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Big John Bates / Bio

“A blend of Jack White blues, Calliope-style cello, thumping drums and banshee wails” - Americana UK

From the Bestiary to the Leathering Room (OUT MAY 1, 2015) - In 2010 the Bates band developed Americana Noir; a rustic, organic tapestry with lyrical themes that include religious imagery, America, death, addiction and betrayal. Brandy Bones' vocals have been compared to an infernal fusion of Patti Smith & Siouxsie Sioux, beautifully offsetting Bates' whisky-tanned growl. Dominating their rhythmic, earthy sound is John’s multi-faceted guitar playing and Brandy's dynamic upright bass. Their symphonic sound and intense live performances have been compared to 16 Horsepower and Nick cave and the band also incorporates mandolin, cello & violin over Ty-Ty the Saviour's thumping percussion.

Over the past three years they have brought their sound to festivals as varied as Shambhala (EDM), Ink+Iron (RnR) and many others across North America and Europe. When Bates retooled in 2012 indie rockers Murder by Death selected them as tour partners while Americana pillars th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Slim Cessna have co-billed with BJB.

Argentinian visionary Santiago Caruso (Pan’s Labyrinth) created the cover art for the new album From the Bestiary to the Leathering Room; an album recorded on board their boat Caleuche in the Vancouver harbor for the band’s second full-length LP on Germany’s Rookie Records. Jello Biafra distributes all of the Big John Bates recordings on his Alternative Tentacles label in the USA while the band’s imprint, Frontman Records, currently takes care of Canada.

"Headless Fowl is extremely cool" - Jello Biafra

General Info

Band Members
Big John Bates - Guitar, Brandy Bones - Bass, Ty-Ty the Saviour - Percussion, The Sidewalk Cellist - Cello
Artist Name
Big John Bates
Profile Page
Active Since
Experimental / Noirchestra

Contact Info

Vancouver, BC, CA

Similar Artists

  • 16 Horsepower
  • Jack White
  • The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
  • Murder By Death
  • Slim Cessna's Auto Club