In August 2012, a bus carrying Savannah, GA metal band Baronness encountered a break malfunction and took a 30-foot fall off the side of a viaduct near Bath, England. Everybody survived, but many of the nine passengers on board suffered lasting physical and psychological trauma, as you can read in a detailed account of the accident that subsequently appeared on the band’s blog, by singer John Baizley. Another one of the musicians on board that day was drummer Allen Blickle, who has since left Baronness to focus on an electronic project with step-brother Justin Nuckols. ALPACA, as the duo is called, is set to release a debut album on October 1st, and as you can hear from the earwormy, multi-part synth-pop tune “Republic,” which features vocals from Halina Larsson, it’s worlds away from screaming feedback and brutal blast-beats of Baronness.
Says Blickle of the transition, “The hardest decision I have ever made in my life was to take a leave from Baroness. I miss the guys in the band and the music dearly. That band is my blood and sweat. From touring in fucked up squatter punk basements to arenas. I lived, breathed, and ate that world, every bit of it. I’ll be back out there in the same capacity in the future. I just needed to take a break from touring after the bus crash. My back is still fucked up on a daily basis. That crash changed my life physically and mentally. Which led me to make a record, out of the necessity of creation. This is my first self-produced project and Im stoked to be making music that is completely different from anything I have done in the past. Some might not get it. But it’s just another exploration of my many sides and interests as an artist.” Demimonde is out out October 1st on Robotic Empire.
Stream: ALPACA, “Republic (feat. Halina Larsson)”