John Baizley Elaborates on Baroness Lineup Changes
If you’ve been wondering why longtime guitarist Pete Adams exited Baroness earlier this month, you’re probably not alone: other than offering “it’s time for me to focus my energy closer to home and not on the road,” he didn’t really explain. Nor did we ever get the skinny on who their new guitarist Gina Gleason is and how the band found her.
Along comes Team Rock to the rescue with answers to both questions via an interview with band leader John Baizley.
First, here’s what he had to say about Adams’ departure (the tl;dr version: the similar “the touring lifestyle is very difficult and isn’t for everyone” refrain we so often hear):
“I think it’s important to note that being a touring musician, and being in a band that puts as much effort into the process of touring and writing and rehearsing as we do, it should be noted that it’s not particularly easy if you desire a life at home. If your social life is important, if your personal and private life is important, this lifestyle as a musician can be a great strain.
“And we’ve had several members for who that strain was exerted in such a way that they did not want it to have a negative effect on their life. So Pete, having been in this band a long time, having been a friend of mine for decades, rather than finding himself in a position where he couldn’t put all of himself and 100 per cent into what it takes to remain in this band, I think he thought that in order to pursue his own interests, a friendly exit from the band would be much better than what could become a dramatic thing.
“It was really impressive to me, the way that the four of us were able to do this, and for him to leave the band on good terms and with full communication, because it’s so much easier to fuck off and leave. The fact we didn’t do that means a lot to me. I would never want to lose a friend because of this band.”
As for how Gleason entered the fold, it’s quite the unlikely story, proving that “right place, right time” is really so much of everything in life (not to take anything away from Gleason’s talents, of course):
“I have a small fuzz pedal company. We just make little stomp boxes for people, and she was one of the first people that bought one. And I noticed on the shipping receipt that she lived two miles from me. I don’t live in a hip neighborhood, it’s not a place where a lot of people live, it was completely shocking to see that one of these was getting shipped down the road.
“So one of my partners checked out her Instagram profile, and was like John, you have to see her Instagram. That sounds super lame, but it was so obvious that she was such a talented player. You could kind of see as much as you can, and hear that there was an attitude there that was great, that was enthusiastic and creative and really had this… you could hear it in her playing. She had this real desire to grow.
“I just hit her up casually, and we started jamming, and that attitude I sensed just seeing her Instagram profile was more prevalent in the rehearsal space than I was anticipating. So it was natural. If it’s natural, and it works, and things seem great, then you just go with it. Because that’s not the majority of life. It’s not the majority of relationships you make. If something feels effortless and you know you’ve got some big work ahead to do, then you should go with that.
“And that’s in lieu of maybe finding somebody who had a bit more similarity in their history or who had a more developed public profile. I thought the interesting thing about her, and everybody that’s been in the band, is that they come to it with really a fresh attitude, and a huge desire not only to immerse themselves in what we’ve already established, but to push that forward. So, it feels great.”
Reports from the road so far indicate that the band is just as good live as ever, and we’re happy to learn that all is copacetic betwixt the current and former bandmembers, too. Elsewhere in the interview Baizley talks about what progress he’s made on the next Baroness album and what it will sound like, so be sure to read that at Team Rock.
[via The PRP]