BARONESS Frontman Explains Why New Album Isn't Called Orange
Baroness' first four color-themed albums were called Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. Their fifth album was Purple, which is a combination of Red and Blue (technically it would be magenta, but whatever). Fans seemed to have figured this formula out and began guessing that Baroness' coming record Gold & Grey would be called Orange.
Frontman and guitarist John Baizley tells Revolver that Gold & Grey's titled actually was Orange right up to the mastering process, at which point he decided to change it.
"Up until, I think, the day before we mastered the record, we were calling it Orange. We assumed that's what the title was going to be. I was at a loss for how to call it Orange – I didn't think it was going to be a good title. It doesn't roll off the tongue. It doesn't give me a good image. Right before we went into master, I was listening to our record and I noticed there are several lines of lyrics that either say Gold & Grey, rhyme with it or sound very similar to that phrase.
"In a way, I think it would be cool if everybody still referred to it as Orange, but Gold & Grey seemed like a more sophisticated way of putting it. It was, honestly, a lot more on-message with the album. It's a fairly long album. It's not a double record, but that dual-titling thing seemed appropriate."
He also discusses why he didn't really like Orange as a choice for a color overall, including that whenever he sees "the orange flames on stupid rock albums, it's a huge turnoff."
"It's a difficult question and a difficult answer. So the wavelength of red is the most powerful and potent color. When light reflects off a surface that our human eyes interpret as red, the wavelength is a very long sine wave.
"That's why stop signs are red. Yellow, in terms of primaries, is kind of a close second, because it's a very bold color. Red and yellow can be very warm colors. When you mix those two colors together, you get orange.
"We see orange in nature infrequently. Yeah, there are flowers that are orange, tiger lilies. There's a handful of birds. As you mix down orange from a pure hue to something more neutral, it just turns into brown. Really, brown in nature is the orange of nature. But who wants a brown album cover? Nobody. [Laughs]
"But what I've found is that in modern society, we use orange primarily to denote something dangerous. That's why traffic cones are orange. They wouldn't be as visible if they were red, and they wouldn't be quite as powerful if they were yellow. Orange falls in this zone of color that, when you look at it in a very pure hue that's not toned down, it's just loud. It's incredibly loud.
"It only works in certain situations. The difficult thing, even for artistically inclined people and for people for whom color theory is easy – and it's not for me – orange is a tricky one to work with because you have to balance the right amount of other colors around it in order to make it visually appealing. It's just a stain.
"Whenever I see the orange flames on stupid rock albums, it's a huge turnoff. Obviously, I don't want to make an album cover that's based on something I consider gaudy. Balancing it with gray seemed to be the way to make it as an accent color more than just making everything look like it was dipped in some sort of orange dye."
Baroness recently announced a headlining tour for this July and August in support of Gold & Grey, which is out June 14.