One of music’s most heartbreaking stories of 2012 came in August, when the tour bus carrying Georgia metal band Baroness crashed in the UK, leaving numerous members of the band and crew with serious injuries, canceling the rest of their tour dates for the year. The accident left the band unable to perform behind their new album, unable to share their hard-earned glory with fans: Baroness’ Yellow & Green had come out less than a month prior to the accident, and it was an absolute triumph. (It has been absent from very few year-end lists, and placed well on ours.) Today, though, there is good news: The band appears to be fully healed — or healed enough that they’re ready to get back in action. Baroness frontman John Dyer Baizley shared a note titled “A Message From John” on the band’s site today, accompanied by a video of Baizley and guitarist Peter Adams performing a gorgeous acoustic version of Yellow & Green instrumental track “Stretchmarker,” their first performance together since the accident. The first sentence of Baizley’s message says it all: “Simply put: it’s time to get back to it.” Hell yeah it is. Check out the “Stretchmarker” video, and Baizley’s note in full, below.
A MESSAGE FROM JOHN
Simply put: it’s time to get back to it. Since my belated and thankful return to the USA (after our painful test in motorcoach-aeronautics) i can definitively say i’ve exhausted my reserve of potential leisure activities (there’s not that many of them, after all). in recent weeks, i’ve come dreadfully close to boredom, and in those moments i can’t help but focus on my glaring physical infirmities. television offers little respite from this relative stasis; i’m sure by now i have sampled every biker-meth-dealer-zombie-low-talking-cop-crime-scene-serial-killer-real-housewife soap opera that is currently being broadcast (and there’s no small number of them). i’ve tried to fill my weekly routine with as much physical therapy as possible but the truth is, PT is not fun, and its benefits come with a great deal of mental/physical/spiritual pain and struggle. furthermore, i believe am getting a touch of Stockholm syndrome when it comes to my doctors and therapists (the highlight of my week should NOT involve a clinic). music might be the best therapy i have right now. perhaps it’s both the cause and the cure (the thought has crossed my mind); but i feel lost without it. Pete and i have just spent a long week surveying our musical wreckage and, surprisingly, we are quite well and intact. sure, there’s some substantial obstacles to overcome before we write, record or perform any time soon; but we still have everything we need to get “back in” that particular “saddle again”. Most of my peers are familiar with such high-school-gym-teacher poeticisms as “risk equals reward” and “no pain, no gain”; but did any of us every really believe there was any real wisdom in those adolescent platitudes? i didn’t. i am, however, starting to understand the essence of these and many of our other favorite cliches.
as odd as it might be for me to write these “updates” after 10 years of personal silence on the internet, i feel that i owe everyone who’s voiced or given their support to Baroness a brief synopsis of our situation and more importantly a heartfelt thanks. honestly, it has made this ordeal much easier on me. what little publicity that surrounds our crash has given voice to so many people who have shared their own stories of injury, trauma and struggle with us, and has furthered my own faith in the communicative and universal strength of music. as every singer on every stage has nightly said, “we wouldn’t be where we are without you.” thanks everyone. we look forward to seeing you soon. here’s a short clip of a song we wrote.