Baroness after the bus crash: ‘Starting with a very humble mindset’

Baroness have returned to the table with an album that's not brand new, but a sound that is. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Hubbard)
Baroness have returned to the table with an album that isn’t brand new, but a sound that is. Baroness perform at Union Transfer in Philly on May 24, at Royale in Boston on Aug. 11 and at Irving Plaza in NYC on Aug. 14.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Hubbard)

Metalheads united in a rare moment of emotional synchronicity last summer: we were gutted by a tragedy that struck the best of us — we had a Man Down. Baroness, a critically acclaimed crossover act whose recently released album “Yellow & Green” had captivated audiences and critics with its powerful and somber melodic muscle, had suffered a terrible touring accident — a bus crash in England that left important bones shattered and important people sidelined.

This isn’t that story. Read the worry in archives. This is the story of the trial-klined aftermath. This is the story of how integrity trumps superficiality — the story of the difference between rock stars and rock saints.

“I really only have one option — that option being to get back in the swing of things and become active and productive and creative again,” says Baroness’s nucleus John Baizley. “The only other option is just to give up… and then do what?”

Getting back in the swing of things for a road-dog band like Baroness means touring, and a lot of it, on an astonishing schedule, considering the breadth of their injuries. Robbed of the opportunity to present “Yellow & Green” — a deeply personal and artistically exploratory double album — to American audiences due to the bus crash early in their tour cycle, Baroness’s upcoming dates mark their first opportunity to present — and defend — their work.

“The predictability of the album cycle was wrenched away from us, so now the net of safety and predictability is a thing of the past. I think most people have made up their minds on whether they like the album at this point. And things have changed — in terms of lineup [two members of Baroness have left the band as a result of injury], in terms of perspective. This tour is in gratitude to our fans who continued to pay attention to us all while we were out of commission momentarily. If it turns into anything bigger than that, then I think we’ll be very happy. But we’re starting with a very humble mindset.”

Baizley’s run with Baroness has seen a number of lineup changes, and with this tour, fans will see a completely new rhythm section as drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni recover from the accident. “We’ve just lost two members, so 50 percent of our sound has changed. So in some ways we’ve taken a very big step in a different direction, musically speaking. And I think the important thing is to embrace that. That’s the new existence, and you work therein. When Allen and Matt left the band, the first discussion that I had with Pete [Adams, lead guitar] was, ‘OK, we absolutely can’t look at this as a shot against the band. We have to look at this as opportunity. This has to be a door open for us to improve. We don’t find the mirror images of what we’ve got, we find something to make us better. We have to get better.”

Although these factors make for a tempestuous start to a tour, Baizley is glad to be hitting the East Coast for his first few dates, having breathed life into Baroness across a number of Atlantic states. And, for fans of his gorgeous art-nouveau style album art, he confirms that he’s incorporating art into his recovery.

“I’m getting close to that overextension again, which is where I actually love being. I like to be constantly in the midst of something.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.