After COVID-19 Canceled US Tour Plans To Support Their Most Recent Album – 2019 Gold and Gray – the group is back on the road, but with a single hook. The group ditched the larger rooms they could fill for much smaller and more intimate rooms. Additionally, anyone who purchases a ticket to one of the shows can vote for the songs they want the band to hear.
The trap of this personalized experience? Tickets for each show are $ 60.
It’s quite the shock of a sticker for a club show (although this price also includes a signed city-specific poster), but it hasn’t scared die-hard fans, who have sold shows before. in Seattle, Chicago, Indianapolis, Brooklyn and Creme Philadelphia.
Before the Baroness tour stopped at the Lucky You Lounge on Wednesday, November 17, we chatted with guitarist Gina Gleason – who joined the band in 2017 after performing with Cirque du Soleil, Carlos Santana, Yes and others – about her quite unique. way to join the band, a new Baroness album and the thought process behind downsizing this tour.
INTERIOR: So, what did the Baroness do during a pandemic?
GINA GLEASON: I live in Philly, John lives in Philly, and Sebastian and Nick are in Brooklyn. So it took a while during the pandemic before we all got together, because we’re dealing with four different households, two different cities, travel, and all that.
The first thing we did was pretty awesome. It was like, okay, let’s just work on some new music; let’s work on ideas. Whatever job we were working on that week, we would put it in a shared Dropbox folder. Every Friday we would all go on Zoom, like, hang out together, check out what everyone’s been working on. So we did this for months – all summer [of 2020] – just throw ideas back and forth. The following winter, we had compiled enough.
We rented an Airbnb. We were like we were, let’s be a group, like the four of us. Everyone like tested all of this good stuff. The first was in Barryville, New York. It was really a very beautiful area, really isolated and near a lake. It was funny like that, okay the house must be so far away from the other houses that they don’t hear the drums at around 1am.
John has a ton of outboard gear recording equipment so we took everything into this house and completely rearranged their furniture. As soon as we walked in it was, “Okay, that couch has to go, the table,” all of that. We just recorded an album, self-designed and self-produced. It was awesome.
And me and John went on a similar Airbnb excursion to record some acoustic stuff and try to work on the vocals. We were doing [that] a bit like the Poconos in Pennsylvania, so like a kind of mountain retreat. This one looked more like some sort of double-width trailer. There were like other caravans nearby, we were like, “I hope they don’t hear people screaming.” But no one complained.
Personally, I started giving guitar lessons on Zoom. And that was great because it just holds me responsible for a different level of guitar playing. Got to show up and have some cool shit to show who it is. Since a student is in Sweden, someone is in Boston, it’s like there are people everywhere. It prompts me to expand my own guitar playing, to try to see things differently. It’s great to have that interaction with people where you can see where they’re coming from as a guitarist. And find out what’s going on in other cities, like how people are feeling mentally and otherwise.
So, are you touring to release this new Baroness album in early 2022?
We don’t have a fixed date, but that’s the goal. I think going back on tour is really going to help us mentally understand things for the new album that need to be wrapped up. It will be just great to have another musical thing stimulated in us.
You’ve had a unique musical journey – from Cirque du Soleil to playing in Carlos Santana’s band – so how did you first meet the Baroness?
i bought this [guitar] in-line pedal called the Philly Fuzz pedal. I grew up in Philly and at the time I was living in Vegas. I felt like I was coming home to visit, and was looking for weird pedals back then … and still.
But I found this guy online who made these Philly Fuzz pedals. And I was like, “Whaaa, that’s awesome, it says Philly on it. So I ordered one and emailed her that was just like, “Hey, if we save the shipping, I’ll be in Philly like this week, and maybe I could pick it up.” or something like that. He asked me where I was going to be in Philly, and it was in his same neighborhood. So I found myself and took the pedal.
Long story short, Steve, the guy I was talking to who makes the pedals, is his pedal company with John. I had no idea there was any association with the Baroness or anything like that.
So I got an Instagram message from A Perfect Monster, John’s art page. And he said to me, “Yo, are you buying one of these pedals?” And I was like, “Yeah, are you the baroness’s guy? Honey, you’re texting me. This is really crazy.”
He was cool, hope you like the pedal, buddy builds them, and maybe we could like hanging out and jamming. And I was like, “F—- yeah!” So we like to meet and him and Steve, and they brought it all up like fuzz pedals that they were working on. We were just trying them out. We spent eight hours in his cellar and played songs from Danzig and Metallica. John was like, “Cool. We play guitar well together. Nice to meet a new guitarist friend.”
A few months passed and we stayed in touch. Somewhere along the line he was like, “Hey, I think (Baroness ex-guitarist Peter Adams) is kinda going to move on, we already play guitar well together, will you? learn 35 songs from the baroness and come audition or whatever. Like meet Nick and Zeb? ” And I was like, “F—- yeah! I’m on a plane. I’m in your basement.” (Laughs) Yeah, so it’s a really great way to meet each other, but it’s kinda awesome.
It must have been quite disappointing that you couldn’t turn your last record – the one from 2019. Gold and Gray – in front of an audience in the United States because COVID canceled your first American tour to support the record.
I can’t wait to play these songs for an American audience. It’s crazy how the timing worked. We played a lot of this album when we toured a lot in Europe in 2019. But we were there to support a band called Volbeat, and they are musically very different from us. So we just figured that if their audience didn’t know about the Baroness catalog anyway, we could kind of play whatever we wanted. So we played a ton of Gold and Gray. We’ve taken a lot of liberties by just experimenting with stuff and enjoying seeing what works, what doesn’t. So after going through this experience, I’m really excited to bring it to more intimate places in the United States.
Because this tour is a tour where people can vote on the songs they want to hear, we think it would be cool to play on any given night.
So we thought maybe the third set is where we can do some Gold and Gray stuff, but then a lot of people voted for those songs on the ballots. So we thought: “Oh, this is great!” I felt really excited about it.
Why did the Baroness decide to perform in very small venues for this tour?
The first question was like, “What’s the best thing about COVID?”
I work in a gym in Philly as a machinist. We did it again in August, and it was helpful just to see how we did there and how people responded or followed the Philadelphia protocols that you have to have a vaccine or a negative test result within. 48 hours. And then keep your mask on. Looks like everyone’s cool with this. Everyone is just happy to be at the shows.
We’re just touring in a group of ourselves, as opposed to if we were touring with two or three other bands, which opens [things] up.
So that was the first thing and then we thought it would be fun to do more intimate shows. And we’re trying to think of a way that people might feel like, “Oh, it was like a real experience. This whole night has been very special.”
Since we haven’t been able to tour Gold and Gray and we’re still working on a new album, we thought maybe people could say whatever they wanna hear. We are going to play it. That will be great.
Being more recent in the band, were there any songs that the fans chose where you were like, “Oh shit, I have to go learn this old one”?
I think there are only a couple of songs where I was like, “Oh, I never played that with you guys.” But I was a huge Baroness fan before I joined the band, so I didn’t have the “What’s next?” I could sing every solo and every change in my head, because I’ve been listening to these records for about ten years like a fan. As I really like the Blue disc, and there are many [fan] pick this up. So it was super fun for me.
I felt like I was watching videos of how Pete or the previous members were playing things and I was like, “Oh, you were doing this and that live, maybe we could bring that back? For me, as a fan, doing all the guitar parts has been really good. (Laughs)
Baroness Wed Nov 17, 8 p.m. $ 60 21+ Lucky You Lounge 1801 W Sunset Blvd luckyyoulounge.com 509-474-0511