Against all odds Baroness play Soundwave at Arena Joondalup on Monday , March 3. SHANE PINNEGAR checks in with singer/guitarist, John Baizley.
Many thought it was over for Baroness on the rainy August day in 2012 when their tour bus slid nine metres from a viaduct near Bath, England.
Singer/guitarist, John Baizley, suffered a broken arm and leg in the accident, which also gave both drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni fractured vertebrae. The two quit the band as a result, but Baizley says he and guitarist Pete Adams never considered giving it away.
“I didn’t, and I know Pete didn’t,” he explains. “The guys who did, they ultimately left. We were terrified for a moment that we would have too, but as soon as there was a snowball’s chance in hell that we could put ourselves back together and get back on the road, that’s what we focussed on, and that’s what we fought very hard for.
“This is truly a labour of love for us. If it wasn’t, then of course we would have closed up shop and figured out something to do. But the truth of it is, we love touring, we love playing music, and we’re willing to sacrifice ourselves to it.
“Who knew a year ago that we’d have another opportunity, or that we’d be capable of it? It’s been quite a trip this last year.”
Baizley stresses how much family and his art and music helped him through the process.
“It was absolutely quintessential to my recovery,” he explains. “If I didn’t have my family around, if we didn’t have a good, strong, network of friends in addition to that, and furthermore, if I didn’t have music to look forward to and to help me, I think I’d be in a vastly different position today than I am.”
Baizley’s intricate artwork is in high demand for album covers and posters by the likes of Metallica, Kverletak, Flight Of The Conchords and many more. He says there was no lack of creativity once he was able again.
“The moment I got back from being stuck in England for almost two months,” he explains, “I just started making artwork again. As soon as my thumb was capable of making music, I started to make little demos and recordings.
“Those things were driven by a lot of the pain that I was in at the time, primarily. I’m just looking for an escape from that, but I always work. That’s what I love to do. “We had the rug pulled out from underneath us very abruptly, and rather than dwelling on the dark side of that, it has to be almost like a consciously made decision to use that as a lesson to urge me forward, and to keep me on point, and focused and motivated to do what I’m capable of doing while I’m capable of doing it. “While I’ve still got the heart to do it, I’m going to give it my all.” Baizley says Baroness have a simple plan for their Soundwave slot. “We’re just going to show up and throw down,” he laughs. “That’s what we do. We’re not bringing a huge production, we’re just bringing what we’ve been doing for the past year to Australia. We’ll probably just scale it down to the all killer, no filler sort of thing. I’m excited!”
John Baizley will be signing and selling limited edition prints at Outre Gallery on Sunday, March 2. Got to Outregallery.com for details.