Is there a particular story or concept behind your latest album?
Our album has been out for almost a year and a half now. The album didn’t really have a hard musical concept behind it but it was like the band airing its musical laundry. There are a lot of different sorts of stuff on the record. We are also just starting practically this week to write a new record but it will be a good little stretch before the next one is out.
Do you at all feel like last years near death experience has impacted on your upcoming album? Or will it on future music works?
I’m sure it will, I mean it’s impacted everything else, so it will very likely impact the next record. It’s one of those experiences that is so powerful and so dramatic that it changes how you think about things, so of course the music will be reflected on that.
What’s it like having to go through a line-up change, how does it impact on yourself and on your band?
Well the thing about line- up change is that they can be very tricky or they can be very simple, it’s all about how you navigate those waters. We were very lucky because we didn’t make a big stink about it and we only spoke to a very small group of our friends who we could trust, they just made a couple of suggestions and it was sort of friends of friends. The first two people that walked through the door ended up clicking so quickly and immediately with us that I think we got very, very lucky and we spent a couple of weeks learning and practicing stuff and then six weeks getting it right. It was great, it was almost like a seamless thing.
Tell me, what else have you all been up to this year?
This whole year, all I’ve been doing is recovering from the accident or touring and we have just gotten off tour like a week ago.
I see also that Baroness is well known for their artwork… where do you draw this inspiration from? Does your music impact the artwork or the other way around?
It’s sort of a circular thing, normally we will start off with the music and that will then start me down the road to something visual. Once I have got something started that can then impact on the music that we are writing. There is that circulatory thing going on there where the artwork effects the music and vise versa. So yeah it’s weird I try to work on those simultaneously all of the time.
Does drawing for you feel like the same process in a way as writing a song or is it different?
In many ways it’s precisely the same thing, I mean the drive and the motivation come from exactly the same place. It’s the same fire or spark inside that directs me to write music but similarly helps me to make artwork. You know when you're making the type of art that I make you start with a sketch and you refine it and think about it and critique it and it grows into something bigger than the concept or the initial idea. Similar to music, you start with a handful of ideas and you have to work on the until to come up with coherent parts of a whole, and then you’ve got yourself a song. So, you know, there are a lot of parallels between them for sure.
Did you ever think you would be as successful as you are today? What kept you going all of these years?
I never thought that I would be successful in either field and I think the only thing that’s really driven, and the main factor that’s probably gotten me to this point, is the fact that I’m not willing to stop, I’m not going to let criticism or public opinion stop me. I want to create; I am driven to create things. You know, the band wants to tour, we want to play so, we are going to stick to our guns and we are going to do what we like to do. If we put a hundred percent of our energy and our passion into what we like, record and release then just by proxy I think an audience will appreciate that. I want to see that you as an audience when listening to the music picks up on the excitement that I feel or the excitement we feel when we discovered the songs.
At this point we have been most places and done most things, at this point the exciting thing for me is to get off the beaten path and play shows in very out of the way places. I’m interested in playing shows where our type of music isn’t predominant and a lot of times that means getting further into Eastern Europe or exploring Asia or Africa or just types of places where heavy metal and rock music aren’t a big thing and there’s not much of a market there. I tour partly because I love the adventure, I love the travel so I want to go new places and see new things and I want it to be wild.
You guys are also coming through for Soundwave Festival, what can fans expect from your show this year?
Being situated where you are which is quite literally the opposite side of the world, when we go there we want to make the most out of it because it’s a very unique opportunity for us to get the chance to even travel to Australia, let alone travel to each city and immerse ourselves in other cultures and have so much fun doing what we love. I mean we will do in Australia what we do everywhere else, which is just, play our arses off.
What’s the best thing about touring with Soundwave for you?
Well Soundwave particularity is a very well organized, very well oiled machine. It’s a really easy and fun tour to do, it’s just easy, it’s so well set up with all of the transportation and hospitality and hotels and catering, everything is so well pre-though that it almost feels like cheating, it almost doesn’t feel like work. I mean I wish we played more because then it would feel more warranted but we play for like 45 minutes or an hour and then the rest of the day is taken care of and it’s really nice but it kind of feels like you're cheating. We get the chance to enjoy ourselves and if we are happy, healthy and well slept and we’ve had fun then our performances are going to get better because we will be in the right mindset.
What’s the weirdest fan experience you have ever had?
Sometimes fans are willing to share more of their life with you than your perhaps willing to hear at that point. For instance and this has happened on several occasions, someone has obviously waited out the back of a venue or whatever to talk and chances are that I’ve spent the whole day preparing for a show and playing for 2 or 3 hours and we are exhausted and we are just trying to bee-line from the venue to the tour bus or hotel and then we will run into somebody and they just spill their guts and their heart and it’s all really, really personal stuff that you wouldn’t typically share with a complete stranger and whilst I absolutely appreciate that, sometimes I’m just not prepared for the depth people will reach into themselves and share with me. If my mind is focused on shower, eat and sleep and somebody wants to have a very thoroughly emotional conversation with me then fantastic, I will try as hard as I can to listen. There are moments where I have a hard time seeing how the conversation is appropriate but you know *laughs*.
Where do you see yourselves in the future?
I just see us on tour, you know? A lot of people want to know whether I predict that we will be bigger or smaller or what will happen in terms of outward success but it’s all about the tour and it’s all about writing good records and I just hope ten years from now that we are still writing music.
What words of inspiration would you give to your fans?
Well if you are in this industry and you really enjoy what you do, just keep doing it, don’t stop doing it. It’s the type of profession or passion that weeds out suckers really quickly and if you don’t love what you do then you’d better get the fuck out because there’s not enough money, there’s no security, it’s a job that takes you away from everything that you know and it just thrusts you into the chaos of what it is. We all do it because we love it so if you feel passionately about what you do and love it then stay with it because it will become its own reward.
Interview by Shannen Murphy