In 2011 songwriters Big John Bates and Brandy Bones were joined in the studio by drummer Tim Hagberg to begin 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 and the LP Battered Bones and were engineered by Todd Simko in New Westminster. The songs were all mixed and master by Robert Ferbrache in Denver, creator of the “Denver Sound” made famous by 16 Horsepower.

The band went back into the studio in 2014 with drummers JT Brander and Brother Kris to record “From the Bestiary”. Behind the board was Chris Ray though much of the recording was engineered by John Bates on board the Caleuche in Vancouver harbor. The mix was was cut in a straight-up style by David Carswell (The Smugglers) and came out on Rookie Records in 2015. The album art was done by Santiago Caruso, who came to the band’s attention after his amazing work on Pan’s Labyrinth.

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). The drums were tracked while the band was on tour in Germany in August 2018 with Pete Moneyman at Monkey Cage Studio in Wilhelmshaven. The band was fortunate to be gifted a kit from the infamous German group Trio to record this record. Most bass and some violin was recorded there while the rest of the recordings were done back on board the Caleuche in Vancouver in fall 2018. The LP will be out in April 2019 with art once again by Caruso, who created an original oil painting for the cover.

“Headless Fowl is extremely cool” – Jello Biafra

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

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). European interest and x-Canada tour. Played first shows in USA. Sold old 3000 copies – offered EU deal with Urwerk Records. 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 and received all copies – destroyed all but 4 songs used to begin as 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. Began touring Europe in 2002 with Truemmer Promotions. Sold over 3000 copies + 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 over 5000 physical copies + 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 over 3000 copies + 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 over 2000 copies + download/streams. Filmed Clockwork Blues Live DVD at Rickshaw in Vancouver with 5-camera shoot.

2010 Retired Voodoo Dollz burlesque/rockabilly style 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). Toured North America and Europe. Scarecrow was the first song recorded while experimenting with the Americana Noir style. B-Side Bad Pussy was the final Voodoo Dollz song released with a video shot in Minneapolis. 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 Canada with White Cowbell Oklahoma.

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 new 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 over 2000 copies + 100,000+ 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 April 12 release of Skinners Cage on Rookie Records. European tour schedule for May/June 2019.


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