Baroness Battles Back From Catastrophe
One year ago, alt-metal band Baroness was touring Europe behind the release of their criticially-acclaimed LP Yellow & Green. This ambitious double album was getting strong buzz for introducing progressive-rock elements into a sludge-metal blueprint. It was a big moment for the Georgia-based band.
Doug Seymour Baroness frontman John Baizley (second from left)
The momentum came to a screeching halt on a rainy morning in August 2012, however, when Baroness' tour bus plunged 30 feet off a viaduct. The accident occurred in Bath, England and injured nine people. Three members of Baroness were in the hospital, for more than two weeks.
A year later, Baroness frontman John Baizley has recovered from a broken left leg and a broken left arm. He has led his band back to the road, including an appearance at FYF Fest this weekend. His injuries may have been bad, but it turns out that wasn't the hardest part.
"We were holding up poorly under the stress of not being on tour," he says on the phone during an off-day in Champaign, Illinois. "We feel like active participants in our lives again now that we're touring. The stress is there, but it's the stress that we like. It's the off time stresses that were really getting to us."
Dealing with the fallout from the bus accident took a major toll on the Savannah quartet. Then-Baroness drummer Allen Blickle and then-bassist Matt Maggioni each suffered severe back injuries that led to their departure from the group. Baizley and guitarist Peter Adams were left to put the pieces of the Baroness puzzle back together with a new rhythm section, but Baizley wasn't satisfied with simply getting the band back to where they were before.
"The point wasn't to get back into decent shape," Baizley says. "It was to get back, get better, and always be progressing. It was the lynchpin on which I hung all of my recovery."