And BJB’s trajectory went on to more notorious fame from there. Musically he roared into darker than dark Southern Gothic Death Cult territory a little further South in the lower 48, taking no prisoners and cutting a swath with sacrilegious hammer hymns like «God forgives, I don’t» from his latest album «From the Bestiary to the Leathering Room» (2015, full-length vinyl coming in May) and a sick slew of other kickass productions before that. Besides, BJB originated many a fire sparks-spewing performance the world hadn’t seen since early Alice Cooper (or maybe The Crazy World of Arthur Brown). We’ll get into the details of BJB & The Voodoo Dollz and their chart wrecking hit «Take Your Medicine» hopefully some other time.
His mad guitar is called «The fastest Gretsch in the West (BJB says so himself, he also got it from the guitarist of Badfinger) and its rolling thunder is insanely enhanced by the ephemeral floating chorus vocals and expansive instrumental harmonies which are creating an orchestral, even swinging carpet. Powerfully blasted into your conscious by his back-up band who’s members are Leanne LaBoucher on cello, Brandy Bones on upright bass and J.T. Massacre on drums.
But BJB remains a cool customer and his Americana noir-blues, exotic-symphonic punk and rustic rock’n’roll is celebrated by notables like Quentin Tarantino and Jello Biafra: «He’s so cool!» But hold on a minute, this isn’t just inevitable show biz lip service, Big John Bates has also performed in the demanding company of Solomon Burke, Murder By Death, the Blasters, The Bellrays, The Supersuckers and Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. And he penned and composed the song «Amerkin» for the promotion of the Netflix series «House of Cards».
The man’s a blast. And now the ultimate monster goth musician is barreling into our town. It’s gonna be the kind of spectacle you’ll have noir nightmares for nights to come. Better take your medicine.