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My Prog Hero: Baroness' Peter Adams on Camel

“My parents raised me on good music in Virginia. They had a massive vinyl collection that I spent my youth thumbing through, so I got to listen to everything from The Allman Brothers to The Rolling Stones and tonnes of classic rock and blues.”

”But it was my older brother Jake who had the biggest influence on my musical taste. I knew about Pink Floyd when I was a kid, I love Gentle Giant, I’ve always liked Steve Hackett’s solo stuff, and Focus as well – I can really relate to all that – but Jake was the one who turned me onto Camel.

The first thing I heard of theirs was the live version of The Snow Goose, from A Live Record. It was recorded at Royal Albert Hall and I think it’s an amazing record. It took me a minute to get into it but once it had clicked, I was a major fan from then on out.

Peter Adams from Baroness

Peter Adams from Baroness

At first, I didn’t realise The Snow Goose was live. When the clapping came in, I was like, ‘This is live? That’s incredible!’ I had to hear the rest of Camel, I had to know what else this band had done, where they were going, what they were doing… Immediately, I went straight through their back catalogue. I really love their first self-titled album and a lot of stuff off Rain Dances but if I had to choose one, I’d say Moonmadness is probably my favourite. I love the flow of that album. Right when people started carrying iPods, I borrowed one for a flight and I put Moonmadness on it. I remember it was a brilliant day, flying through the clouds and it was just the perfect soundtrack. I was listening to Air Born thinking, ‘This is great!’

With Baroness, we’ve always had proggy bits but I would say it’s less and less these days compared to in the past. I’ve thought about composing something on The Snow Goose scale though – I love that idea of taking something, like a book, and trying to score it. I read a lot of Robert Ruark and Peter Capstick, so who knows? Maybe we could do something with Hemingway’s Green Hills Of Africa? That’s the kind of stuff I love.Maybe one day…”

Baroness’ Purple is out now through Abraxan Hymns.

Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.