The more you meet the fans and anglers of bass fishing, the more you realize just how incredibly diverse the people who love it are. Case in point would be Pete Adams, who is best known as the guitarist of heavy metal band Baroness. Heavy metal might not be the best description, though. Peter suggested we call them “melodic, classic, progressive rock.” He then concedes that it may be too many words.
Mixing all of those things together you get a very unique and critically acclaimed band, a band comprised of four men from parts of Virginia and Georgia who have toured the world and sold lots of albums over the last 10 years.
The introduction to our talk with Peter should end there. But on August 15, 2012, a month after releasing their third full length album, Yellow and Green, the brakes on Baroness’ tour bus failed going down a steep hill in England sending them careening over a 30-foot drop and directly into a forest. It’s not for the faint of heart, but lead singer John Baizley’s chilling account is an amazing read. Two other members of the band suffered injured vertebrae, and all four of them along with their crew feel extremely fortunate to have walked away from the incident.
B.A.S.S.: What was it like going through the bus crash?
Peter Adams: I’ve come to the realization in the last month or so that we got struck by lightning, so to speak. That was just a one in a million chance that it was going to happen. It lets me rest easier at night, actually. As much travelling as you do in a band, you’re always in a plane, bus, train, car, cab, whatever. Something is bound to happen at some point — and that something happened to us that day. It’s easy to dwell on it. I’ve been through a lot of crazy stuff in my life; this is just one of them. In any kind of trauma situation, people handle it a differently even if you were side-by-side. I personally, literally, landed on my feet in this accident. I was the least injured of everyone, just sustaining some minor cuts and bruises. One thing’s for sure — it reminds you that you are not invincible, and it can end just like that. And it reminds me to make the most out of every day.
B.A.S.S.: Since you guys are recovering, have you found time to do the other thing you love, fishing?
Peter Adams: You know it. I had about a month and a half to get ready for bow season which just opened up here in Virginia and spent time fishing in October — you can throw a dart at a map and it’ll be good somewhere. We were supposed to be touring until Christmas but since that’s been cancelled I know how I’m going to fill my time
My favorite place to go fishing is a few hours south of where I live on the Northeast Tennessee/Virginia state line where the South Holston River flows out of Holston Lake. I don’t know if you’ve heard about that fishery, but I’d say it’s one of the top five palewaters east of the Mississippi. You’ve got wild browns and rainbows reproducing in that river — five to six thousand per mile. If you stand still on a rock and let your eyes adjust to the river bottom, it’s so clear you can just see the bottom crawling with fish. It’s kind of crazy. The first time I went there I saw so many fish feeding on the surface, I thought, “No way those are all trout. No way.” I’m getting ready to head down there soon with a buddy of mine. We go camping, fishing. They shut the river down November 1 through February 1 for spawning so we’ve got to get down there quick before they shut it down on us.
B.A.S.S.: How did you get started fishing?
Peter Adams: Well, my father taught me how to fish. He had four kids, and I was the only one who took to it. As far back as I can remember, I was wetting a line with him. We still go fishing in the same fishing hole 25 years later. We fish the exact same spots together; it’s pretty cool. My dad likes to fly fish but when he started having kids in the late '70s, early '80s he put it all down. He is also a hunting guy. That was his business when I was growing up. I spent a lot of time hunting and fishing with him, running around the woods and on the water. By the time I was a teenager, I’d picked up a fly rod again and started fly fishing. Now, I just do it all. I love fly fishing; I love saltwater fly fishing; I love sitting on a beach and hunking a bottom rig. I just love catching fish. I got my dad back into fly fishing; now that he's older, I think he can sit down and appreciate it a little bit more.