INTERVIEW: Rocker resurfaces in industry as Big Black Delta

Jonathan Bates used to observe rock star protocol. As a bassist-vocalist with Mellowdrone, he played the game by the big-studio, major-label rules, expecting accordant stardom in return. In retrospect, he calls it the “archetypal experience,” and it ended with the group’s demise. After that, he gave up and did anything to avoid composing new songs, like joining M83’s touring band, working as a gear tech and even being a delivery man. Left to his own devices, he stumbled upon a Zen-like new solo path and started recording at home as the techno-rocking Big Black Delta. In June, he released a great self-titled sophomore disc on his own Master of Bates imprint.

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