Baroness 'back to high gear' after 2012 bus crash
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Baroness lead guitarist Peter Adams has cheated death twice.
The first was in 2003 in a firefight outside Fallujah, Iraq, as a gunner in a scout platoon. A grenade exploded above his head, sending shrapnel into his right eye and body armor. He required a four-month hospital stay and lost sight in that eye.
The second was last August.
In July 2012, the genre-defying metal band released its third full-length album, "Yellow & Green," on Relapse Records. A month later, touring in England, its tour bus fell 30 feet into a viaduct, injuring nine (including two seriously) and throwing the future of the critically acclaimed band into uncertainty.
Singer/guitarist John Baizley, a childhood friend of Adams, broke his left arm and left leg in the incident. Bassist Matt Maggioni and drummer Allen Blickle each suffered fractured vertebrae. Adams suffered no serious injuries; he was treated and released the next day.
Speaking over the phone from his home in Virginia, Adams' excitement was apparent when asked about picking up where the band left off last August.
"We're super excited, as you can imagine," he said. "At one point, we didn't know when or if we'd get to tour again."
The band formed in 2003 (sans Adams, who was in the military at the time), but its roots were laid a few years earlier with Adams and Baizley in the band that would become Baroness. Since then, Baroness has opened for bands including Mastodon, Metallica and the Deftones, as well as played at the Bonnaroo and Coachella music festivals.
"The day of the crash, [Baizley] looked at me and said, 'Look, man, I think my arm is broken,' and I said, 'Hell, you'll be fine," Adams recalled with a laugh he could only have in retrospect.
"He recovered 10 times better than I, or anyone, would've expected. He wasn't going to let this thing kick his butt. He's doing considerably well: he's playing, and we're able to rehearse for hours on end.
"He's still got some pain in there, but he pushes through it in a remarkable way."
After welcoming Nick Jost on bass and Sebastian Thomson on drums earlier this year, Baroness announced on its website that the band would again do what it's been doing for a decade: getting in a van and touring.
"I think we're back to high gear again," Adams said.
He said it's high time to hit the road again.
"After the accident, I did a lot of soul searching. You start to think, 'Hey, is this touring thing for me?' At the end of the day, I determined it was.
"It's what we do, and you only have this one life to live. I want to get out there and keep it going."
He said he's even looking forward to heading back to Europe.
"We've got some unsettled business there, with a few shows we weren't able to make."
Reach Nick Harrah at firstname.lastname@example.org.