Big Black Delta – top 10 influences

Big Black Delta Side of the Road artwork

Big Black Delta have some pretty interesting sounding electronica going on and a debut album about to land. Here the man behind the band, Jonathan Bates, gives us the low down on the top 10 artists that influenced him.

Big Black Delta is pretty hot right now – last year they toured with The Joy Formidable, M83 and Jane’s Addiction and have garnered praise from fellow artists including Jay-Z and Dave Navarro.

The band is actually the alter-ego of Jonathan Bates, taking on the identity after feeling a need for a change of musical pace following leaving his previous band Mellowdrone.

Big Black Delta’s self-titled debut was recorded entirely on a laptop and the sound is a slightly off-kilter exploration of electronica that nevertheless has a solid pop aesthetic.

Despite the lo-fi approach to creating the album when performed live Big Black Delta goes to the other end of the spectrum – duelling drummers, dancing and an orchestrated light show.

From the approach to creating songs, to the sound, to the performance there is plenty to catch the attention and pique the interest. We certainly recommend giving the album a listen when it’s released next week.

Here, Jonathan talks about the  bands and artists that have most influenced his own style…

Big Black Delta – top 10 influences

Pantera

I grew up playing guitar before even understanding what music was.  When I heard “Cowboys from Hell” for the first time, I fucking exploded.  Like Van Halen, the brother combo of guitar and drums made arguably the best metal band ever.

Van Halen

The first thing I learned how to play on guitar was the tapping part of “Eruption.”  Van Halen I, II, Fair Warning and 1984 are some of the best sounding records.  Tracked live!!!!  Fucking come on.

Danger

This guy incorporates all my favourite elements of synthesized music.  He creates his own world and outputs on so many levels: musically, graphically, conceptually.  His output is one to strive for.

Quincy Jones

The definition of production.  His horn sections…. this guys fucking horn sections.  It’s funny that the label and management scoffed when he said he’d produce Michael Jackson.  Him and Burt Bacharach make some of the most vocal instrumental music possible.

Esquivel

As someone who hears what they see, listening to Esquivel is the equivalent of being shot at with fireworks and tits.

Tim Hecker

This man’s landscapes are so wide that I get nauseous listening to it.  It’s the only stuff I can listen to on a plane or if i were strapped down to something.  One night, a long time ago on tour, I was swimming in this lake in Texas.  Water was around 72 degrees (F) and it was like 2 in the AM.  That feeling is what his music sounds like.

Sparklehorse

Mark Linkous inspired me in the most important way.  I couldn’t believe one man could make such beautiful music.  Ever since I heard Good Morning Spider for the first time, I’ve been trying, in vain, to emulate such a path.

 

 

Roy Orbison

That voice. That voice.  He wrote and recorded songs in the amount of time it takes one to change their oil.  The first dude in black that made it cool to cry.

Chopin

Someone so blindingly proficient.  Some of his pieces are impossible to play.  Yet he wrote some of the saddest, simplest songs in creation.

BeeGees

Saturday Night Fever.  It just works. Can’t fuck with it.

You can find more from Big Black Delta on his website and Soundcloud. The album is released on 29 April 2013.

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