Photos by Philip Cosores (Pete Adams) and Jimmy Hubbard (Baroness)
Grammy-winning metal outfit Baroness have announced the departure of lead guitarist Pete Adams after roughly eight years with the band. Adams has also spent nearly 25 years overall playing with Baroness singer, guitarist, and founder John Baizley.
The split is amicable, as Adams seems to have simply had enough of being on the road and wants to now focus on his home life and non-music related businesses. Still, Adams has also said he’ll keep playing music with Valkyrie, a band he helms with his brother Jake.
Gina Gleason has been tasked with replacing Adams, and the Philadelphia native will make her debut with the band in front of a hometown crowd tomorrow night (June 2nd). Previously, Gleason played guitar with Cirque du Soleil, fronted the all-female Metallica tribute band Misstallica, and played guitar for the all-female King Diamond tribute band Queen Diamond. She has also filled-in on occasion with Smashing Pumpkins and Jello Biafra.
Adams’ departure comes as a surprise as Baroness has achieved the kind of worldwide success that usually eludes the vast majority of metal bands. Their last release, Purple, was perhaps the band’s strongest effort to date. But to paraphrase Robbie Robertson in The Last Waltz, life on the road is often a goddamn impossible way of life.
In a press release, Adams had this to say about the split:
“I would like to say thanks to all of the Baroness fans far and wide and all of the support through the ups and downs along the way. I feel beyond fortunate to have had the chance to travel great distances with Baroness and to meet so many of you. I honestly never thought I would be able to do what I have done with Baroness. Playing alongside my oldest friends, playing music that isn’t simply readily accepted by the masses, and sharing the stage with some of the best musicians and bands from around the globe. That said, it’s time for me to focus my energy closer to home and not on the road. However, this isn’t the end of my musical career by any means as I plan to continue working with Valkyrie. Again, thank you to all along the way, and most importantly thank you greatly to the current, past and future members of Baroness.”
Baizley added his own statement about parting ways with Adams and bringing on Gleason:
“I need to take a moment, on behalf of myself and Baroness, to recognize and sincerely thank one of my oldest friends and bandmates, Pete Adams, as he moves on from Baroness to pursue a new phase in his life. I feel fortunate beyond words to have shared the stage with you for nearly 25 years, since we were barely teenagers. It would be impossible to articulate the value and impact of the personal history, friendship and musical bond we have enjoyed throughout our lives and within this band. Through Baroness, we’ve seen that friendship grow further and often in unexpected ways; we’ve taken part in so many adventures together that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. It’s never easy to part ways but it is important to highlight a couple of things: First, we offer unconditional support and respect for Pete’s decision and we’re excited to see where his path leads. Second, Baroness will forge ahead with an undiminished passion and as much creativity as ever. The narrative of this band has often felt as though it falls into distinct chapters, and while we’re excited to move into the next, we are equally sad to see Pete go. When Pete and I were kids, as he’s often said in interviews, we shared a dream of growing up and playing music together and seeing the far corners of the globe. And we did. Thank you Pete, for being a friend when I needed support, a brother when I needed family, and a bandmate when you and I had a hunger to see the world.
With Pete Adams’ official last show just over a month behind us, and a European tour on the not-so-distant-horizon, we are proud to welcome our new guitarist, Gina Gleason, into Baroness, and we hope our fans will share in our excitement and provide her a warm welcome into the Baroness family. She has worked tirelessly in recent weeks/months, not only learning the specifics of our material, but slowly beginning to carefully stake out her own personal territory within our sound. Throughout the lifespan of this band we’ve had the genuine pleasure of working with incredibly gifted artists/musicians, who recognize in Baroness the need each member has to contribute something of their own musical personality, rather than imitate one that’s been established, not simply to respect the individual contributions of past members, but to develop a genuine connection to our songs, old and new alike. Gina’s ability both to learn our music and to find her own voice within our songs has been inspiring to observe, and it helps once again to renew our belief in this band’s music, which we’ve come to rely on as a true wellspring of creativity and musical discovery.”
Below, watch the video for Baroness’ “Chlorine & Wine” off of Purple.
Following Gleasons debut in Philly, she’ll tour with the band through a number of European dates and festival appearances. Find Baroness’ upcoming schedule below.
Baroness 2017 Tour Dates:
06/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
06/09 – Derby, UK @ Download Festival
06/10 – Nimes, FR @ This Is Not A Love Song
06/12 – Strasbourg, FR @ La Laiterie
06/14 – Eindhoven, NL @ Effenaar
06/15 – Berlin, DE @ Columbia Theater
06/17 – Dessel, BE @ Graspop Metal Meeting
06/18 – Clisson, FR @ Hellfest
06/19 – Esch Sur Alzette, LX @ Rockhal
06/20 – Saarbrucken, DE @ Garage Saarbrucken
06/23 – Copenhagen, DK @ Copenhell
06/24 – Scheessel, DE @ Hurricane Festival
06/25 – Neuhausen Ob Eck, DE @ Southside Festival
06/27 – Graz, AT @ PPC
06/28 – Dresden, DE @ Beatpol
06/30 – Norrkoping, SE @ Bravalla Festival
07/02 – Helsinki, FI @ Tuska Open Air Metal Festival