Baroness Drummer Allen Blickle Talks New Album ‘Yellow and Green’ + Randy Blythe Arrest
After playing Metallica’s Orion Music + More festival in Atlantic City, Baroness hit the road for a worldwide tour, getting ready for the release of their latest album, ‘Yellow and Green’ via Relapse Records.
Even though he’s on the other side of the globe, we were able to catch a few minutes with drummer and founding member Allen Blickle. Besides reminiscing about Orion and opening up about Randy Blythe, Blickle shared enough about ‘Yellow and Green’ to keep fans satisfied until the July 17 release date.
Allen, what’s up? Where are you calling from?
We are somewhere in the middle of Germany. We’re driving toward Holland actually.
Wow. Somewhere in Germany? That’s quite a distance from where you were at just a couple of weeks ago. How did it feel playing Orion?
It was great. It was cool to hang out with Metallica and be asked to play with them at this festival that they curated. I thought it was a pretty interesting selection of bands that they had there, you know, the whole different array of styles. I think it’s always cool going to festivals to see the bands you want to see but then other guys you might not have seen otherwise. Especially with this hard rock festival, there were different options all weekend.
We were there and we loved every minute of it, including your set. You guys killed it on Saturday on the main stage.
Sweet, thank you!
‘Yellow and Green,’ your latest record, hits stores soon on July 17. Besides being on the road, are there any last minute things you’re taking care of before it drops, or is it just a hurry up and wait game now?
I think the production is pretty much done with everything for the album itself. That includes the deluxe packages we are doing for the album. I guess it’s getting shipped out to distributors now. We’re doing this tour, it seems like we’re doing a bunch of interviews everyday. I feel like that’s taking up our time when we’re not playing shows. Being in that mindset gets us ready for the release mentally. So that’s what we’re doing.
You’ll be in France on the day the album comes out. Do you have anything special planned?
I don’t think we do. We had something, but the dates got changed around. I think we are going to try to do something in London, but that’s not the release date. It’ll be fine. It’ll still be special.
Why’d you decide to release a double album?
Trying to do an album after ‘Red Album’ and ‘Blue Record,’ we didn’t want to do the same thing, you know, just a collection of songs. We wanted to do something more expansive, especially when we were trying to do the different sounds we did. We figured we needed something more, a longer album to do it.
We also just wrote a bunch of material as well that we wanted to put together. It made up two discs and we actually had more songs that we had to cut. I also think that, when I look at it, we’re at an age right now where a lot of people just download singles online. I think that we’re not really a band that does that, we want to do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing. So we’re releasing a double album, which is a little different. It’s a little more adventurous.
That’s crazy you filled two discs and still had to cut songs out.
Yeah, it’s a lot. People are going to have something to listen to.
Right on! There are a lot of beautiful guitar parts on ‘Yellow and Green,’ but it seems like you as the percussion and drums really drive the album. Tell me about one of your favorite moments on the record.
Let’s see, there is a bunch of good stuff. There were a lot of songs that we got to try a bunch of different stuff on. You know, we used like 20 different snare drums on the record. ‘Cocanium’ was a song that we used 3 or 4 different snares just on that one track. I think that’s what makes an interesting sound and it’s fun to do. You can just experiment more. That was a really good moment.
I love that tune, it’s definitely one of my favorites on ‘Yellow and Green.’ But, it doesn’t exactly sound like the Baroness that we’ve gotten to know over the years. Your sound has progressed and this album reflects that.
Definitely. I think that there has always been a jump from album to album. When we did ‘Red Album,’ that was a big jump from the first 3 EPs that we did. A lot of people said we didn’t sound like we used to. It’s kind of the same with this album. We all listen to different kinds of music, we all record different kinds of music. This is another side of us. This is who we are, this is what we do. We’re behind it and we’re stoked, that’s the most important thing.
The first track released from the album was ‘Take My Bones Away.’ When Loudwire interviewed John [Baizley] and Pete [Adams] last time Baroness was in New York, they didn’t seem convinced that the song was representative of the album. Why would you let that be the first song fans hear?
I think that there was some thought put into that, and the idea was that it is sort of a bridge from the last record to this record. It sort of made sense for that song to fill the gap. It allows fans to get into this record. But you’re right, it really doesn’t explain the whole album. But the difficult part is I’m not sure any one song could do that, you know? It’s tough to do.
I know you have a date in Prague on this tour, so before I let you go I want to get your thoughts on the legal situation Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe is in.
It’s a huge bummer, man. We were all really shocked. Our thoughts go out to him and the rest of the guys. We really hope it all gets resolved quickly. We’re super close friends with those guys and we’re just wishing them the best of luck. We’re fully supportive of him.
A lot of people are saying the situation isn’t being handled well. Does it make you re-think your stop in the Czech Republic?
You mean like we wouldn’t play because of that situation? I don’t know. It’s weird, I actually have never thought about it like that. Maybe I should have. I don’t think any of us have thought of it in that way. I don’t think they’re handling it well. It’s not his fault. It seems like it got out of hand. It really could’ve happened to anyone and that’s kind of the s—ty part about it. They just put it on Randy, that’s the bad part. We’ve been keeping up with it and hope it gets taken care of.