Big Black Delta Big Black Delta… Thin white dude

Interview: Big Black Delta

Published on July 31st, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Big Black Delta, the new project of Mellowdrone front man Jonathan Bates, has successfully blown Rocksucker’s mind with blisteringly barmy new single “IFUCKINGLOVEYOU”.

Not to mention the fine array of other tracks dotted about on YouTube and his Soundcloud – so Rocksucker caught up with the man behind it all for a quick chat about where it’s all leading…

Big Black Delta’s first UK show will take place tonight at Barfly Camden – click here for tickets – and he will then tour America with Jane’s Addiction, dates for which can be found here.

At the risk of being the seven hundredth person to say this to you, I fucking love “IFUCKINGLOVEYOU”.

Thank you, that’s very kind of you.

It’s completely off its head for starters. Was it a sound you were aiming for or did it just come naturally?

I wasn’t aiming it, I was just trying to take a picture of the most massive, childish thing I could do, you know what I mean?

You have your first UK date as Big Black Delta coming up. Did you play in the UK much with Mellowdrone?

I played a lot with Johnny Marr, went on tour with him a couple of times through here, as well as a couple of shows down in Camden like the Barfly and the Enterprise, those kind of things.

Is there a full album in the works?

Yeah, it’s finished and it should be coming out in the next couple of months.


Will “Huggin & Kissin”, “Capsize” and “The Zebrah” all be on it?

Yes they will.

Excellent. I read that you play a role in the M83 set-up: what is it exactly?

At first I was a touring guitarist, then I became friends with Anthony [Gonzalez] and Morgan [Kibby]. When I started Big Black Delta, Anthony and I worked on remixes together, and I ended up singing a little bit on his new record, as well as working with Morgan on her solo project. It was all by accident, just got a call one day saying, “Hey, we need a guitar player.”

How did the Jane’s Addiction support slot come about?

I think it was Dave Navarro: he’s a friend of a friend, and has always been very kind and supportive of Big Black Delta. I think it just made sense. They said, “Hey, would you like to come out for a little tour?”, you know.

Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming artists you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?

The usual suspects: I’m really into Grimes right now, I think she’s amazing, and there’s a really heavy band from Portland called Red Fang that I’m really into. My friend Alessandro [Cortini] who used to be in Nine Inch Nails, he has a solo project called SONOIO and I really like that as well.

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life with the entire works of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?

Serge Gainsbourg, Chopin, Whitesnake, Pantera and the Kingsley record, the first synth record ever made.

That’s quite a mix!

Well, if it’s gonna be for life… (Laughs)

Jonathan Bates, thank you.

Big Black Delta - I Fucking Love You

“IFUCKINGLOVEYOU” is out now – click here to buy it from iTunes. For more information, please visit bigblackdelta.com

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.