Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interview - Big Black Delta - 8.2.12 - Carnegie Library Homestead - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Big Black Delta will be performing this Thursday, 8.2 at the Carnegie Library at Homestead opening for M83. The sole driving force behind the project is Jonathan Bates, former lead man of Mellowdrone. Hailing from Los Angeles, Bates decided to take a break from the band dynamic in order to pursue an endeavor without boundaries, allowing him to expand his focus. Taking the name from 'UFO' sightings, Bates has released one LP titled bbdlp1 and just recently an EP of remixes entitled IFUCKINGLOVEYOU. We had the pleasure of interviewing JB about his new project, his collaboration with M83 and his interest in Ufology.

You worked under the band Mellowdrone for many years. What made you decide to branch off into such a new direction?

After Mellowdrone's last record, I felt it was time to do something outside of writing music. I delivered gear, played guitar as a hired gun, guitar tech'd, etc. It obviously was a real short hiatus as I'm not very good at just sitting around. The guys in my band had either gotten married or got good jobs with health insurance. In the US, that's a big deal. 



As far as the musical difference, I just wanted to make something thick and simple. And on a laptop, I can almost create any sound I desire. To be honest, Big Black Delta started a hobby for my personal happiness.

I read you grew up in Venezuela. What is the music scene like there and how did it affect this new project?

I moved to the Miami when I was about 8, so I would say Cuban music influenced me way more than Venezuelan. The use of triplets and timbale fills is something I reference constantly.

You are touring with 2 well known acts M83 and Janes Addiction. How did you get to open for them? 

I've known Anthony for a couple years. M83 had asked if I'd fill in on guitar for a couple tours and we befriended each other then. As more people started hearing Big Black Delta, he graciously offered a couple tours. Dave Navarro was kind enough to put us up for their tour. I enjoy the road with friends.

You worked with M83 on a remix for Daft Punk on the Tron album. How was it working with M83 in the studio?

Very easy. Anthony and I are very comfortable in our respective arenas, so it was more of a hang than anything.



How do your transform your music into a live setting?

I use Ableton live. With several controllers, that control programs my friend designed, I can manipulate my voice and music to whatever I want in real time. I've played instruments my whole life, so it's a trip to not stand behind anything. I'm also joined by two drummers, cause that's just fucking fun.
It's a lot of fun to do.

You utilize a ‘ufo’ as your title for the project. Is there something you are trying to capture in your music relates?  Or is this UFO something you are interested in as a pastime?


Ufology is liberating to me. The idea that something maybe out there that is highly evolved what we know down here helps melt barrier.

When creating your music do you bring others in to assist? Or this truly a solo project for you?

So far, it has been singular in its creation. I occasionally invite my buddy Alessandro Cortini (SONOIO) to give production ideas, as we are very close musically. Objectivity is difficult when you're doing all of it.

You just released an EP of remixes and free LP (for a time) back in January. Are you working on anything new? 

I've just finished 5 new songs. I'm combining those with my favorite songs off bbdlp1. There are new star maps being designed to go with the new music. Always working on new ideas.



What do you think of the current media/social music world? 

Like everything, there are pros and cons. I enjoy how immediate people can communicate with me about my music.

What made you want to dedicate your life to music? Was there a show or album?

I'm really bad at sports. Honestly. So playing guitar at home seemed natural. And I was good at it.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Go Steelers!

Tickets for the show are pretty much sold out. But they can be found here. Show begins at 8p. More information about Big Black Delta can be found at these locations:

bigblackdelta.com/
www.facebook.com/bigblackdelta
soundcloud.com/big-black-delta/

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