Baroness Unveils Their Most Authentic Sound Yet with ‘Stone’

by Madonna

The story of Baroness is one of constant evolution. The band, led by rhythm guitarist and vocalist John Dyer Baizley, has never settled on a single line-up for long, often due to tragic circumstances. However, they have continuously explored and evolved their sound.

Over the past two decades, Baroness has had four different lead guitarists. In Gina Gleason, a generationally talented guitarist, the band found a creative partner who helped elevate their music from its sludgy prog metal roots to greater heights. This transformation brought the band a new wave of fans.


This change was first evident on their 2019 album “Gold & Grey,” but their 2023 release “Stone” showcases the evolved guitar relationship between Baizley and Gleason, developed through years of touring and playing together.


To achieve this, the band needed time and proximity. Instead of rushing through expensive studio sessions, they rented an Airbnb in the mountains with its own studio. This setting allowed them the necessary time to develop their songs at their own pace.


“The benefit of this approach was that it put us in a position to record without distractions or options, focusing solely on the record,” Baizley explains. “We could rehearse and fine-tune a song for hours before recording, capturing a fresh and immediate understanding of the music.”

This method, involving 12-24 hours of jamming, gave their music a looser feel and helped develop a chemistry that was previously elusive.

Keeping It Loose

The recording of “Stone” was unique in that it was entirely self-produced by the band, leading to distinctive songwriting sessions.

“We’d start with loose ideas and no clear direction for the song,” Baizley reflects. “This mindset allowed us to reach unexpected outcomes, making the songs surprising even to us. It’s invaluable to have songs evolve naturally rather than being controlled.”

For Gleason, the process was equally inspiring. “Working together in the moment and holding each other accountable is very different from working in isolation,” she says. “It pushes us to develop the song collectively, rather than relying on ideas sent via email.”

This jam-based approach not only honed their individual skills but also enhanced their collective dynamic. The song “Last Word” exemplifies this collaboration, being the first song they completed together and the most collaborative on the record. Another song, “Choir,” emerged from improvisation, showcasing their process of exploration and discovery.

“We pushed ‘Choir’ in random directions until it felt complete,” Baizley notes. “We never felt we were making wrong turns, just refining it and appreciating the results.”

Going Their Own Way

Many bands face pressure from record labels, which impose deadlines and specific ways of working. In 2015, Baroness started their own label, Abraxan Hymns, releasing their music independently ever since. “Stone” is the third release on Abraxan Hymns.

“I recommend it for any band with a firm and confident artistic integrity,” Baizley affirms. “If you can manage the financing and find creative solutions, there’s no reason not to release your music independently. The work is the same, but we serve our own interests rather than making concessions for a label.”

Creating an album within their insular band community made the music more personal and identifiable, free from the constraints of a record label. “Stone” exemplifies what a band can achieve when they focus on enhancing their dynamics and allowing the music to flow naturally through each member. The result is something far more beautiful than the sum of its parts.


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