But at the same time, as far as today’s musical landscape goes, Baroness does stand out because it is different.
And that’s sort of the balance to me. We’re not trying to be so far out there that it doesn’t work, but we’re also not trying to be so standard that it becomes a hindrance. What we try to do is take the context of a four piece band with two guitars, bass, drums, and then with our limited vocal abilities and our limited technical abilities, taking a standard band where there’s no surprise instruments or equipment and then breaking down the structures that a lot of bands suffer underneath, and adding a free-formed quality where typically there’s rules or adding rules where typically there’s meant to be open space—just sort of turn it on it’s head.
As I said before: Just letting things happen naturally. A lot of songs that we do, we will actually write on stage in front of audiences. They’ll start off as pretty poor songs, and we’ll watch audience reactions and gauge what’s working and what’s not working in front of a crowd, and that’s how the song gets written. The things that don’t work are discarded and the ideas, the music that elicits what we consider positive reactions, those are the parts that remain.
What inspires you?
That’s the thing. The concept of this band is sort of to embrace any idea and that there are no ideas that aren’t worth investing in. So anything can potentially be a good idea for our band. It’s not that we don’t use influences, because we use a ton of influences. It’s not that we are not just going for certain atmospheres, because it certainly happens. It’s just that we realize this is an incredible, standard way of playing music in terms of the set up of our band, so lets see how far we can reach and how many ideas we can embrace and use within this band. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that it’s us. If we’re using an influence or an atmospheric texture that we’ve been inspired by that somehow we were able to claim it in a way that’s unique to us, hopefully what we’re playing comes across as our music. And that’s something to shoot for. It doesn’t always work, if we can achieve that the majority of the time, then I think we’re doing the right thing.
Then why play songs from other bands?
[laughs] It comes from the fact that in the past year we’ve played [our] songs on stage several hundred times, and in the rehearsals and tours prior to recording the record another few hundred times, so the life sort of drains from them. It affects us playing something the same/similarly so many times to the point where it gets a little tedious. I hate to say that, but when our songs become tedious for us, then they lose their magic on stage and the cease being pertinent to us, so we’re stretching our imaginations to think how we can make this particular song relevant and how we can keep ourselves challenged.
It needs to be a challenge for us. If we’re playing for an hour, it should be a tough hour. It can’t ever come easily, I guess. And of course, even though we’re not giving out names or anything, it’s about the people that came before us and created what we’re able to do.
Catch Baroness on Nov. 20 at Maxwell’s in Hoboken NJ, on Nov. 21 at the First Unitarian Church in Philly, and on Nov. 22 at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. For more info, visit myspace.com/yourbaroness.