BARONESS guitarist/vocalist John Baizley recently spoke with Radioactive MikeZ, host of the Riverside, California radio station 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's current co-headlining tour with DEAFHEAVEN:
John: "It came together the way most tours do. The idea for the tour and most of the heavy lifting for the routing and booking came in advance of us wrapping up the mastering on the record, so I was very much in studio mode while this tour was being put together. The band definitely has an extremely long history of playing tours on which we are not the most obvious example or choice for an opening band or a support, co-headline, you name it. I think it's been important to BARONESS over the years to really try to stick our necks out whenever possible and get out on tour with a very broad, very diverse cross-section of bands that have different sounds, if for no other reason [that] it puts us to the test and makes us play really hard, and keeps us on our toes and makes sure that we never get entirely comfortable or settle into a routine with anything, which I think drives the four of us to become better musicians. Regarding DEAFHEAVEN, I think it's also worth noting that we and they and a handful of other bands out there that play and tour at the level we do might not share 100 percent musically, but we do share similar backgrounds. We come from the same sorts of scenes, and in doing so, we've got a lot of friends in common. We've known those guys for a few years now, so that was one of the other reasons [it was] cool for us to do this tour. Generally speaking, [it's] a better idea for us to get out on tour when we're friendly with the bands that we're touring with. It makes the experience for us more rewarding."
On the fact that the groups aren't musical carbon copies of one another:
John: "I think if you're doing a show like this, it would be maybe too labored to have two of the same-sounding bands. If it was two bands that sound like DEAFHEAVEN, that's a lot of snare drums and kick drums. If it's two bands like us, it's a lot of whatever we do too much of. Combining forces, you get the best of best worlds hopefully."
On the tour's co-headlining nature:
John: "In the interests of making this truly a co-headline [tour] in every respect of the word, we've really tried hard and been pretty diligent in all manner and all respects to make sure that nobody's appearance of being more important or less important than anybody else. We close one night; they close the other night."
On the status of new BARONESS music:
John: "I can tell you that if you or anybody that's listening to this come out to the show [are] guaranteed to hear and see something they have not heard or seen before. As a musician who ultimately is in charge of releasing music, I'm a bit starved to release it. It will be out as soon as is humanly possible. Without giving away too much, I can say that there are some dates that have come into view, and that information will be coming out as we tour. Wherever you learn about all things BARONESS, there will be some big news in the very near and foreseeable future."
On whether the group's next release will be orange-themed:
John: "That would be the obvious assumption, and we are aware of that. I'll leave it there. [Laughs] I'm pretty good at not answering that question. I've been doing it for three years now. We'll know very soon whether or not I stuck to my word that we would not continue our album color-titling sequence."
On the aftermath of the band's 2012 tour bus crash:
John: "In these discussions, I prefer not to speak for the other bandmembers that were in our bus during that crash, because everybody had a very uniquely different experience. Nobody had a positive experience — I'll say that. The way that I particularly was struck, if you will, by that accident was that I've got scars that won't heal. I've got a seam running up the entire length of my left arm, a ton of hardware and a bunch of things missing, a bunch of things replaced. It's really not a pleasant physical story from my standpoint, but I will say that in order to make that experience mean something of value to me, moving forward with the band provided me with a means by which I could rehabilitate myself to the best of my ability given my circumstances, given my current physical limitations. Things were pretty rough, and continue to be so. It's just one of those awful situations. I really wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but I've got to live with it day in and day out. I'll say this — at least I've got my creativity and I've got my art and I've got my music that helped carry me through the difficult times of my life, and that certainly was one of the defining that I've had to deal with, and continues to be so. I really think that there's something miraculous about music in general, the way that it can provide some stability to people like me who falter sometimes. Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we stumble and things happen. It's painful, and you've got anxieties and stresses and all kinds of stuff, and it's way more complicated than you ever imagined it being, but at the end of the day, I can turn all of that into something positive and something I can share with our audience and my band mates and everyone else around me. I see a bad experience that I'm trying as hard as I can now and then and for the foreseeable future to turn into something that's ultimately positive — something I can leave behind that is positive and is creative and constructive, and other people might enjoy."
A teaser for a new BARONESS song is available below. The full track will be performed on the band's co-headlining tour with DEAFHEAVEN, which kicks off tonight (Friday, March 8) and continues through April 12.
BARONESS is John Baizley (vocals/guitar), Gina Gleason (guitar), Nick Jost (bass) and Sebastian Thomson (drums).
BARONESS released its Grammy-nominated fourth album, "Purple", in 2015.