The American South is well-known for its rich musical history, which includes the blues, jazz, and more recently, it being home to numerous bands playing a sludgy variety of metal. Although emerging out of this scene initially in the mid-2000s, Savannah, Georgia's Baroness has shown with each album that a band can evolve, yet still incorporate aspects of where they began. With the debut of their double LP, Yellow & Green, this month the band continues to push the limits of American metal. Punknews staff interviewer Andrew Clark spoke with guitarist/backing vocalist Pete Allen via e-mail about the band's origins, current tour plans, and what he misses most when away.
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and what you do in the band?
Iā??m Pete and I play guitar and backing vocals for Baroness.
I know that you guys are from Savannah, GA, which has a lengthy history of music. How do you feel like this impacted your decision to form Baroness?
Well, we originally were together in Virginia and, by chance, all ended up moving to Savannah. So we just kinda relocated there.
Prior to the bandā??s formation, were you any of you guys involved with music? If so, how did these previous endeavors influence Baroness?
As I said before, we had a band together in Virginia called Johnny Welfare and the Paychecks. We have had several bands in the years before that as well.
Congratulations on releasing Yellow & Green this summer! I have listened to it a few times now, and something new always pulls me in each spin. What was the recording process like this time around versus past experiences?
We were very well prepared this time around. We had demoed the material thoroughly and were just ready to work with a plan.
With this release there are some noticeable differences from your last LP, Blue Record, including greater use of melody, clean vocals, and some electronics. The album, however, still contains the intricate guitar work and atmospherics that I love about you guys. Were these changes conscious decisions?
We wanted to increase the dynamics of our live set by challenging ourselves to try something new to us. Vocals were always an afterthought until now. We wanted to treat them as another instrument we could include. We honestly just started writing and this is what happened. We were in a fairly mellow mood at the time.
Looking at your releases to date all of them, with exception of your first split EP with Unpersons, have titles related to colors. Would you mind explaining the meaning behind this pattern?
Itā??s really just a cool way to theme our records. Itā??s simple and to the point. Although the colors may actually at times indicate a feel of songs on the records.
What are the bandā??s plans for touring in support of this album?
Well, we are out in Europe right now with a little less than two weeks until itā??s released. We're out doing festivals and headlining shows in Europe until August 20th. When we get back to the States we will be out through the Fall doing headlining tours around the US.
Onto some more light-hearted things. When you are away from Savannah, what do you miss most that cannot be found elsewhere?
Well, friends more than anything. I live in Virginia so I tend to miss the mountains there most of all.
Per my tradition for interviews, I would like to offer you guys the last word.