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Interview:
Baroness at Majestic Theatre, 3 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

Baroness has put a few jewels in the crown since emerging from Savannah, Ga., more than 15 years ago.



The hard rock troupe has released five studio albums, including this year's "Gold & Grey," and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2017. Its 2009 sophomore set "Blue Record" was named the 20th Greatest Metal Album in History by L.A. Weekly, and the quartet has played just about every applicable festival known to man -- including both of Metallica's Orion Music + More events during 2012 and 2013.



Produced by Flaming Lips cohort Dave Fridmann, "Gold & Grey" is another adventurous set that also marks Baroness' first with current lead guitarist Gina Gleason. It debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard 200 -- the group's second-best showing yet -- and launched the single "Borderlines" in front of the group's current tour...



Frontman John Baizley, the sole founding member left in Baroness, says by phone that the group's current lineup its best yet. "I think there's a stability that I've certainly been aching for. I think with this lineup what we've got is four members, all of whom are continually ready to work, who have creative goals and ambitions that are impressive and who love to rehearse and write and are involved in every aspect of the band. Everybody's just an incredibly great players and, from a technical sense, better than I am. That's forced me to hold myself to a higher standard and make improvements I might not have made otherwise. I can't overstate the value of that."



Baizley, 40, says that over time Baroness has gained confidence that it will be able to blend new material with its existing favorites when the group puts its shows together. "When a band releases a (new) record there can be this feeling that you sort of hope your new material will integrate well and mesh with the old stuff. I've learned in this band that's not really an issue; It's just a matter of us getting better at finding a place for each (new) song in that set. Sometimes it's about tempo or overall volume (level) or things like that. But for us it's exciting because we've gotten so used to a certainly set list and combinations of songs we've learned are always going to work in certain ways, and it's nice to have some new songs to consider and some new things to learn."



All of Baroness' material, however, goes through some degree of change from the time it's recorded to when the group performs it live, according to Baizley. "The studio version doesn't have to sound real -- it has to sound better than real, like there are no imitations. Studio versions don't play by live song rules; They just have to work, and we, the musicians of Baroness, are here for one simple purpose -- to serve the needs of the songs. The only limitations are the boundaries of our own imaginations. So anything goes. Then when you play them live, there are limitations from a physical standpoint. So in the best case we create something in the studio that's better than we could have ever imagined it being in a live setting, and then we try to learn how to approximate that as a live band and that makes much more interesting things happen. I think we excel when we challenge ourselves like that."



Baroness and Torche perform Saturday, July 20, at the Majestic Theatre, Detroit. Doors at 7 p.m. $25 advance, $28 day of show. 313-833-9700 or majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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