2011: songwriters Big John Bates and Brandy Bones were joined in the studio by drummer Tim Hagberg to lay down their sonic vision of Americana Noir. (They had previously recorded two songs to test the waters with drummer JT Brander at Faceplant Studios in Vancouver). These were the sessions that created both the EP Headless Fowl (Frontman Records) and the LP Battered Bones (Rookie Records) and were engineered by Todd Simko in New Westminster in 2012. The songs were all mixed and master by Robert Ferbrache in Denver, creator of the “Denver Sound” made famous by 16 Horsepower, Wovenhand and Slim Cessna.

“Headless Fowl is extremely cool” – Jello Biafra

2014: The band went back into the studio with drummers JT Brander and Brother Kris (Meihm) to record “From the Bestiary”. Behind the board was Chris Ray (Blackclaw) with additional tracking done by John Bates on board the Caleuche in Vancouver harbor. The mix was was cut in a raw  Americana style by David Carswell (The Smugglers) and came out on Rookie Records. The album art was done by Santiago Caruso, who came to the band’s attention after following his amazing work on Pan’s Labyrinth.

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

2016: saw the band joined by Ty-Ty The Savior on percussion and 2017 by RequiEmily on electric violin. In March 2017 they began the recording process for the next LP in Japan, recording two songs at Fake River Studios in Kyoto with the ultra-hip Ultra Bide (Alternative Tentacles).

“Skinners Cage” immediately cast a spell … outrageous instrumentation, traditional blunt-edged blues and country elements embedded in gray somber stories that would perfectly match Tim Burton’s films. A great discovery!” – Jonas Monter  (album-der-wocke.de)

2018: The drums were tracked while the band was on tour in Germany in August with Pete Monkeeman (at Monkee Cage Studio in Wilhelmshaven.) The band was thrilled to be gifted with a vintage kit from the German group Trio to record the drums in the 100 year old studio. Most bass and electric violin was also done there while the rest of the recordings were done on board the Caleuche, a vintage yacht, in Vancouver. The cover art is once again courtesy of Santiago Caruso, who created an original oil painting for the band’s concept.

All albums available on iTunes, Bandcamp and from … 

BIG JOHN BATES LP/CD at DISK UNION JAPAN

BIG JOHN BATES LP/CD at ROOKIE RECORDS GER

BIG JOHN BATES LP/CD at ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES USA

ジャック・ホワイト・ブルースとギリシャ神話のカリオペの様な弦さばきと、打ち出す続けるドラムプレイとバンシー ワイルの幽霊とが合わさったバンド。” – Americana UK先日の来日が大好評だったカナダのBIG JOHN BATESの音源をdisk unionでも取り扱って頂けるようになりました。ワーイ!下のリンクからオンラインで買うことも出来ます。店舗では新宿と渋谷のパンクマーケット、御茶ノ水店で販売しています。ヨロシク!

more about BJB on wikipedia …

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BIG JOHN BATES: (born Dec 11 / Toronto ON CAN)

1984 – 1986 Annihilator – Welcome to Your Death (self-released). Started first band with Jeff Waters in Ottawa ON. Co-wrote most songs on first two Roadrunner Records LPs and lead singer on the first Annihilator shows. Left in 1986 to attend business school. (On the strength of these LPs Roadrunner brought the band to Europe where they became largest selling metal band from Canada eventually touring with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pantera and countless other hard rock and metal icons.)

1987 Formed metal band Ligeia in Ottawa and released one cassette featuring an alternate version of Alison Hell.

1989 – 1992 Began experimenting with gothic rock in Bates Motel self-releasing 4 cassettes then moved to Vancouver.

1992 – 1998 released Bates Motel CD Tales of Ordinary Madness in 1996 (Tomcat Records) and offered EU deal with Urwerk Records. Played first shows in USA and completed a X-Canada tour. Sold all three pressings. Resumed writing with Annihilator including writing King of the Kill and engineering the demos.

1999 Big John Bates first 7″ (Nearly Nude Music) – Recorded unreleased John Bates CD. Sued management then received and destroyed all copies – except 4 songs used to begin Big John Bates.

BIG JOHN BATES & THE VOODOO DOLLZ

2001 Flamethrower (El Toro / Hullabaloo Records). Started a new band featuring Voodoo Dollz burlesque with Scare-oline on upright bass. Began touring Europe in 2002 with Truemmer Promotions. Sold out three pressings + downloads / streams.

2003 Mystiki (Frontman Records). Songs on movie soundtracks in Europe, Canada and the USA, signed with tour agencies in Canada and USA. Sold out three pressings + download/streams.

2004 Jagermeister and Gretsch Guitars became official sponsors of the band.

2005 Take Your Medicine (Wolverine Records/Frontman Records). Three North America/ EU tours followed. Sold out three pressings + download/streams.

2007 Live at the Voodoo Ball (Richards on Richards in Vancouver). Full-length DVD recorded with a 5-camera shoot. Sold out full pressing.

2009 Bangtown (Rookie Records / Glitterhouse Records). Songs on movie soundtracks / Netflix. Reached the level of playing over 1000 shows & festivals in 18 countries. Sold out two pressings + download/streams. Filmed Clockwork Blues Live DVD at Rickshaw in Vancouver with 5-camera shoot.

2010 Retired the Voodoo Dollz in December after a 4-month world tour for Bangtown. The band had performed over 1500 shows in 18 countries while selling thousand of albums over a decade.

BIG JOHN BATES: NOIRCHESTRA

2011 Scarecrow Close 7″ (Rookie Records). Gymnastic upright bassist and singer Brandy Bones teamed up with Big John Bates to co-write Scarecrow; the first song they recorded in the Americana Noir style. B-Side Bad Pussy was the final Voodoo Dollz song released with a video shot in Minneapolis but John and Brandy had begun focusing on a more epic, dramatic musical style. Also Hofner Strings began sponsoring Brandy Bones who became their most photographed strings endorser. Toured North America and Europe.

2012 Headless Fowl 12″ EP (Frontman Records) / Battered Boones 12″ LP (Rookie Records). Songs on Canadian TV / released four videos. Sold out vinyl pressing and created a buzz with live performance videos – download + streams. Toured Canada with Murder by Death.

2014 Toured and recorded with cello to create a rock string section. The band, now known as “Big John Bates: Noirchestra”, toured Canada with White Cowbell Oklahoma and Paceshifters.

2013 Black Timber/Bitterroot 7″ (Rookie Records) – toured Europe and North America.

2015 From the Bestiary to the Leathering Room (Rookie Records) Released two videos and toured extensively.  Sold out all LPs and two CD pressings + downloads / streams. Ty-Ty the Savior joined the group as permanent drummer.

2016 Began performing with RequEmily on electric violin utilizing a pedalboard for atmosphere and acoustic violin for texture. Toured Canada and Europe.

2017/2018 Touring / writing & recording in Japan, Europe, USA and Canada. Three songs placed on Netflix series Gotham.

2019 Canadian shows to warm up for the release of Skinners Cage on Rookie Records/Frontman Records. The LP was released April 12 along with a grindhouse-style video for the first single “All the Devils”. An arthouse-style video is in the works to be released when the band begins the first leg of their European tour May 23. A second EU tour is being scehduled for November 2019.


To date the Noirchestra has played 500 shows / festivals in North America, Europe and Japan.