Allen Blickle Of Baroness: Reluctant Rocker

When he’s not playing in Baroness, tinkering with Pro Tools, or playing in friends’ bands — he contributed a few tracks to A Place To Bury Strangers — Blickle works part time as a digital artist creating interactive ads, mostly for mobile devices. Most recent was a campaign for the upcoming Bourne movie. Luckily, his creative partner, a retired guitar player, takes over when Baroness is on the road.

Even then the drummer is grinding away on his laptop on the tour bus during the day, and sometimes late into the evening. “When we were touring with Metallica in Australia I was sitting backstage before going on in front of 20,000 people and I’m working on Tron: Legacy, sitting there trying to make an ad for it right before I go onstage,” he laughs. “Nobody understands why you’re doing that and I’m like, ‘Dude, I gotta do this cerebral activity while I’m on tour.’ I think I’ve always tried to do that, even when I went to college for design at VCU I wanted to do that. I was, ‘Well, if I’m going to tour then I want to [have a second career in] something I can tour with,’ and just made it happen.”

It seems being visually oriented is the Baroness way. The artwork of Baizley, the guitarist, has graced the covers of all Baroness albums, as well as others including Darkest Hour, Torche, Kylesa, and Pig Destroyer. Not that these guys need a fall back: Their contract with extreme-metal label Relapse is fulfilled and they just signed with Q Prime Management (Metallica, Silversun Pickups). In short, these Southern alterna-metal hipsters may not be long for the underground.

Instead of moshing during Baroness’ set a few hours later, the crowd was stone-cold still, as if hypnotized, puzzled, or some combination of both. “What’s good about this band is that we can be put on tours or festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo as well as hard rock to metal to indie rock shows — the whole spectrum,” he told us just before showtime, adding, “which I really like because you can experience new music, and we get to play with all our peers.”

Vitals

Current release Yellow & Green
Age 29
Birthplace Richmond, Virginia
Influences Dave Grohl, Stewart Copeland, various DJ/producers (Squarepusher, Justice, Daft Punk, etc.)
Web Site baronessmusic.com

Gear

Drums C&C
Cymbals Meinl
Hardware DW, Tama
Heads Evans
Sticks Pro-Mark

Quick Licks

“Back Where I Belong”
Allen Blickle offers the heavy grooves that elevate the punk/metal band Baroness into extraordinary territory. “Back Where I Belong,” off the new album, has an unusual approach for a 12/8 groove. Blickle plays a 2:3 polyrhythmic groove where the bass drum plays every other note in this compound (triple) meter. His creative hi-hat part adds another interesting dimension to this song.

DRUM! Notation Guide

allen blickle
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