BARONESS’ mission statement has always been simple: keep an open mind, confront challenges, avoid creative repetition, and take the music to diverse audiences.
BARONESS formed quietly in 2003 in Savannah, GA. The band was comprised of a group of friends who had all grown up with one another in Lexington, VA, a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Shortly after formation, the band released two EPs and a split EP with Unpersons entitled respectively, First, Second andA Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk. In the years prior to and during the release of these EPs, BARONESS toured non-stop throughout America and Europe, building up a steady underground fan base.
In late 2006, the band began working on their first proper full-length and Relapse debut Red Album. Recorded by Philip Cope (Kylesa), the album was a big step forward from the band’s earlier material; they began to develop a sense of melody and song structure as a counter-balance to the EPs brute intensity. The release of Red Album saw the band touring world-wide and year-round for the next two years. The record received high critical praise, eventually garnering the #1 album-of-the-year slot in Revolver Magazine.
In between tours, and exactly two years after writing Red Album, BARONESS returned to the studio to record a follow-up record. The band enlisted the help of Grammy-nominated engineer/producer John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St. Vincent, Black Mountain, etc.) In 2009, Relapse released Blue Record, another comprehensive step forward for the band’s ever-evolving sound. The record furthered the band’s growing sense of melody while directing the focus to an “album-as-an-art form” concept. Blue Recordwas named 2009’s album-of-the-year by Decibel Magazine, and made an impact on the best-of lists in publications as varied as Pitchfork, Village Voice, PopMatters, Revolver, Rock Sound and Metal Hammer.
BARONESS toured constantly and extensively for two years straight with Blue Record, sharing the stage with METALLICA, MASTODON, DEFTONES, and ISIS. The band also played a variety of major festivals including Coachella (CA), Bonnaroo (US), Oya (Norway) and Soundwave (AUS).
BARONESS took the year off in 2011 for the first time in nearly a decade, in order to focus on writing a new and more challenging third full-length. After that year, the band entered Water Music Studios in Hoboken, NJ with co-producer John Congleton to record Yellow & Green. Tracked in both Hoboken and Congleton’s own Elmwood Studio in Dallas, TX, the latest full length was a critical leap forward for the band, a double-record with more focused songwriting and much more varied sound.
Yellow & Green has garnered enormous praise on various best of and year-end lists worldwide including reigning over Spin's "20 Best Metal Albums of 2012," iTunes awarding "Take My Bones Away" the distinction of the best metal song of the year, Metal Hammer Germany placing the release at #2 on their year-end list and BBC Music describing the album as a "nearly flawless collection" while giving Yellow & Green the #13 spot in their Top 25 albums of 2012. The 18-track record also landed on year-end lists from Amazon (#46), Close Up Sweden (#4), Decibel (#2), Guitar World (#15), Loudwire (#4), Magnet (#12), Metal Hammer Norway (#4), Metal Hammer UK (#14), Paste (#47), Pitchfork (#27), PopMatters (#4), Revolver (#4), Stereogum (#18), Terrorizer (#2), Treble (#2), Village Voice (#6) and Visions Germany (#4).
Baroness began touring Yellow & Green in the summer of 2012, starting with Metallica’s Orion Fest and heading straight to Europe. On August 15th, towards the end of a two-month tour across Europe BARONESS’ tour-bus, including band and crew, was involved in an accident in the UK. The bus fell nearly 40 feet off a small cliff into a viaduct. The band and crew acquired a variety of severe injuries, some of which required months of hospitalization and ongoing physical therapy. Shortly thereafter, two members left the band, and the two remaining members, John Baizley and Pete Adams went to work recovering and working towards touring again. They have enlisted the help of Sebastian Thomson (Trans Am) on drums and Nick Jost on bass guitar.
Touring will commence shortly, and end only when necessary.
John Baizley – guitars, vocals
Pete Adams – guitars, vocals
Sebastian Thomson – drums
Nick Jost – bass/keyboard
Photo credit: Ross Halfin