Baroness' triumphant new album contains some of the biggest, brightest and most glorious riffs and choruses the adventurous rock group has ever recorded. But its title, Purple, also reflects a dark moment in the group's recent history: the terrifying bus crash they survived while on tour in 2012. "The band suffered a gigantic bruise," singer-guitarist John Baizley says of the accident. "It was an injury that prevented us from operating in a normal way for quite some time. Hopefully, this record is the springboard that helps us get away from all that."
The album, which is due out December 18 and which producer Dave Fridmann (the Flaming Lips, Sleater-Kinney) helmed, covers the gamut of emotions Baroness have experienced in recent years and serves as their victory cry. Purple finds a revamped lineup of the band – Baizley and Pete Adams (guitar, vocals) and new additions Nick Jost (bass, keyboards) and Sebastian Thomson (drums) – playing 10 intricately textured tunes and singing about the worry they felt immediately after the crash ("If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)"), the struggle to recover as smoothly as possible ("Chlorine & Wine") and their ongoing quest for survival ("The Iron Bell"). From its bulldozing opener "Morningstar" to the avant-garde 17-second closer "Crossroads of Infinity," the record is at once both their most emotionally threadbare and musically complex offering to date, with passages that allude to their classic-rock roots as much as their crushing metal past.
"We didn't want to make a mellow, sad, dark thing," Adams says. "We needed to be up-tempo. We needed to be melodic, and it also needed to be aggressive. In all of that, I think we were able to get out everything we felt, all of the emotion involved, everything from being angry to wanting to continue to push forward."
“I used two kits, both Ludwig. One is a new Maple Classic with a 24" kick, 14" rack and 18" floor.
The other is a late 70s Ludwig that I bought used a long time ago, not sure the exact line. It's a 22" kick, 13" rack and 16" floor.
On "Desperation Burns" and "Kerosene" I used roto toms instead of toms. Four of them- 8", 10", 12" and 14".
On all the tracks I used a 6.5" by 14" Ludwig Super Sensitive, probably late 70’s too.
On all the toms I used Evans EC2 clear heads, on the snare the Evans STD coated, and on the kicks I used Remo Powerstroke 3’s.
All the cymbals are Meinl- all Byzance Brilliant. 15" hats, 18" Medium Crashes and a 22" Medium Ride.
On "Fugue" I used a cobbled together kit of all small sizes with t-shirts on everything and super old cymbals. All stuff that Dave Fridmann had in the studio.”
Baroness Tour Dates:
November 27 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
November 28 Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen SOLD OUT
November 29 Madison, WI Frequency SOLD OUT
December 1 St. Louis, MO The Demo
December 2 Lawrence, KS Jackpot Music Hall
December 4 Oklahoma City, OK 89th Street Collective
December 5 Dallas, TX Double Wide SOLD OUT
December 6 Austin, TX Mohawk SOLD OUT
December 8 Houston, TX Rudyard’s SOLD OUT
December 9 New Orleans, LA Gasa Gasa
December 11 Gainesville, FL 8-BIT Bar SOLD OUT
December 12 Savannah, GA The Jinx SOLD OUT
December 13 Atlanta, GA The Earl
December 15 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 SOLD OUT
December 16 Richmond, VA Strange Matter SOLD OUT
December 18 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery SOLD OUT
December 19 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s SOLD OUT
December 20 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar SOLD OUT
Pre-order packages for Purple, which feature an instant download of “Chlorine & Wine” as well as a limited edition colored vinyl version of the new album, two picture discs, t-shirts and other unique items are available now via this link: http://smarturl.it/dpurple. Digital pre-orders, which also include an instant download of “Chlorine & Wine,” are available via iTunes (http://smarturl.it/ipurple), Amazon (http://smarturl.it/apurple) and Google Play (http://smarturl.it/gpurple).