It’s not some big surprise that Georgian sludge group Baroness were going to be having trouble getting back on their feet following the tragic bus crash that hospitalized the band and crew while touring the UK last year. Members were all sorts of cut up, bruised, and broken, but luckily they’ve been on the path to recovery. Frontman John Baizley got right back up and started playing acoustic shows left and right and continued doing his much sought-after artwork. It’s good physical rehab, at least.

Some of the other members of the group were not so ready to get back on the wagon though. Drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni (far right and center right above, respectively) have parted ways with the group, leaving the guitar duo John Baizley and Peter Adams.

Baizley elaborates via the band’s website:

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.
‘til the wheels fall off,

John Baizley & Baroness

Quite a bummer and a bit of a setback to say the least, though it all makes sense. Recovery is important, and no one can hold it against Maggioni and Blickle if they’d rather not get back into the touring lifestyle following the accident. A band like Baroness can pick up from such a setback in no time, and apparently they already have. Here are the only scheduled Baroness dates for this year so far:

June 1st – Chaos in Tejas – Austin, TXJune 2nd – Free Press Summer Festival – Houston, TX
June 13th – Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival – Manchester, TN


– JR

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