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Baroness’ John Baizley Speaks Of Replacing Guitarist Pete Adams, New Album Progress


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Baroness vocalist/guitarist John Baizley was recently interviewed by Teamrock.com and discussed the departure of guitarist Pete Adams from the band and the subsequent addition of Gina Gleason. When asked why Adams decided to leave the band, Baizley offered:

“I think it’s important to note that being a touring musician, and being in a band that puts as much effort into the process of touring and writing and rehearsing as we do, it should be noted that it’s not particularly easy if you desire a life at home. If your social life is important, if your personal and private life is important, this lifestyle as a musician can be a great strain.

And we’ve had several members for who that strain was exerted in such a way that they did not want it to have a negative effect on their life. So Pete, having been in this band a long time, having been a friend of mine for decades, rather than finding himself in a position where he couldn’t put all of himself and 100 per cent into what it takes to remain in this band, I think he thought that in order to pursue his own interests, a friendly exit from the band would be much better than what could become a dramatic thing.

It was really impressive to me, the way that the four of us were able to do this, and for him to leave the band on good terms and with full communication, because it’s so much easier to fuck off and leave. The fact we didn’t do that means a lot to me. I would never want to lose a friend because of this band.”

When asked of how he discovered the band’s new guitarist Gina Gleason, he offered:

“I have a small fuzz pedal company. We just make little stomp boxes for people, and she was one of the first people that bought one. And I noticed on the shipping receipt that she lived two miles from me. I don’t live in a hip neighborhood, it’s not a place where a lot of people live, it was completely shocking to see that one of these was getting shipped down the road.

So one of my partners checked out her Instagram profile, and was like John, you have to see her Instagram. That sounds super lame, but it was so obvious that she was such a talented player. You could kind of see as much as you can, and hear that there was an attitude there that was great, that was enthusiastic and creative and really had this… you could hear it in her playing. She had this real desire to grow.

I just hit her up casually, and we started jamming, and that attitude I sensed just seeing her Instagram profile was more prevalent in the rehearsal space than I was anticipating. So it was natural. If it’s natural, and it works, and things seem great, then you just go with it. Because that’s not the majority of life. It’s not the majority of relationships you make. If something feels effortless and you know you’ve got some big work ahead to do, then you should go with that.

And that’s in lieu of maybe finding somebody who had a bit more similarity in their history or who had a more developed public profile. I thought the interesting thing about her, and everybody that’s been in the band, is that they come to it with really a fresh attitude, and a huge desire not only to immerse themselves in what we’ve already established, but to push that forward. So, it feels great.”

Baizley also spoke of the band’s progress with their next album:

“We started work on it, and I think there’s been a long enough time period in between our last record being released and now, that we are just dying to get new songs out. Every time any one of the four of us sits down, 20 ideas spill out. So this is a period of full flower for us. That’s another thing–when that’s happening, just grab it by the reins and let it pull you. Because if not, then you’re in this unfortunate position where you’re forcing things.

And forcing things becomes repetitious, finding patterns that work and systems of organization that yields predictable results is not what we want to do. We started playing music because we wanted to develop our own rulebook, and change those rules and adapt those rules and evolve and grow when we needed to. So that’s happening now. I can’t say that we’ve got a ton of songs finished, anything ready to hear, but we’ve got so much material to start with, it’s exciting to think about starting to rein this in and make an album out of it.”

When asked of how it will sound, he offered:

“It’s hard to say, I mean there’s so much stuff. I think with ‘Purple‘ we had a very clear idea about what we wanted to do. There was a real focus, because prior to that our bass player and drummer had left, and what we felt happening in rehearsal was that our music was very amped-up, very focused, very direct. That meant that there were certain ideas that have always been part of the Baroness sound that we just… maybe… brushed them aside for the time being.

Now I think it’s time to pull some of those elements back in and find some news places to go. Because we’ve been making music for a while; we don’t want to repeat ourselves. We want to keep our sound intact, but we want to develop new ideas that will yield new results and add to our sound, rather than change it.”

He went on to say that the album may not wind up being titled after a color, though he hasn’t ruled out the idea as of yet. For a lot more from Baizley on Adams‘ exit and Gleason‘s addition, head to Teamrock.com. In related news, footage of Baizley joining Vitamin X onstage in Utrecht, Netherlands this past March for a cover of Black Flag‘s “My War” can be seen below:

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