Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Album That Changed My Life #1, Baroness - 'The Red Album'

Starting today , Born Again Nihilist is asking our readers to tell us about an album that changed their lives.The idea came from numerous conversations with friends about what albums had been important to them growing up , or had been significant at some time in their lives.Our first email came from Zach G in Ohio, who describes how Baroness' 'Red Album' was an important album for him.enjoy, and remember , if you want to contribute, just mail us on!The style of music doesn't matter , just that it had an impact on you.


I got into bands like Kyuss and Sleep when I was in high school and those were pretty formative things for me. But it seemed like most of the bands I was trying to get into were really just copying elements of Kyuss and Sleep's style, and I was getting really tired of what seemed to be just another cookie-cutter scene. I was in a band that was heavily influenced by Kyuss, and it just seemed like we were stuck in neutral with our songwriting.  We wanted to stop sounding like every 3rd or 4th band that got the 'stoner rock' or 'stoner metal' tag slapped on them (even though we weren't really upset about it-for the band drugs and music always seemed to work out pretty well together).

The album that really changed a lot for me in how I thought about heavy music was Baroness-Red Album.  I remember walking into a record store in Columbus Ohio when I was 20 years old and seeing a flyer for their upcoming show on the wall-they were playing with Teeth of the Hydra, one of my favorite local bands, so I made a mental note to go to the show.  While I was in the store, I saw that they had copies of their (then) new album so I decided on impulse to pick one up. The cover art really drew me in, and it was the first time I think since I picked up Sleep's Holy Mountain that I got really excited to hear a record before I even played it.
 I wasn't an especially cool guy who was up on the latest bands (I'm still not)-just too busy with work and school, and I'm sure there are a lot of people who had heard of Baroness long before they got big. But for me, the Red Album blew my mind. It took heavy music in a direction that I didn't expect, and somehow transforming traditional appallachian roots music into these flowing, majestic, and powerfully heavy songs. But I remember playing that record about a dozen times or more before going to see them live a few days later and left the show with my jaw on the floor. After that experience I really started to change the way I wrote music and played songs. I even wrote a poem inspired by the last song on the album "Grad" and sent it to the guys.  They probably thought I was some weirdo but a few days later I got an email back saying they really liked the poem. I think that record definitely pushed me and the guys I played with to be more progressive and spontaneous with our music.

-Zach G. // Red Sun

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