Love And Death Guitarist J.R Baries

Imagine being an 18 year old guitar phenomenon and playing around the globe before thousands each night. For J.R. Baries, this is reality. J.R. is rocking hard core every night and is very humble and thankful to God for the opportunity.

J.R Baries is the lead guitarist in the Christian hard rock band Love and Death. The band is fronted by lead singer Brian “Head” Welch, who also serves as lead guitarist for the band Korn. Love and Death is currently supporting Korn on a worldwide tour. J.R. became the lead guitarist for Love and Death only two weeks before the band kicked off a tour in March of 2011.

Thousand Foot Krutch had requested public audition videos for a new guitarist on YouTube. By using YouTube as a recruiting tool, Welsh discovered. J.R., who was just 15 years old at the time.

The band, represented by Tooth and Nail Records, recently released a new extended version of their album Between Here and Lost. The extended version offers great new versions of some of the songs and also included the song “‘Empty.” “Empty,” features J.R. on lead vocals as well as guitar. The band has also released a new music video for the song “Meltdown,” which proves to be extremely hilarious and entertaining!

J.R. chatted with me from the road. We talked about the tour, how he’s handling his success, and even what happens when girls ask him to go to prom with them:

 How did you get hooked up with Brian “Head” Welch and Love and Death?
I was trying out for the band Thousand Foot Krutch on YouTube back in 2011. About that time Head’s guitarist left his band. [Head’s] tour manager found my video and showed it to him. A week later I was on a flight to Nashville to get on a tour bus.

How long have you played guitar?
I started playing when I was eleven, so about seven and a half years now.

Tell us about the tour how is it going.
We hit the road on September 26 with Korn and Asking Alexandria. I couldn’t be more excited!

Tell us about the album re-release and the new song “Empty.”
We decide to rerelease the album, to get it out there more. We added some remixes, along with our new song “Empty”. The song talks about people who judge others based on outside appearance when they have no clue about the person or what they may be going through in life.

As young as you are, does it ever get overwhelming to play lead guitar in a popular band such as Love and Death?
There are times when it feels that way, but I always keep in mind that God has put me in the position. I’m in for a reason. If He believes I can handle it, then handle it I will!

What is your favorite bible verse?
Galatians 2:20, which says I’m crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.

Did you get plenty of prom invites on your twitter and Facebook accounts? I notice one in particular. I’m curious how often you get asked out by your fans.
(Laughing) That prom invite was awesome! She used lyrics from our songs to ask me! Sadly I couldn’t make it, but I did thank her for the cool invite! I get a lot of tweets and comments asking about marriage and what not. Maybe it’s my Maybelline eyeliner I wear for the shows. I guess I may never know.