Big John Bates comes to the Elite After 6 on Thursday with a new band and a new look—sans Voodoo Dolls.

Big John Bates comes to the Elite After 6 on Thursday with a new band and a new look—sans Voodoo Dolls.

Big John Bates plays his fingers to the bones with new bass maniac

Big John Bates will play at Elite After 6 in Penticton with local band The Nobodies opening.

Big John Bates is on his way to town, though this time he’s floating a musical adventure without the Voodoo Dolls.

For the last couple of years the Vancouver-based musician—who got his start in Annihilator, Canada’s top-selling metal band, then formed an act touring with burlesque dancers, Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dolls—has been floating around on his boat-cum-home with bass player Brandy Bones writing a heavy Americana garage punk album.

“I’ve lived in the boat for about five years,” said Bates. “My father used to be a boat captain and my brother gave me one, and then I just kept upgrading from there.”

Today, his floating musical paradise serves as the ultimate jam studio with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s French horn player mooring a few slips away and a cello, banjo, violin, bass and three guitars on board his own floating oasis.

Describing the band’s new sound as “rustic punk,” publicity for this first full-length album, to be released in Germany next month, states right up front it’s “like being serenaded with a rusty hammer.”

“It’s definitely an extreme departure (from the Voodoo Dolls), but there are so many different textures and sounds, people are definitely liking it,” said Bates.

Inspiration for the musical about-face stems from Bones, a country-influenced upright bass player from Montana with a mind-blowing style of her own. Bates and Bones first started playing their music in public while touring the States with drummer JT Massacre, who rejoined the band after a two year absencefrom working with Bates.

For this Penticton-Kelowna-Kamloops tour, the band will also be incorporating tuba and organ player Khadijah, originally from Singapore, and take in a little of the Okanagan summer.

“I have got a lot of friends in the Okanagan,” said Bates, noting his brother even lives in the area. “We always have to schedule a day off when we’re there.”

And while he’s certainly spent his fair share of time on the water, he’ll likely have to leave the 40-foot Uniflite Cabin Cruiser where the music all got started—at home. He was quoted $5,000 to bring it up the highway.

There’s a chance you might catch him on his motorcycle, nonetheless. Big John Bates plays at Elite After 6 The Elite Restaurant at 340 Main St.) on Thursday at 8 p.m. There is an $8 cover charge at the door.

Warming up for Big John Bates is Penticton’s own The Nobodies, a raucous rock n’ roll duo consisting of Jared Yackel and Carson Ruhland.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Sanders was dressed for the cold weather in Penticton Friday, as he made time to check out one of the city’s iconic landmarks. (Parkers Chrysler / Facebook)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spotted in Penticton

Sanders seems to have developed a taste for local craft beer

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Send your letter to the editor via email to Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number. (File photo)
LETTER: ‘Park your anger at the door,’ when it comes to supportive housing

Stable housing is needed for all in the community, writes Western News reader

(Pixabay photo)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines of the week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Administrative headquarters for the Regional District of Central Okanagan in Kelowna. (File photo)
Tempers fly over a pricey picnic shelter in the North Westside

Lack of detail on $121,000 shelter expenditure further incites self-govenance wishes

Big White Village on Dec. 16. (Big White photo)
11 more COVID-19 cases linked to Big White cluster

Interior Health provided an update on the cluster on Friday

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Send your letter to the editor via email to Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Historic poem is appropriate for new U.S. president

In 1941, Roosevelt made reference to poem by Longfellow

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘It’s incredibly upsetting’: Kelowna health care worker demands WestJet ticket refund

Kelowna woman has been waiting almost a year for a refund on her Kelowna to Edmonton flight

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Most Read