Interview with Baroness: A Reinvigorating Force

With Brian Blickle leaving to pursue law school, how did you decide on Pete Adams as your new guitarist?

It was sort of a no-brainer. Pete is essentially the oldest friend I have. He and I have been playing music since we were 12/13 years old. He and I both found the guitar and started playing music to subconsciously keep us out of trouble. We grew up in a really small town, there wasn’t much to do there except get yourself in trouble basically [laughs]. So it was just to kind of cope with where we were living and get our emotions out. He’s actually always had an open invitation to be in this band, it just finally worked out now—six years in—that his schedule permitted it and we needed somebody. I called him up, he signed on, came down here, learned pretty much everything we play in about a month, and then we just went out on the road. I think he was still learning some of these songs as we were playing, but he’s the perfect fit for our band. He’s really been a reinvigorating force.

Are you already writing new material with him?

Oh yeah. I mean, that was part of the process when he joined; in order to really give him the sink-or-swim method, we just started throwing new stuff at him and I think we’ll be bringing some relatively new, unrecorded material out on the road with us—some works in progress. He and I have been writing a little bit, and as soon as we get back from this tour, we’re all jumping head first into the next album.

Do you write when you’re on the road?

Generally, I’ll come up with some basic parts of the songs, but it will be nothing specific. We really write most of our songs by intuition, and there’s not much forethought other than just a handful of ideas or concepts or like a few little notes here and there. What we basically need is a rehearsal space where we just play it till it works and can just figure out things as they seem to need to be played.

What is your overall philosophy of Baroness as a band?

Well, we have always placed an emphasis on letting things happen. I consider this band and the music and the art work that exemplifies it just literally what happens when the four of us get together. Nothing is meant to be forced or thought over too much, it’s all meant to be these natural reactions between one another. Kind of like in the way that a lot of great jazz or more free-formed music has been written, but we squeeze it into the rock context where it doesn’t come across as very avant garde like that. But we’ve spent a lot of time developing our intuitive process and making sure that we don’t rush things but let things grow in a natural way.