"Red Album" ('07), "Blue Record" ('09) and "Yellow & Green" ('12) were the titles of the first three Baroness albums. Guitarist Peter Adams stated in a radio interview that the concept came from the group's drummer, Allen Blickle. 'He had this idea. But it's also kind of like Zeppelin. You know, they had I, II, III, and IV. In a weird kind of way, that's our "I, II, III, IV," added Adams. Before they recorded full-length albums, the group issued three EPs, "First," Second" and "Sigh In A Flower Husk" (a split album with Unpersons) between '04 and '07.
Baroness formed in '03 from the remnants of the Punk/Metal band Johnny Welfare And The Paychecks in Lexington, VA. "It's like, you're a kid. You're angry," explained Adams, who left an early incarnation of the band to join the Army - he suffered a serious eye injury from a grenade launcher in Iraq. "You're fueled up. You're starting to question the world, politics and everything else around you. And of course, authority just doesn't set right with you when you're that age. And so, Punk fits that, perfectly."
Johnny Welfare And The Paychecks had Adams, Blickle, bassist Summer Welch and frontman John Dyer Baizley.
Baizley, a painter in addition to being a rhythm guitarist/singer, has garnered a reputation for his album cover art and t-shirts he's created for Baroness and other bands. Baizley's artwork is very intricate and detailed. He often uses the female form and religious or anti-religious symbols in a stylized way to tell a story. "My goal is to find a narrative and theoretic balance without seeming either too overtly pretentious or too simple and comical," Baizley explained.
"John does artwork for bands that he can make a connection to," added Adams. "If he can connect to it it gives him that inspiration and influence record by record." That attitude is also reflected in the music.
"We never, ever... had the discussion where we wanted to play music for profit and just do whatever's easy and sensible and guaranteed to keep us in the game, so to speak," said Baizley. "We've always, always gravitated toward the edges of the envelope."
The "Red Album" was named Album of the Year by Revolver magazine - promising Heavy Metal recognition. But less than a year later, guitarist Brian Blickle, drummer Allen Blickle's brother, left and was replaced by Adams who had completed his tour of duty.
"Blue Record" debuted at #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, but only made it to #117 on the Billboard 200. Still, the set led Baroness to nailing an opening slot supporting Mastodon and Deftones, before touring Australia and New Zealand with Metallica.
"Trying to do an album after 'Red Album' and 'Blue Record,' we didn't want to do the same thing, you know, just a collection of songs," Blickle stated in an interview. "We wanted to do something more expansive, especially when we were trying to do the different sounds we did. We figured we needed something more, a longer album to do it." The group's third set "Yellow & Green" dropped in '12.
While on tour, Baroness and their crew landed in the hospital after their bus smashed into a viaduct near Bath in England. Baizley broke his left arm and left leg, and Blickle and Maggioni each suffered fractured vertebrae. Adams was the first released from the hospital while Baizley was the last. As a result of the accident, the group canceled their remaining '12 tour dates and returned to the U.S.
"Thank you to all of you who have been sending the tidal wave of positivity our way," the group wrote on Facebook. "We are uplifted by its sheer magnitude, and power. Every single one of you is making our days and nights easier and our recovery quicker. Thank you all so much, we are truly lucky to have such incredible people on our side. A sincere and heartfelt thank you from each of us to each of you."
After everyone had mended, it was announced that both Blickle and Maggioni had left Baroness. Their replacements were Nick Jost (bass) and Sebastian Thomson (drums).
"Purple," a '15 effort, was recorded with Dave Fridmann at Tarbox Road Studios in Cassadaga, NY. It was released on the group's newly formed Abraxan Hymns imprint. Though the song "Chlorine & Wine" got a lot of early exposure (and a video) the 'official' lead single was "Shock Me."
2007 Red Album
2009 Blue Record
2012 Yellow & Green