JOHN BAIZLEY & KATIE JONES: Vice/Noisey Premieres First Single From Songs Of Townes Van Zandt Vol II

As Neurot Recordings prepares to release Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol II this Winter, the first single from the tribute collection to late folk/country music icon is now playing via Noisey/Vice Magazine.

 

Neurot will release Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol II in North America — once again through a partnership with Germany’s My Proud Mountain Records, the label formed to release the first Songs of Townes Van Zandt album in 2012, which featured contributions from Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly — who will again handle the international release of this second installment of the series. Featuring an outstanding cast of artists who front full-time bands in addition to releasing their own solo and collaborative works complimenting this legendary but often overlooked American singer-songwriter, Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol II bears nine more TVZ covers from Mike Scheidt (YOB, VHÖL), Nate Hall (USX), John Baizley (Baroness), Katie Jones, Stevie Floyd (Dark Castle, Taurus) and Dorthia Cottrell (Windhand).

 

Noisey is hosting a stream of the album’s closing rendition of the Townes Van Zandt anthem, “If I Needed You,” as performed by John Baizley and Katie Jones, who both provide a mixture of heartfelt vocals to an acoustic backdrop in their remake of the beautiful yet gloomy classic. Listen in now AT THIS LOCATION.

 

Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol II will see digital and CD stateside release via Neurot on March 11th. Stay tuned for additional retold tales from the collection to be released in the coming weeks.

 

http://www.neurotrecordings.com

http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

http://www.youtube.com/user/NeurotRecordings

http://www.myproudmountain.com

SKELETONWITCH To Release Limited Edition Serpents Unleashed LP – Proceeds To Aid Animal Shelters

SKELETONWITCH will release a hand-screened, 180-gram limited vinyl edition of their acclaimed, Billboard-charting 2013 release, Serpents Unleashed, of which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to two animal shelters in the band’s home state of Ohio — The Athens County Humane Society and Columbus’ Pets Without Parents. The members of Ohio’s most-loved heavy metal group have always been proud pet owners and are excited to raise awareness and support for two no-kill organizations in their region.

Limited to a one-time-only pressing of 100 copies, the black LP includes a hand-screened, hand-numbered jacket with exclusive artwork and a hand-screened dust sleeve. It comes with a color poster and a sticker showcasing the album’s original masterful artwork by John Baizley (Baroness, Kylesa, Kvelertak), as well as a download card. Mark your calendars, as the limited-edition LPs will go on sale on a first-come, first-serve basis exclusively via http://www.skeletonwitch.com on Monday, January 20th at 1:00pm EST.

 

Find out more information direct from the band HERE.

 

Praised for being their most potent album to date, Serpents Unleashed appeared on countless year-end “best-of” lists (Decibel, Metal Injection, etc.) due to its “relentlessly intense, in-your-face brutality” (Metal Assault). After touring North America extensively in the fall with The Black Dahlia Murder in addition to performing a select number of shows alongside Ghost B.C., SKELETONWITCH will continue to support the release, joining Amon Amarth and Enslaved on a US run that starts this Friday in Las Vegas. Soon after, the group will make their way to Australia for the first time to tour alongside Toxic Holocaust. The band’s complete tour schedule can be found below.

SKELETONWITCH

w/ Amon Amarth, Enslaved
1/17/2014 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
1/18/2014 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
1/20/2014 Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX
1/21/2014 House of Blues – Dallas, TX
1/22/2014 House of Blues – Houston, TX

1/23/2014 Siberia – New Orleans, LA *
1/24/2014 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA
1/25/2014 The Ritz – Tampa, FL
1/26/2014 Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

1/27/2014 Atticus Bar – Jacksonville, FL *
1/28/2014 The Jinx – Savannah, GA *
1/29/2014 The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
1/30/2014 NorVA – Norfolk, VA
1/31/2014 The Fillmore – Silver Springs, MD
2/01/2014 House of Blues – Boston, MA
2/03/2014 TLA – Philadelphia, PA
2/04/2014 Irving Plaza – New York, NY

2/05/2014 The Paramount – Huntington, NY
2/07/2014 House of Blues – Chicago, IL
2/08/2014 Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
2/09/2014 Grenada Theatre – Lawrence, KS
2/11/2014 Summit Theatre – Denver, CO
2/12/2014 Murray Theater – Salt Lake City, UT
2/14/2014 The Regency – San Francisco, CA
2/15/2014 Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
w/ Amon Amarth 

2/16/2014 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
w/ Toxic Holocaust 
4/16/2014The Kings Arms – Auckland, NZ
4/17/2014 Bodega Bar – Wellington, NZ
4/18/2014 The Rosemont Hotel – Perth, AU
4/19/2014 Fowlers Live – Adelaide, AU
4/20/2014 Espy Gershwin Room – Melbourne, AU
4/21/2014 TBD – Byron Bay, AU
4/22/2014 The Basement – Canberra, AU
4/24/2014 The Hi Fi – Brisbane, AU
4/25/2014 Cambridge Hotel – Newcastle, AU
4/26/2014 The Hi Fi – Sydney, AU
4/27/2014 The Hi Fi – Melbourne, AU

*SKELETONWITCH only

http://www.facebook.com/skeletonwitchmetal
http://www.skeletonwitch.com
http://www.prostheticrecords.com 

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Brutal Panda Records Announces 7″ Subscription Series

Brutal Panda Records is proud to announce their first ever vinyl subscription series.  The label will be releasing four split 7″s throughout the remainder of 2013, with a new 7″ being released every couple of months.  The series is kicking off with a repress of the long out of print Black Tusk / Fight Amp split featuring artwork from Baroness frontman John Baizley.  The remaining 7″s will feature brand new and exclusive tracks from:

Kowloon Walled City
Helms Alee

Whores

Ladder Devils

Rabbits

Batillus

There will be a limit of 100 subscriptions available.  All subscribers will receive an exclusive vinyl color for each release in along with the  chance at winning a test press of one of the titles.    The subscription is currently available for purchase at this location while the Black Tusk / Fight Amp split is available for order here with the Fight Amp side streaming here.BrutalPanda_460x212

Baroness Returns to Pittsburgh in Triumph at Mr. Smalls

On August 15th of last year, Baroness fans were not so sure the band would ever return to touring or playing music ever again.  In a bus crash near Bath, England the band and crew members of Baroness’ lives were forever changed and their fans held their breath and hoped that it would turn out well for all involved.  Nearly a year later, Baroness is back out on the road in the U.S. supporting ‘Yellow & Green’, a bit changed, a bit scarred, but not broken.  I had the great pleasure to meet with guitarist/backup vocalist Peter Adams before their show in Pittsburgh on June 14, 2013 and was met with great welcome and complete openness about the experiences of the past year.

Hanging out with Pete is somewhat akin to being around one of your best buds.  He’s  your typical guy from a blue collar background and he has that Matthew McConaughey southern drawl, sort of like McConaughey’s character Wooderson in Dazed and Confused.  When he’s not playing guitar with Baroness or with Valkyrie (with brother Jake), Pete can be found in the hills of Lexington, Virginia hunting, fishing, helping at his friends farm and basically living off the land.  He’s very down to earth, humble, and friendly, as all the guys in the band are, and we wound up spending a good two hours talking about both of our lives and a lot of what has gone of in the Baroness camp.

I met Pete about 4:30 outside of the tour bus at the venue, Mr. Smalls in Millvalle, just outside of downtown Pittsburgh.  We decided since it was a beautiful day in the ‘Burgh to just hang in the open air and conduct our interview.  Afterwards Pete asked me a bit about Pittsburgh Music Magazine and my life.  It was great to find our common bond in that he has a family full of teachers and I myself am a teacher.  Beyond the dreadful experience that he had and how Pete still feels a bit of trepidation every time the engine fires up on the bus, he would go on to let me in on the fact that Baroness would probably not make any money on the tour due to paying top money for the safest bus and the best driver; a driver which has driven for many of the greatest rock and country stars who will relate his many stories to Pete while he sits up front with him watching the road drone on.  Singer/guitar player/founder John Baizley used to sit up front, but ever since the accident in Bath, he has taken to being in the back, which is where Pete was when the crash happened , creating in effect a role reversal.

Pete and John have obviously seen a lot on the road besides their accident in their decade long career.  Some of things Pete talked at length about were the time he and John suddenly got called upon to fill in on guitar for Mastodon for a brief stretch on tour.  How scary riding in a ‘Bandwagon’ can be, especially when you have to load in at the House of Blues in L.A. (see any flattened signs there anyone?). How much respect he gained for Metallica after opening for them, especially experiencing firsthand how humble they actually are, how supportive of their openers they can be, and how they practice every night for an hour before ever going onstage.  Baroness was recently invited to the Orion Fest for the second year in a row by The Metallica guys only to be told a bit later that they had to be dropped because they were on the Fest last year and there are not supposed to be back-to-back repeats.  Undaunted, Baroness booked a pre-Orion show in Detroit and lo and behold who shows up to introduce them and hang out for the show?  You guessed it, Metallica.  Pete also talked about driving through the devastation in Oklahoma recently and how mind blowing it was, even bringing back memories of when his childhood home was destroyed by a hurricane back in South Carolina.

Listen to the following audio interview in which Pete speaks about the new guys in the band, the song writing process, ‘Yellow &Green’, working with John Baizley, going back to Europe in the fall, and whether Baroness is working on new material…

That night after the interview, Baroness let the music do the talking.  Opening up with “Take My Bones Away”, the band never, ever let up.  The beautifully combined vocals of John and Pete and their amazingly intertwined guitar patterns are truly something to behold live.  New members Sebastian Thomson on drums and Nick Jost on bass fit like a glove and seem like they have been with the band for years rather than months.  The crowd ate up every morsel being thrown at them and regularly cheered at the recognition of the first notes of each song.  Baizley was sure to thank all for the support, well wishes, cards, and phone calls in their darkest of times.  The emotion in the room was palpable, the crowd and band were overjoyed at the return of Baroness to where they belong…

(If you missed Baroness and would like to catch them in the area again you might be able to catch them on a double bill with Ghost B.C. in Cleveland at The House of Blues in Cleveland…but I don’t think those tickets will last long!)

Highlights: “Take My Bones Away”, “Eula”, “Cocainium”, “Board Up The House”

All photos © 2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle depart from touring with Baroness

Baroness issued this statement today:

Nothing can truly prepare you for a brush with death. The event is unique one, singular to the observer. Trust me, you don’t want to invite the experience. Our bus accident left indelible marks, external and internal, physical and mental, you name it. Each of the nine of us went through and continues to go through an entirely different, yet common experience. We are tied to each other by a trauma, which, despite its damage, has been made individually easier through our shared ordeal. While I would never wish the incident on anyone, I cannot imagine going through that wreck alone.

Thankfully, injury was not dealt out evenly; unfortunately it was dealt in great supply. Each of the nine of us now finds our self in a drastically different circumstance, and we each move forward accordingly. There are two important things to note. First, we are all healthy. We are recovering at different rates, and we’ll all be fine in the end. Second, Baroness has made a commitment to pick up where we left off, and get back out on tour, where we belong. In fact, I am personally staking my recovery on this principle; it gives me direction and something to look forward to (finally).

However, for some of us, the accident necessitated a change that would prevent them from performing music or touring. It is with sadness that we must announce that Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle will not continue touring with Baroness. The details of their departure are not sensational; they do not come with hard feelings. Nor are the details going to be public; suffice it to say we’d like to keep to ourselves the finer points of this situation, to respect the privacy of all involved. While the nine of us must respect the significance of the bus accident in Bath, we must also move away from it and get back to our lives. Simply put, some of the effects and injuries were severe enough to prohibit further activity in Baroness. While we would never have asked them to leave; we have the utmost sympathy for this situation, and in earnest, we wish Matt and Allen the best in the future. In their stead, we have found two musicians who can approach our music with passion and vitality and help get us back out on tour to finish what was seemingly cut short last August.

 

Till the wheels fall off . . .

John Baizley & Baroness

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube 

 

Century Media artists announce South by Southwest appearances

Italy’s LACUNA COIL, Fort Worth-based duo PINKISH BLACK, and ambient blackened doom metallers VATTNET VISKAR will be appearing at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX. See below for all performance information:

Wednesday, March 13th

VATTNET VISKAR

2PM: House of Vans at Mohawk, Pitchfork Show No Mercy showcase

12:00AM: Hoeks Death Metal Pizza

PINKISH BLACK

3PM: House of Vans at Mohawk, Pitchfork Show No Mercy showcase

9:30PM: Six Lounge, Metal Wreckage showcase w/ ALOL, JUNIUS and more

Friday, March 15

LACUNA COIL

12:50AM: Dirty Dog Bar

Saturday, March 16th

PINKISH BLACK

9:30PM: The North Door, Brooklyn Vegan showcase w/ PALLBEARER, JOHN BAIZLEY and more

SXSW offers festival-goers a unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. For more information about SXSW, please visit: http://sxsw.com

LACUNA COIL has spent the past year touring the world in support of their new album, Dark Adrenaline, and is spending the first quarter of 2013 on the road with SEVENDUST and COAL CHAMBER in North America. Released in January 2012 via Century Media Records, the album debuted at #15 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, sold nearly 20,000 units in its first week, and spawned the crushing first single, “Trip The Darkness.”

PINKISH BLACK has finished recording their upcoming album and Century Media debut, set tentatively for a spring release. Featuring no stringed instruments, the duo relies on aura and raw emotions to obtain their unique heaviness.

Hailing from the small town of Plaistow, New Hampshire, VATTNET VISKAR is anything but small. Formed in the fall of 2010, the band has quickly risen amongst the ranks of US black metal acts with their self-titled EP, which was named one of the best metal albums of 2012 by Pitchfork.com, Stereogum.com, and countless others.

John Baizley of Baroness Issues Harrowing Account of Accident

As most of you are aware, Baroness was involved in a very serious bus accident during their European tour in August. The Baroness camp just sent this email out to their fans:

On August 15th, just before 11 am, Baroness and our crew were involved in a very bad crash while on tour. The brakes in our bus failed completely, on a notoriously dangerous, incredibly steep (12% grade) hill in Monkton Combe, UK, on our way from a show Bristol to another show in Southampton. Our bus went entirely out of control, and we had no choice other than hitting a perpendicular guardrail going about 50 mph at the bottom of the hill. The guard rail and the 20 or 30 trees we ploughed through snapped like matchsticks as we went fully airborne and fell down more than 30 feet off of a viaduct to the ground below. Half of the band/crew were asleep while we lost our brakes, and a few of us were awake and sitting in the rear lounge. I was up front with our driver, and I bore witness to the entire thing. Once our brakes failed, the bus could do little more than gain momentum and plummet down the hill. There was nothing anyone on the bus could have done during our descent to avoid the crash, and no one, the local residents, the police or any of us can believe we survived the impact.

Most people who have been in accidents understand the pre-trauma sensation of time slowing down. There were almost two minutes during which I knew we were heading for a collision. It felt like two hours. I remember the sound of the air-brakes failing, and the panicked cursing of our driver as we slowly realized how desperate the situation was. I tried as hard as I could to yell and wake everyone up to prepare for impact. I remember the sounds of confusion from behind me as our collective terror rose. I remember seeing the guardrail split, then a cluster of trees smacking against the front windshield. While we were airborne my eyes met with our driver’s. I knew then that we each shared the same look on our face; and I won’t soon forget it. We had spent enough time in the air to appreciate, make peace with and accept a fate we thought inevitable, and we looked at one another with a horribly silent “goodbye” in our eyes.

When the bus hit the ground, I flew like a missile into the windshield. I can still see the double-paned auto glass turning blue and the spider-webbing cracks spreading outwards from the impact my body made. I hit the glass so hard, that the entire windshield flew from the frame to the ground, and I bounced back inside the bus. I landed on the ledge of the windshield. This came with an immediate and overwhelming pain throughout my body. I surveyed the damage to see instantly that my left leg was very obviously and badly broken. Then I lifted my arms forward to see if either had been damaged. My right arm was covered in burns, blood and broken glass, but working well enough. My left arm was crushed beyond belief, broken in the middle of the bone in my upper arm (humerus), and hanging 90 degrees backwards, with many spurs of bone poking through muscles and sinew at the surface of my skin. The bone was shattered into seven free-floating pieces, and my wrist and hand were swinging behind my back, spasming freely. Instinctively, I reached behind my back, grabbed my wrist and re-broke my arm forwards, hugging it to my chest, where it remained for the next three hours until it was cast in plaster. Meanwhile, I watched as some of the band was able to get off the bus and help the others, many of whom were broken-up as well, and several of whom were unconscious. There was blood, glass and diesel fuel everywhere.

We were all rushed to the hospital in Bath, and treated for our various injuries, broken arms, legs, vertebrae, bruises, cuts, etc. Our driver was air lifted to a separate hospital with many breaks as well. A few of us had to remain in the hospital for a few days, I was hospitalized for two weeks, following an eight-hour surgery in which my arm was rebuilt with the aid of 2 massive titanium plates, 20 screws and a foot-and-a-half of wire. The 15” incision took almost 50 staples to close up. I was left completely immobilized for the remainder of my hospital stay, able to do next-to-nothing on my own and in need of constant care. Following those excruciating first two weeks, I was quite literally stuck in an apartment for another three weeks with my family while waiting for my doctor to allow me to safely board an airplane, for fear of bloodclots and swelling. I have just this past week returned back to the US and my home, where I am wheelchair-bound for another several weeks of physical therapy, learning to use my arm and leg again.

While I cannot lift a glass of water to my lips to drink with my left arm and hand, I am still able to play music with it. I picked up a guitar and played the day after I returned. Not without pain (for the time being), but the hand still acts out the creative impulses I give it. I’m told I was quite lucky to have regained any use at all of my hand and arm, though I have sustained quite extensive nerve damage. In spite of this and against my logic and reason, when I pick up an instrument, my hand remembers exactly what to do. It’s far from perfect, and will require a lot of therapy in order to recover mobility and strength, but I am encouraged by the ability I have been allowed. I do not believe in superstitious signs, but I am truly overwhelmed to have been granted the continued use of my hands.
As a result of the crash, I feel encouraged not only to recover, but to move forward with Baroness, as we had been doing every day previous to August 15th. This accident has inflicted an injury which has left its mark on the band: physically, mentally and spiritually. In order to rehabilitate ourselves fully, we must work towards and then past the goals we had prior to the accident. I will consider our immediate recovery a success only on the day we plug back in to play another show.

We cannot allow this accident, which I believe is unrelated to the band or our music, to slow down or stifle what has become so much more than a passionate hobby for the four of us. Through Baroness, we have discovered a method by which we may harness our drive to create, and channel all the emotion, anxiety and pain in our lives into something constructive. Music is the universal means of communication we have chosen to express ourselves. Our message has never been one of the absolute positive or negative, neither black nor white. True life occurs within the shades of grey, and I see this experience form that perspective. It seems only fitting to me that we continue working towards creating and performing again as soon as possible, as this band and its music are the vehicle through which we grow as individuals, artists and brothers. The injury the band suffered is an injury to my family and loved ones. Rather than allow it to become a wedge that forces us apart, I would like to see this experience become part of the glue that strengthens us. We have only begun to accomplish what we set out to do through this band. There is so much more to say, and though we do need to heal up a bit; we will not allow any of those things to be left unsaid.

I have no regrets about touring. I don’t blame music or the touring lifestyle for my current physical state, or for the accident itself. It happened the same way all things happen: randomly. If I was a carpenter, and I was injured on the way to the job-site, I wouldn’t consider quitting my job. That is truly how I see this situation. Baroness doesn’t stop because we got hurt on the way to work. We love what we do much more than that, and we have chosen this path because it offers us an unpredictable adventure. With any adventure that involves travel, and with any real passionate pursuit, one will occasionally come face-to-face with the reality of living on the other side of the yellow line. I didn’t choose to be a musician in order to live a risk-free life, safely avoiding bumps and bruises. I didn’t choose to play music because it seemed like a simple opportunity to make some quick cash. Nor did I ever make the assumption that things would get easier as we progressed.

We can do nothing but attempt to make something constructive and beautiful out of all this disaster, and we are well on the way to becoming active again. I have used this time, stuck inside my own head, to consider the importance of music and Baroness in my life. I can say, after nearly 6 weeks of reflection, that I feel more resolute and passionate about our music than ever. I have come to realize the importance of time in this particular equation, that is, I have none to waste and none to spare. There is no better moment than now, broken and in physical stasis, to devote ourselves more fully towards our art than ever. We cannot allow the traumatic fallout of our crash to cripple us internally. It seems simple: the shows we have cancelled we will reschedule and play in the future. It isn’t going to happen next week nor will it be next month. But it will happen. We will be back on tour as soon as we possibly can.

There was one moment in the crash that cut me deeply. For one heartbeat and one tiny sliver of time, I became disconnected entirely. It was, specifically, the moment I impacted with the glass. In that barest heartbeat of a moment, I came face to face with the infinite. I didn’t see a light, or the tunnel or hear any music. Nor did I get a “best-of” montage of my life. Instead, I felt the tip of my nose brush up against the very same fate I had accepted moments before. I looked into a cold, unreflective mirror. It was the dark, silent, dispassionate logic of the end. I realized in that moment that life can be seen as a light switch: “on” or “off”. When the moment passed and I heard the screaming, felt the pain, and tasted my own blood, I was overcome with joy. I was ecstatic to be back amidst all that chaos and horror because it was alive and real. I finally glimpsed the relative importance of all things. The support of our fans, our friends and our families has real meaning to me now. I say that now honestly, without false humility. Thank you. Everyone.

Till the wheels fall off . . .

John Baizley & Baroness

www.baronessmusic.com