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Unearth’s Ken Susi on Working With Killswitch Engage’s Adam Dutkiewicz

Jason Zucco

Born out of the late ’90s Massachusetts DIY scene, Unearth have gone on to become one of the world’s leading purveyors of modern metal. Next month, the band will be releasing their fifth and quite possibly finest album to date, ‘Darkness in the Light.’ Produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, the 11-song collection is a dizzying attack of European-style guitar work, smart arrangements and unbridled vocals.

In an exclusive interview with Noisecreep, guitarist Ken Susi talked about working with Dutkiewicz, an old friend. “I’ve known Adam longer than anyone else in my band,” Susi said. “His on-stage persona is obviously very wacky and carefree, but when it comes to it, he’s a really put-together type of person. He’s organized and very serious about what he does. He’s not a huge risk-taker [laughs]. But I think that I’m the same way so we get along really well.”

Noisecreep asked Susi how Unearth’s close friendship with Dutkiewicz played out in the studio. “In the end, I think it falls on the band. I spent a lot of time in my home studio trying to write what I thought was the right record for us. Buz was right there with me doing the same. We spent about four months doing that before we were even satisfied with everything. So by the time Adam came into the picture, we already had all of the songs for him to listen to and pick apart.

“You know how it is. You’ll spend months working on a song and think it’s the best thing ever written, but then you play it for someone else and they say it’s not working [laughs]. That said, ultimately the band comes first. I think a lot of people have this misconception that because Adam is a talented producer and plays in a really successful band that he’s just going to come in and write your stuff and make it work. It’s simply not true. If anything, it’s because he has no emotional attachment to the music that he can sniff out what’s wrong with something, or what should stay. Adam does a great job of that. He also knows how to get a relaxed vibe in the studio,” said Susi.

Watch the video for ‘Eyes of Black’

Dutkiewicz’s affable personality also came in handy during some of the more frustrating moments during the making of ‘Darkness in the Light.’ “The only time it ever gets weird in the studio is when someone is having a hard time performing a specific part. But Adam always has a few tricks up his sleeve to make you feel better about it. He’ll usually just tell you you’re terrible and hand you a beer and the next thing you know you’re all relaxed and ready to nail it [laughs].”

Unearth’s ‘Darkness in the Light’ will be out July 4th via Metal Blade Records.

Unearth on 2011′s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival w/ Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, Machine Head, In Flames, Trivium, Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish, Straight Line Stitch, Kingdom Of Sorrow, Red Fang:

07/09/2011 San Manuel Amphitheatre – San Bernardino, CA
07/10/2011 Shoreline Amphitheatre – San Francisco, CA
07/11/2011 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR *Off Date w/ Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish
07/12/2011 White River Amphitheater – Seattle, WA
07/13/2011 Idaho Center Amphitheatre – Boise, ID
07/15/2011 Cricket Wireless Pavilion – Phoenix, AZ
07/16/2011 Hard Rock Casino Presents: The Pavilion – Albuquerque, NM
07/17/2011 Comfort Dental Amphitheatre – Denver, CO
07/18/2011 Granada Theater – Lawrence, KS *Off Date w/ Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish
07/19/2011 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – St. Louis, MO
07/20/2011 Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH
07/22/2011 Comcast Center – Boston, MA
07/23/2011 Parc Jean Drapeau – Montreal, QC
07/24/2011 The Comcast Theatre – Hartford, CT
07/25/2011 Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY *Off Date w/ All Shall Parish
07/26/2011 Club Texas – Auburn, ME *Off Date w/ Suicide Silence, All Shall Parish
07/27/2011 P.N.C. Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
07/29/2011 First Niagara Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA
07/30/2011 Jiffy Lube Live – Washington, DC
07/31/2011 Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
08/02/2011 Verizon Wireless V. Beach Amphitheater – Virginia Beach, VA
08/03/2011 Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek – Raleigh, NC
08/04/2011 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH *Off Date w/ Suicide Silence, All Shall Parish
08/05/2011 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Chicago, IL
08/06/2011 DTE Energy Music Theatre – Detroit, MI
08/07/2011 Verizon Wireless Music Center – Indianapolis, IN
08/09/2011 Zoo Amphitheatre – Oklahoma City, OK
08/10/2011 Superpages.com Center – Dallas, TX
08/11/2011 New Daisy Theatre – Memphis, TN *Off Date w/ Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish
08/12/2011 Lakewood Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA
08/13/2011 1-800-Ask-Gary-Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
08/14/2011 Cruzan Amphitheater – West Palm Beach, FL

Watch the video for ‘My Will Be Done’

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