that the hole in your heart is never going to be the same. But you’ve got to push forward and learn how to hold onto the good memories and let go of the darkness. Coincidentally, ‘To Carry the Weight’ was written by me and ‘Cold’ was written by Adam. They were two separate songs written at two separate times, but we were both writing about someone dying.” “Forever” “This is about a narcissist and possessive person who sees love in a very distorted way—that idea of, ‘If I can’t have you, no one will.’ For anyone who’s ever been in that type of situation, it’s scary when you’re dealing with somebody who claims to love you but just abuses you and does evil things.”

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