Baroness Part Ways With Drummer + Bassist Due to ‘Effects and Injuries’ From 2012 Bus Crash
In sad news from the world of Baroness, it has been revealed that bassist Matt Maggioni and drummer Allen Blickle have left the band. Although specific details have not been offered, and likely will not be offered by the band, the departure of Baroness' rhythm section is linked to the band's horrific bus crash last year, which left the group's members and other passengers with serious injuries.
In August 2012, Baroness' tour bus broke through a guard rail while traveling in England and plunged 30 feet into a wooded area below. The crash left frontman John Baizley with a broken arm and leg, while both Maggioni and Blickle suffered fractured vertebrae. Guitarist Pete Adams was dealt less severe injuries and was released from the hospital relatively quickly.
John Baizley broke the news of Maggioni and Blickle's departure on Baroness' official 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
Drummer Allen Blickle was an original member of Baroness, having put a decade of his life into the band. Maggioni, having joined the band in 2012, spent less than a year in Baroness before the crash, but although he wasn't there for long, it was easy to spot how happy he was when on stage with the band. We'd like to offer our deepest respect and best wishes to the former Baroness members along with current members John Baizley and Pete Adams.
Baroness have announced a handful of 2013 tour dates, including a gig at this year's Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tenn., on June 13.