Big Black Delta is the solo project of Jonathan Bates, frontman for Los Angeles band Mellowdrone. BBD is influenced by hook-heavy '80s new wave and synthesizer-driven film soundtracks.
The project began when Mellowdrone decided to take an extended break in 2009, and Bates found himself questioning whether life in a band was for him. Bates became a touring guitarist for M83, before his friend and former Nine Inch Nails member Alessandro Cortini introduced him to the benefits of creating music on a laptop. Bates became engrossed and it was during an intense period of creativity that Big Black Delta was born. Harnessing guitars and warped electronics to create a wall of sound, Big Black Delta released a free EP titled BBDEP1 in 2010. Debut full-length BBDLP1 appeared on Coming Home Records in 2011. During the same year, Big Black Delta remixed M83's hit single "Midnight City," and the two acts teamed up to remix "Fall" from Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Singles If***ingloveyou and Betamax followed in 2012 through Bates' own Master of Bates label, which issued a reconfigured, S/T version of Big Black Delta's debut album in the spring of 2013. BBD kept busy working on new material, as well as remixing songs by Puscifer and White Zombie. In 2015, Big Black Delta released new singles "It's OK" and "RCVR," the latter featuring '80s teen pop star Debbie Gibson. The full-length Trágame Tierra followed in 2016, and in 2017 Bates released an instrumental concept album WHORU812.